What on Earth is Crowdfunding?

When I tell people that I work for a crowdfunding company, I am almost always confronted with looks of confusion, which are then quickly followed by a response along the lines of, “What on earth is crowdfunding?” It is safe to say, that while crowdfunding is growing quite quickly in this country, many people are still unsure about what it actually is. It is definitely time to unpack this growing venture which has changed many lives for the better.

‘Crowdfunding’ can be defined as: “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, today often performed via Internet-mediated registries, but the concept can also be executed through mail-order subscriptions, benefit events, and other methods.” In simple terms, crowdfunding is therefore a means for your regular citizen to help fund their fellow regular citizen’s business idea or campaign. Some of the popular crowdfunding platforms around the world are ‘Kickstarter’ and ‘Go Fund Me’. Thundafund happens to be South Africa’s leading crowdfunding platform.

Thundafund has quickly become South Africa’s leading crowdfunding platform’s and one of the reasons for this, is the fact that Thundafund uses a ‘Rewards-based’,‘all-or-nothing’ crowdfunding system. A rewards-based crowdfunding system means that anyone who makes a contribution to a campaign, is guaranteed to receive some form of reward for their contribution. In addition to the ‘all-or-nothing’ system, Thundafund also ensures that any project or campaign can only claim their contributions if they have reached their ‘tipping point’. A ‘tipping point’ is the minimum amount of money needed to get your campaign started. This is incredibly beneficial because it not only ensures that contributors’ funds don’t go to waste, but it also helps campaigners see whether or not their project/business ideas are actually lucrative or not.

In addition to that, one of the factors which makes Thundafund stand out, is the fact that it focusses on growing African businesses/campaigns. For too long, Africans, specifically South Africans, have fallen into the mind-set which has led us to believe that in order to be successful, we have to work for someone else, instead of becoming entrepreneurs and actually working for ourselves. Thundafund has begun to dismantle this mind-set by quickly becoming an important platform for Africans to showcase their innovative ideas and start world-changing businesses and initiatives.

The time has come where we can no longer depend on big companies to fund our brilliant ideas and with crowdfunding, we no longer need to. Whether it’s your friends, family, friends of family, family of friends, or anyone really, platforms such as Thundafund are making it easier for your everyday person to invest in their fellow everyday people’s ideas, and make their dreams a reality. Whether you want to change the world with a great idea, or you want to change the world by funding a great idea, Thundafund is the name and crowdfunding is the game! Visit our website at http://www.thundafund.com and make it rain, today.

A note from the editor :-

This blog piece is taken from a fresh look from our social media intern, Zanele Kabane, to explain what Crowdfunding is about.

Thundafund goes mobile

The NEW & IMPROVED www.thundafund.comwebsite is live (3)

Built in Africa for Africa, the new Thundafund website is 100% mobile-responsive. It is simple, easy to use, and accessible everywhere. For the backer it’s super-convenient. Love a project? 2 clicks and you’ve backed a project #nologinrequired

Thundafund is truly built for what we need in Africa as a crowdfunding solution.

Check it out, try it out, it is a new world revolution straight out of Africa.

The new Thundafund website boasts:
A smooth and sleek new look and feel.
Self Sign-up functionality.
A mobile-friendly and responsive design.
A  3-step payment process.
A donations button which allows backers to contribute any amount of money to a campaign without having to purchase a reward.

Thundafund DAC Presentation

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It was an overcast Friday morning in Gauteng as two brave crowdfunding enthusiasts were gearing up to present a crowdfunding talk to the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC). As the audience of DAC employees gathered, Patrick Schofield led the charge for the morning by setting the tone of the presentation with an overview of what crowdfunding is, Thundafund’s history and briefly touched on the success of the Creative Crowdfunding Economy Development Project (CCEDP).

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Then it was Thundafund’s Marketing Manager’s (or Artist-in-Residence) turn to dive deeper in the state of crowdfunding in the developing world and to further map out Thundafund’s place in the crowdfunding sector. Winslow Schalkwyk spoke from his experience as a freelance artist in South Africa and how this exciting funding model allows artists and creatives to grow their businesses and brands.

