Dolores Petersen Presents is a Los Angeles based live music promoter for hundreds of acts, across multiple venues and around the world, with a core mission to keep the Great American Songbook alive. Looking to fund technology upgrades for her business, she has joined a new crowdfunding platform, HelpersUnite. She writes:

I am looking to raise a modest $7,000 for my enterprise. The monies will go directly to an immediate, and much-needed, technology upgrade. Included in my wish list is a new computer, additional design software to support an increased need for web-based designs, an upgraded color laser printer, and email campaign software that will better allow me to monitor interest and trends for various events so I can better serve the better serve the artists I am supporting.

HelpersUnite launched today, a platform that links artistic and entrepreneurial projects to charitable giving. While crowdfunding– sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo– is a fast-growing industry, what’s unique about HelpersUnite is that there is a requirement to donate a part of the funds raised to a 501c3. While HelpersUnite took more than few design tips from Kickstarter, charitable giving is prohibited on the latter crowdfunding platform. HelpersUnite is able to facilitate the tax receipts through a partnership with the online fundraising site FirstGiving.

Screen shot 2011 09 26 at 4.25.33 PM 520x292 HelpersUnite launches a charitable Kickstarter of sorts

Luan Cox, CEO and co-founder of GoodWorldCreations, the LLC behind HelpersUnite, says, “Creative artists and business mavericks have the ability to make a tremendous impact on the world around them simply by bringing their vision to fruition.  With HelpersUnite.com, our vision is to help them extend that impact on a potentially global scale.  By sharing a portion of their raised funds, not only do they literally ‘pay it forward’ immediately, but they also gain a potential partner in the process.  We’ve had tremendous positive feedback, both from the creative and non-profit communities, on this aspect of the platform.  Our database of featured charitable organizations grows daily.”

HelpersUnite has Projects and Causes on the site. Registered 501c3’s can create a Cause profile, including their logo, and then send the link to their Cause on HelpersUnite to their donor list as part of any fundraising campaign. Causes can keep their profile on the site forever, at no cost to them. They do not have to align with a charity and donate part of their funds raised on the site to another 501c3’s. All the money raised, less admin fees to HelpersUnite and credit card processing fees from PayPal, go to the non-profit. HelpersUnite features Causes on its site and social media channels regularly to help further promote users’ work.

Artists or business entrepreneurs can set up a Project for a funding campaign with a maximum of 120 days as the time horizon. Much like Kickstarter, users put a story together about what they’re trying to do, the impact it will have, create a pitch video (uploaded from YouTube or Vimeo, e.g., we don’t upload videos directly), and then pick a charity to align with. For musicians, HelpersUnite even integrates online ticketing.

HelpersUnite facilitates the appropriate split payments and sends an email receipt of the tax-deductible donation for record-keeping purposes. All projects must donate a minimum of 5% of their raised funds to their charity. Overall, the site seems to be draw projects from an older and more classically artistic crowd than Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. So far, the site has a handful of interesting projects including ones from a Brown and NYU-educated choreographer, Screenwriter Mark Hutchinson, a Jazz vocalese trio and Hertog Fellow, Cynthia Polutanovich.

Featured image: Shutterstock/Suzanne Tucker