For the first time, a social finance lender is joining forces with a crowdfunding website to help social innovators raise capital.
SEFA, one of Australia’s leading lenders to social enterprises and StartSomeGood, a crowdfunding platform for not-for-profits, social entrepreneurs and change makers, have joined forces to launch SEFA:CrowdMatch.
Social enterpreneurs who successfully apply and participate in the SEFA:CrowdMatch program will qualify for a loan of $50,000+ if they are able to demonstrate community support for their enterprise by raising at least $50,000 on StartSomeGood.
‘It’s a unique chance for Australian social enterprises to raise the capital they need to grow. We hope to stimulate them to convert their dreams into reality’, says Ben Gales SEFA’s CEO. ‘It’s an opportunity to create tangible social impact with financial support, industry expertise and experience behind them’ he says.
Linking a SEFA loan to a successful crowdfunding campaign makes the capital raise more affordable for organisations – and in some cases also tests potential market demand for a product or service. At the same time, leveraging the StartSomeGood funds with an additional loan fosters professionalism and discipline needed for financial sustainability in a social enterprise. Lending and crowdfunding sit on opposite ends of the funding spectrum; but when combined, the risk for both the lender as well as individual donors are reduced.
Tom Dawkins, Co-founder and CEO of StartSomeGood says, ‘We want to stimulate changemakers and new ways of doing things. Social enterprises can transform our society and we want to help them raise funds so they can do just that’.
To apply, organisations need to describe their progress, financials and plan for growth. They will then be considered by SEFA’s investment committee. If chosen they will they will then be connected with StartSomeGood to set up and launch a crowdfunding campaign.