Interspersed with fervent questions and answers, the Thundafund team worked their way through the presentation, highlighting all the areas of success and spoke to how, with the support of DAC, they were able to have a success rate of over 80% on the CCEDP.

But, more than just reporting on the CCEDP, the team set out to educate the attendees on what crowdfunding is and how this exciting new funding model can change the landscape of funding in South Africa’s creative sector.

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Through the CCEDP, Thundafund has been able to produce Crowdfunding Education Tools. These tools, ranging from videos to workshops, will assist the budding crowdfunder in their quest to have a successful campaign with Thundafund. Another advantage of these education tools is that ThundaFund is now able to reach areas and people in South Africa, wherever there is internet available.

To the future:

Thundafund is currently in the development stage of a new website which is mobile-responsive as well. The team have been making notes from all the feedback received from Project Creators and Backers, and there are many changes being implemented to take the crowdfunding platform to the next level.

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Thundafund has produced new crowdfunding education videos with Zootee Studios

 

Interview with “Sibo Looks Right” creator Ginny Stone

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When Project Creators come on board Thundafund and immerse themselves in their crowdfunding campaigns, reach their Tipping Point and gain more support than even they envisioned, we have no choice but to pick their brains! Ginny Stone, the creative force behind the “Sibo” series of educational children’s books, was eager to have us interview her for our blog.

TF: How was the crowdfunding experience for you?

Ginny Stone: It was brilliant – I really enjoyed it – despite the fact I made mistakes and could have done better.

TF: Do you feel that through your campaign you have managed to crowdsource for Sibo more?

Ginny Stone: Yes definitely – through the incredible generosity of Nash Nissan we’ve got enough funding to have “Sibo Looks Right” illustrated and print 750 copies of the book – plus have the e-book to freely distribute. Without the campaign we would still not have this book – we had been trying to find funding for 2 years before this.

TF: Please note some of the challenges you had with your campaign?

Ginny Stone: I should have built up to the launch more. To be honest I started the campaign at the wrong time (was in the end stages of organising a conference and I was multi-tasking like crazy). I also did not dedicate enough time to a twitter campaign (except for the last few weeks). I somehow imagined that more of the people I know would have kicked in R50 just because it’s a good cause – that was a learning curve – people have other priorities! I also thought the marketing opportunities would be wildly attractive – but clearly I missed the boat somehow. All good – more learning curves! I also missed opportunities of have radio interviews purely because I was too busy. Silly me!

Probably the most challenging was that some people are just not very online literate and they had huge problems trying to register and deposit funds (and yet others had no problems at all). I overcame this by having them deposit money into my account and then I would create TF accounts for them using Sibo’s emails and deposit the money into the TF campaign account. It was a tad laborious at times.

TF: Do you have any advice for other campaign creators?

Ginny Stone: Don’t assume all your friends will support you. Do your build up to your launch properly. I think the biggest thing when asking for money is that your product or end result is something that is useful to other people – not just something you fancy doing and don’t have the money for.

TF: What, in your experience, are some of the benefits of crowdfunding?

Ginny Stone: Apart from the fact that we raised enough money to make our book happen… Marketing. Getting your product – my “Sibo” books – better known. Plus, in our case, I approached a potential funder for R300 and instead they have commissioned their own “Sibo” title and have ordered 10,000 copies (this is a real deal – done and dusted). It will be launched in October – transport month. This was a fabulous spin-off.
The contributions from Department of Arts and Culture were also unexpected and very much appreciated.

Also, I am quite sure that people will be happy to download the free “Sibo Looks Right” e-book and so my ultimate goal – of getting people and kids to be more road safety conscious will be realised even if we did not raise enough money to freely distribute real books around the country.

TF: Where to from here? Now that your campaign has closed, what happens now or what are your future plans?

Ginny Stone: “Sibo Looks Right” is currently being illustrated – it should be printed and will be launched mid-March.  As I mentioned above – I am currently working on a new title on etiquette when using public transport (a “Sibo” book on manners – fabulous!). Also as a result of the campaign I have had chats with a guy who is considering having me write a “Sibo” book on saving – another great topic. I do also have many other “Sibo” titles brewing in my head – plus I write a weekly “Sibo” column in the African Reporter and it runs as a blog.

