Top 5 Kickstarter projects for social good


I’m fascinated by the currency of social capital and the idea that a community can be more than the sum of its parts.

Never is the idea of social capital more evident than when you take a look at crowdfunding social network Kickstarter. While headline-grabbing Kickstarter pitches often aim to generate funding for wearable tech, video game development, or film-production; and are often pitched by celebrities, the pitches that fly under the media radar are often those with truly altruistic, society-benefiting goals. Here, in no particular order, are five of my favourite Kickstarter campaigns for social good:

Hungry Eyes
Pitched by medical volunteers in the rural village of Ollantaytambo, Peru, Hungry Eyes incentivises regular medical checkups for indigenous women and children with the provision of a nutritious breakfast of chocolate porridge, bread, a banana and a glass of milk. In 2010 Hungry Eyes received financial backing of over $1,300; almost double the goal of $750, and the additional funds went towards extra fruit and grain for the project’s beneficiaries.

Konbit Shelter: Sustainable building in rural Haiti
The product of an ‘ongoing relationship between a small group of artists, architects, engineers and builders in the US, and a small rural village in Haiti’, Konbit Shelter is about building beautiful, safe and sustainable homes and community spaces in rural Haiti, in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. In January 2013, Konbit Shelter raised over $31k against a $30k goal, allowing them to start work on a third construction, a home for a family of five. In relying on locally resourced materials and labour, Konbit also promotes education in building techniques as well as the local economy and job market.

IF: This University is Free
With the cost of education in the UK at an all-time high, and humanities subjects increasingly a privilege of only the very rich, IF aims to deliver free University humanities courses drawing from no-cost resources such as museums, lectures, galleries, webinars, and academic contributors. IF smashed their target of £10k, and I look forward to seeing the fruits of their labour this Summer when they launch their first humanities Summer course in London.

The Circus Project: Getting Homeless Youth off the Ground
The Circus Project marries some of the world’s most accomplished coaches in circus and theatre arts with homeless and at-risk youth, to produce a groundbreaking performance and to challenge perceptions of marginalised youth. In late 2011, the Circus Project raised just over $2,500 to transform young lives and confront stereotypes.

I knit cuddly blankets for abandoned cats in shelters :D
Any excuse for a cat picture…
Undoubtedly the most literally-named of all Kickstarter campaigns, and perhaps the cutest, this isn’t just a ploy to improve my SEO by 1,000%. In October 2011, this campaign raised over $300 against a $50 goal to fund the knitting of blankets to be donated to homeless cats in shelters.


Now read this

Why #BringBackOurGirls is NOT another slacktivism campaign

On April 14th 2014, 276 Nigerian school girls were abducted by Boko Haram, to minimal outrage or global press coverage. Two weeks later, a fire was lit in the form of the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag campaign, and three days later still... Continue →