Social fundraising platform Believe.in has launched today, offering fundraisers a slick and easy way to connect with charities, accept donations and share their progress through social networks including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
There are plenty of crowdfunding platforms out there; in recent months we’ve covered Pledgeit, HopeMob and Givey, to name just a few. Believe.in hopes to make a name for itself, however, by guaranteeing that 100 percent of the money raised through its platform – including any Gift Aid reclaimed – will be donated to the relevant charity.
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To really drive this point home, the company has partnered with the PayPal Giving Fund to ensure there are no credit card fees whatsoever.
To sign-up for an account, users can register either with their Facebook profile or an email address. Often the latter is the best option for Web apps, although given that Believe.in is all about attracting donations from your friends, giving it permission to post on your wall probably isn’t a bad idea.
The service will then assign a custom URL for your profile, ask for a display picture and then show you a number of fundraising themes to choose from, including health and medicine, social welfare, the environment and protection of animals.
For each topic, Believe.in will hunt down a number of notable charities that fit your interests. The platform currently offers more than 170,000 profiles for registered charities in the UK, although it also plans to expand across Europe and the US “in the near future.”
The service then gives you a “deed log”, which is essentially an online profile for all of your charitable and philanthropic deeds. Here you can write a short bio, upload a background image and tweak your privacy settings so that people can see all, some, or none of your donations.
With your profile suited and booted, you’ll notice that there’s now a timeline down the left-hand side with some “updates” tailored to the charities chosen earlier. At any time, you can then add deeds manually from your profile, along with the charity involved and the date that it happened.
What’s great is that each of these updates are shareable, and have their own unique link where users can comment, republish or “heart” your activities. Using the search bar at the top of the screen, it’s also possible to look up and connect with pages dedicated to individual charities.
Believe.in really excels, however, as a fundraising tool. So right off the bat, you can create a new project and give it a name, chosen charity, target amount and deadline for donations. As with user profiles, it’s also possible to set a custom background, giving it a more personal look.
Hit the “invite supporters” button and a status update will be published to your Believe.in, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. There’s a simple graph to show how much money you’ve raised and people can donate at any time using PayPal.
Ongoing fundraisers are filed under the apps tab of your profile, which seems a little odd, but presumably these switch over to the updates feed once a campaign has been completed.
To round it all off, Believe.in is also announcing the closure of a new funding round today, led by Index Ventures and Greylock Partners, plus a consortium of high-profile European angel investors including Jonty Hurwitz, Federico Pirzio-Biroli and Mark Sainsbury. A final amount was not disclosed, however.
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