Check out the “Sibo Looks Right” campaign here

You can listen to an interview with Ginny Stone with Cape Talk’s Pippa Hudson here:

R6 million successfully crowdfunded

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Within the first week of 2016, Thundafund has managed to surpass the R6 million successfully crowdfunded mark, which is a welcomed feat for South Africa’s leading rewards-based crowdfunding platform.

Since its inception, Thundafund has grown at a considerable rate and now boasts a tally of 167 successfully funded projects.

What adds to Thundafund’s success is the hands-on mentorship and assistance the team offers all the project creators who have campaigns live on its platform. From guidance with marketing and social media, to assistance with the look and feel of each campaign, this team has shown its commitment to spreading the message of crowdfunding, proving that Thundafund really is a home for entrepreneurs, creatives and innovators.

 

 

The African Crowdfunding Association

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African Crowdfunding Association (ACfA) Established to Provide Equal Access to Capital for All.

On Wednesday 25 November 2015, Thundafund and Wealth Migrate announced the launch of the African Crowdfunding Association (ACfA).

Wealth Migrate and Thundafund have partnered to lay the groundwork for ACfA and are urging policy makers and others passionate about increasing access to capital to join them. ACfA will be the industry association for Crowdfunding Professionals and Companies in Africa.

The goals of the ACfA are:

  • To lobby for crowdfunding legislation creation and reforms,
  • Contribute to an increase in public awareness of crowdfunding,
  • And to create a more cohesive industry structure in Africa that protects investors and democratizes access to capital for all Africans.

Crowdfunding, which has already made huge economic waves in the United States, Europe and Asia, is a method of financing or raising capital that harnesses the power of the masses, or the “crowd” to fund a project, business or creative and innovative endeavour, typically via the Internet.

In nations where Crowdfunding is regulated and has governing legislation, it has leveled the economic playing field, giving access to capital needed for wealth creation to women and minorities that typically are overlooked by traditional capital markets.

“There is a huge wealth gap in the emerging world, and crowdfunding is a solution to close this gap,” says Scott Picken, founding member of the African Crowdfunding Association and CEO of Wealth Migrate, “crowdfunding can provide equal opportunity and equal access to capital that is essential for wealth creation within underserved populations. ACfA will educate not only the public, but also the policymakers about the benefits of crowdfunding for Africa.”

“We see crowdfunding as the democratization of financing for entrepreneurs,” says Patrick Schofield, CEO and co-founder of Thundafund, “thus far we have been thrilled to see the outpouring of African and global support for African entrepreneurs that have had the courage to launch new ideas into the world. There are so many inspiring entrepreneurs in Africa who could do so much to change the world with access to capital. Crowdfunding is the next-gen solution to Africa’s development agenda.”

One of the most exciting aspects is the support and recognition ACfA has received from similar industry bodies around the world, that have already been through this process.

Xiaochen Zhang who set up Crowdfund China Society and works on crowdfunding for the World Bank has agreed to sit on the ACfA board. Dan Marom who advised and got regulations passed by the European Union has also agreed to sit on the board. Along with all the other parties above they are providing the ACfA with a blueprint and framework which has already worked elsewhere in the world.

Organizations and individuals that have given their support include:
• M-Changa
• Jumpstarter
• Realty Africa
• Realty Wealth
• Babandu
• Back-a-Buddy
• 234give.com
• Uganda Crowdfunding Network
• The Crowdfunding Institute of Australia
• The Crowdfunding Professional Association
• The China Crowdfunding Society
• The UK Crowdfunding Association

• Carl Esposti, Founder of Crowdsourcing and Massolution – http://www.crowdsourcing.org
• Dan Marom, renowned expert in the field of crowdfunding and author of the pioneering books, “The Crowdfunding Revolution” (2010, 2012) & “Crowdfunding: The corporate era” (2015).
• Matthew Pinter, Chairman of the Crowd Funding Institute of Australia – https://www.cfinstitute.org/
• Frank Mukahanana, director of the UK Crowdfunding Association – http://www.ukcfa.org.uk/
• Paul Niederer, leading authority on Investor Aggregation Solutions, Collaborative Investment and Crowdsourcing.
• Ronald Kleverlaan, Co-Founder of the European Crowdfunding Network; Founder of Crowdfunding Hub.
• Scott McIntyre, Vice President of the Crowdfunding Professional Association – http://www.cfpa.org/
• Xiaochen Zhang, Co-Founder of the Crowdfund China Society; Director at the Crowdfunding Professional Association.
• Joy Schoffler, Principal of Leverage PR and CFIRA board member.

