Social Enterprises Provide Employment through Crowdfunding

social entrepreneur - detroit soupIf traditional jobs are few and far between, why not find a way to employ people in unconventional ways? That’s what these social enterprises are doing – using creative solutions to provide direct funding for worthy projects. Whether they’re art groups, community organizations, or local charities, the point of these social enterprises is to put people to work in meaningful ways using funds raised by communities.

Microgrants Fund Creative Projects in Cities through Social Enterprise

This innovative micro-funding idea helps to generate money for creative projects in the city of Detroit and others like it. For the past two years, Detroit SOUP hosts a monthly dinner – soup, salad, bread, and pie – to raise awareness and funds for a local project. The entrance fee is $5 per person and anyone can attend the dinner, which takes place on the second Sunday of each month. Local community members and restaurants donate the food to keep costs really low.

During the evening, four creative projects present their proposals and dinner guests are then encouraged to vote on their favorite. Whichever project garners the greatest support receives the funds raised that evening – usually between $600 and $900. Find a guide for creating your own at crowdsourced funding project at

Giffa - social enterpriseCrowdfunding Start-up Provides Funds to Employ Americans Working for Charities

Yet another creative approach to crowdsourcing funds for charitable organizations, Giifa works to match private donors willing to provide funds for employee wages in nonprofits around the world. Not only does this approach help to solve crushing unemployment problems in the US, it also makes it possible to staff charities so that they can continue their good work.

Individual donors can give one-time gifts of $20 or more, directing it to a charity of their choice. The social enterprise is still in its infancy, but hopes to grow to help provide many jobs to member organizations in the coming months.

This post was written by:

Maryruth Belsey Priebe

Maryruth has been seeking the keys to environmental justice - both at home and at work - for over a decade. Growing up adjacent to wild spaces, Maryruth developed a healthy respect (and whimsical appreciation) for things non-human, but her practical mind constantly draws her down to earth to ponder tangible solutions to complex eco-problems.

With interests that range from green living to green business, sustainable building designs to organic gardening practices, ecosystem restoration to environmental health, Maryruth has been exploring and writing about earth-matters for most of her life. Of special interest is the subject of ecopsychology and the role the natural world plays in the long-term health and well-being of humanity. You can learn more about Maryruth's work at

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  1. Kaily says:

    Crowd-sourcing is all the rage these days, but I don’t think this will ever take over more traditional methods of charitable funding. Sure you will get some small amounts, but I am doubtful that it will ever equal enough money to keep up with most charitable organizations needs.

  2. Aaron Turner says:

    Donating to causes that mean something to you is going to make you feel good about helping someone that is in need.

  3. Chris says:

    Crowdfunding has been an effective method for start-ups to raise needed funds. I have seen this type of funding really flourish as internet sites standardize where founders and those that fund can come together. I think it has to be just one option among many though. The whole point of business is to bring value to customers/clients/society. By bringing this value, social enterprises have multiple options to earn the funding they are looking for.

  4. Dorothy says:

    Crowd funding has its own pros and cons. It takes advantage of the social nature of the crowd like online social networks and not only allows you to get money from, but also as your crowd spreads the word about your needs, it will essentially also be spreading the word about your business, which in a way is like hitting two birds with just one stone. However, because it deals with the collection of money and soliciting investments, you have to be extra careful not to violate any existing laws or regulations…

  5. Julia says:

    I think crowdfunding sounds like a great idea. The more we as individuals can do to help one another, the better.

  6. Sean says:

    This is a fantastic idea to raise some quick capital, but as Dorothy says, it would be relatively easy for someone with financial backing to come along and snipe your business. Do a lot of them have non-disclosure agreements for non-participants?

  7. I love crowd sourcing; whether it is for creating t-shirts, video games, or businesses. The whole idea of organizing people together based upon their common interests makes a ton of sense. The beauty is that there is no forced nature to it. Instead crowd sourcing happens at the grass roots level.

    With the social media revolution in place now via Facebook, Twitter, etc, this method will only grow in popularity. It seems like a natural evolution to freedom of association and thought.

  8. Nice post I’m impressed, Actually rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining. Cheers from Sweden!

  9. Joshua says:

    I have never heard of anything like this type of funding before. However, it is possible only in such social-aware countries as USA. I guess this is why it is not popular in here – Lithuania to be specific.

  10. Benjina says:

    That’s a GREAT post! there has not been a clear guide on how to get started, and so here’s you provied thing need to know before diving into a crowdfunding..Thank you for sharing!! 😀

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