The Money Crowd, a crowdfunding website designed for nonprofits in Tampa Bay, provides a new option for community members to support the causes they care about. The site aims to give nonprofits an avenue to fundraise with little to no overhead and less administrative work than traditional projects.
"We wanted to see if crowdfunding could work on a local level for a niche market,'' says Kostas Stoilas, senior associate at Cushman & Wakefield of Florida and founder of The Money Crowd.
Nonprofits develop a need with a specific project, event or cause. The Money Crowd's volunteer team then meets with the organization to fine tune the concept and shoot video to be used on the site. Promotions are done by both the nonprofit and The Money Crowd
, and donations go directly to the organization through their Paypal account.
A Venice, FL native and graduate of The University of Tampa
's MBA program, Stoilas developed the idea while on the leadership council at Big Brothers Big Sisters
, which is also the site's first project. The goal is to fund an event that will recognize volunteers who have been with the organization for five years.
The most recent -- and most successful -- project is Hannah's Homeless
, a winter clothing and food drive to benefit St. Petersburg's homeless population. The project began in September and has already exceeded its $2,500 goal. The success of this project in the early stages indicates they're on the right path and the community embraces the concept.
Future plans include events to allow donors to meet the organizations they are benefitting for happy hours and networking.
"Charities love it,'' says Stoilas. "Now we're trying to build the audience and get people to regularly visit the site to find other causes they can get involved with.''
Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Kostas Stoilas, The Money Crowd