For more information email info@africancrowd.com

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Crowdfunding 101 Workshop by Albert Butorano

 

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20th November 2015, on a sunny Friday afternoon, people filed into the Learning Lab at the MTN Solution Space on UCT’s plush BreakWater campus to learn about crowdfunding; why it has been so successful so far and how Thundafund’s platform can help them achieve a similar success.

Brows were furrowed, shoulders were hunched and notes were taken as Winslow Schalkwyk (Thundafund’s Community and Marketing Manager) spoke on the benefits of crowdfunding and gave tips on key issues such as; the steps needed to complete a campaign, the importance of visuals and social media to connect with the customer and backer-base, what makes a good video, and how to keep investors engaged and avoid donor-fatigue.

Attendees were visibly excited by what they heard and several hands were raised when Winslow concluded and opened the floor for questions, it was another successful addition to the series of free workshops being held by Thundafund around the country to educate creative minds on the benefits of crowdfunding, in line with the partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture.

 

 

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Written by: Albert Butorano

2015 Bitcoin Africa Conference Report

The inaugural Bitcoin conference was held in Cape Town on the 16th and 17th of April 2015. The hugely successful event boasted a distinguished and varied audience in attendance including the South African Reserve Bank, the South African Treasury Department, the Financial Intelligence Agency, some of South Africa’s largest banks as well international and local entrepreneurs, investors, corporates and start ups.

Speakers and audience members gathered to discuss all things Bitcoin, including what Bitcoin is and how it is changing the way we do business.

Here are some quotes from the conference:

Brock Pierce – “Bitcoin is a likely winner because of its brand recognition, and large and secure networkpierce

Vinny Lingham – “I think the biggest buyers of Bitcoin in the next 3-5 years will be government”Vinny

Jonathan Smit – “Bitcoin could become the currency of the internetSmit

A second Bitcoin Africa Conference, to be held on the 3rd and 4th of March 2016 in Johannesburg, is already scheduled and promises to be as captivating as the first one. Matters such as the challenges and opportunities provided by bitcoin and the block-chain technology as well as their impact on the current social, economic and political order will be up for discussion.

For more information, email info@bitcoinconference.co.za

or visit http://bitcoinconference.co.za/ and subscribe to their newsletter

or follow them on twitter at https://twitter.com/BitcoinConf_ZA

Did somebody say Crowdfunding Workshops?!?

Get ready South Africa – we are coming your way.

Excitement all around as we are having a second round of Crowdfunding Workshops and Crowdfunding Intro Sessions across South Africa.

Do you, or someone you know, have an idea, innovation or dream that needs seed capital? Always wondered what crowdfunding the Thundafund way is about? Then these workshops are for you!

Our workshops – known informally as the gospel of crowdfunding according to Thundafund – will take place at these venues across Mzansi:

20 November: Cape Town Crowdfunding 101
23 November: Johannesburg Intro to Crowdfunding at Nomads & Co
24 November: Johannesburg Crowdfunding Masterclass at Nomads & Co

South Africa’s crowdfunding platform hits the R5 million mark

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Since being founded in June 2013, Thundafund.com, South Africa’s leading crowdfunding platform for innovators and creatives, has grown considerably and now boasts a tally of 136 successfully funded projects and over R5 million raised for these projects.

Thundafund.com provides an online platform for entrepreneurs with innovative and ground-breaking ideas to present their idea to the world, receive the mentorship and support that they need, so that they can raise the funding they need to bring their ideas to life. It’s not a hand out – it’s a hand up.

Currently, Thundafund.com has 34 projects live on their crowdfunding platform with special partnerships with the Department of Arts and Culture, in the form of “Creative Economic Development Project”, as well as a partnership with UCT Upstarts, the University of Cape Town’s Vice-Chancellor’s Social Innovation Challenge.

For more information please visit www.thundafund.com or contact marketing@thundafund.com