Crowdfunding is usually about turning dreams into reality with the help of others. However, there have also been some notable charitable and cause-related crowdfunding projects. Crowdfunding campaigns provide a number of opportunities for the public to donate to a cause that could be life-changing and rewarding to many. We have come up with a list of our favourite cause-related crowdfunding projects over the years.

Kickstarter aids Syrian refugees

Due to the on-going war in Syria many civilians have been living a life of flight and despair. To support them, a crowdfunding campaign was set up on Kickstarter in October 2015. The campaign lasted one week and raised money for the UN Refugee Agency in order to supply necessities such as water, fresh food, clothes, sleeping bags and education for 5,000 displaced Syrians. According to Kickstarter, this wasn’t a typical Kickstarter project. "There’s no all-or-nothing funding goal. The rewards are all about giving, not getting. And we’ll be donating 100% of our usual fee to support these aid efforts”. The campaign’s target was $1,225,000 and in just 24 hours the campaign had crossed the $1 million mark. As the first ever non-profit campaign on Kickstarter, the campaign did exceedingly well and had raised over $1.7 million with over 27,000 supporters by the end of its campaign.
You can view the campaign here.

Orphan school in India

This campaign was set up to transform an orphanage school in Banbasa, India. Maxton Strong School cares for orphaned and abandoned children and educates nearly 450 students. The campaign’s purpose was to give the expanding school more room 'for the kids to soar’. The campaign was funded on 8th April 2015 and managed to exceed the goal of $100,000. With the amount pledged, the school was able to construct the ground floor, the first floor, first floor columns, beams and roof and all electrical work and school furnishings, amongst other things.
To read the campaign click here.

The Christmas dinner

The concept was founded by poet and author Lemn Sissay MBE and inspired by the Tope Project, a youth-led project seeking to prevent loneliness for young care leavers in the UK. Care leavers are individuals under the age of 25 that have been in the care of a local authority, usually since the age of 14. The Hackney Christmas Day Dinner set out to host a dinner for 70 East London care leavers aged between 18 and 25 on Christmas Day. In December 2014 they launched a campaign with a goal of £5,000, which they doubled. The campaign was a huge success and they were back the following year to launch another campaign on Crowdfunder, this time with a bigger target, a different name and even bigger prospects! The Christmas Dinner 2015 was launched in December of that year and this time Sissay’s aim was to host lunches on Christmas day for care leavers in Manchester, Leeds, Hackney and a number of other locations. The Christmas Dinner Team recognised that “Christmas can be a reminder of everything that the care leavers never had” - and this they have set out to change. We anticipate next year’s campaign!
You can see their campaign here.

Replace a four-year-old's stolen bike

Though the target of this particular campaign was significantly lower than other campaigns, the thought of it will surely put a smile on your face. When a four-year-old boy had his bike stolen, the children’s charity Barnardo’s Ireland took to iCrowdfund to raise money for another to be bought. As his family could not provide him with a new bike, Barnardo’s hoped that their iCrowdfund campaign would finance a new replacement for his bike and also a helmet. Barnardo’s only needed €75 for this to be achieved; however they successfully raised €180 in June 2014 and the little boy’s stolen bike was replaced.
View the campaign here.

Help a single father find a home for his family after a fire

In August 2013 rapper Nas set up a crowdfunding campaign on Tilt to aid Stanley Young, an unemployed construction worker and single father of eight. After a fire destroyed Young’s house, he and his family were forced to move to a hotel - and money ran out pretty quickly. Nas heard the story on the news and was deeply touched by the family's predicament. The rapper launched the campaign with $5,000 and donated another $5,000 during its run. Many of his Twitter followers joined in. His target amount for the Youngs was $50,000 but this was surpassed by almost $15,000. Even though this campaign was funded over two and a half years ago, it still shows how a celebrity can use their status and influence to change people’s lives and make a difference in the world.
View the campaign here.

Let’s give Karen the bus monitor a vacation

When a YouTube video emerged of Karen Klein, a 68-year-old bus monitor, being bullied by a group of teenagers in 2012, there was an uproar. This led to one man setting up an Indiegogo campaign to give her a vacation of a lifetime. Clearly people were very touched by the story as over $703,000 was pledged of the $5,000 campaign goal. This meant, remarkably, that the campaign was 14,000% funded. Subsequently Karen did set up a foundation in aid of bullying named the Karen Klein Anti-Bullying Foundation.
Check out the campaign here.

Collectively these campaigns may not have raised huge amounts of money. However, the most important aspect is that people are using these platforms to change the world in some way. This opens up hopes for more and much bigger charitable crowdfunding campaigns.