Crowdfunding for Social Good: Financing Your Mark on the World
Over the last year of writing my Forbes blog, I have had the opportunity to really dig deeply into the world of crowdfunding. I’ve just completed my first draft of my new book, Crowdfunding for Social Good: Financing Your Mark on the World.
The book is a guide to successful crowdfunding for people who want to change the world.
The book is not a sequel to my book, Your Mark On The World, but it is written in the same spirit. I’ve studied a dozens of successful crowdfunding campaigns, interviewing the people behind them to learn their secrets for success.
Devin’s Book, Your Mark on the World, was downloaded over 75,000 times and reached the #19 spot on Amazon’s free book list–among all free books. It remains on the top 50 free nonfiction books at Amazon.
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About Devin:Devin D. Thorpe thinks he is the luckiest person alive. After being “let go” from the best job he’d ever had—as the Chief Financial Officer of the multinational food and beverage company MonaVie—he and his wife ended up living in China for a year where he wrote Your Mark On The World and embarked on the career he’d always wanted yet hadn’t dared dream.
Now, as an author, a popular guest speaker and Forbes contributor, Devin is devoted full time to championing social good. His current life isn’t much like his past.
As an entrepreneur, Devin ran—at separate times—a boutique investment banking firm and a small mortgage company. He served as the Treasurer for the multinational vitamin manufacturer USANA Health Sciences years before becoming CFO for MonaVie. Over his career he led or advised on the successful completion of $500 million in transactions.
Devin squeezed in two brief stints in government, including two years working for Jake Garn on the U.S. Senate Banking Committee Staff and another year working for an independent state agency called USTAR, where he helped foster technology entrepreneurship during Governor Jon Huntsman’s administration.
Devin is proud to have graduated from the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business, which recognized him as a Distinguished Alum in 2006. He also earned an MBA at Cornell University where he ran the student newspaper, Cornell Business.
Today, Devin channels the idealism of his youth with the loving support of his wife, Gail. Their son Dayton is a PhD candidate in Physics at UC Berkeley (and Devin rarely misses an opportunity to mention that).
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Do Something That Matters
As you think about projects you could tackle, businesses you could launch or things to keep you busy, please allow me to suggest that you do something that matters.
Providing for your family certainly matters. Don’t let me discourage you in any way from finding something at which you can make some money—especially if you are with the 99 percent of us who need to earn a living and can’t live off our savings. That said, doing something to help solve one of the world’s big problems will be so much more worthwhile.
We are living at a unique time in history. In our lifetimes we could see the elimination of abject poverty and hunger. It is by no means assured, but it is well within our grasp to completely eliminate from the earth the population of people living on less than $2 per day. The percentage of the world’s population living in such poverty has already been reduced dramatically over the past twenty or 30 years. If the trend continues—and it won’t without effort—this desperate level of deprivation can be eradicated.
Many people know that in the last generation small pox was eradicated from the world’s population. A recent campaign by Rotary International, the group leading the charge in the fight against polio, reminds us that we are “this close” to eliminating polio completely. Malaria is also in the cross hairs of global organizations battling it.
AIDS is no longer considered a fatal disease, but a chronic one, meaning that people don’t die from it, they live with it. Finding a cure is within reach of the next generation.
New technologies are in development that would allow us to treat a range of cancers more effectively; the next generation will see the adoption of personalized medicine based on each person’s genetic code, allowing doctors to choose exactly the right drug. Progress in medicine will astound us all over the next 30 years—if we continue to invest and work toward these goals.
It takes so little more effort to think of doing something that matters than to think of something that doesn’t—say, Facebook for dogs—let me encourage you to take off the blinders. See the world’s problems as opportunities for you to solve. Pick one and go for it.
Crowdfunding can help you raise the money you need to do something that matters!