Reflections on Crowdfunding for Caregivers: What Worked, What Did NOT
Photo credit: James Cridland

The Caregiver Space - Indiegogo campaign

Well, 35 suns have risen and set since our first foray into online crowdfunding for caregivers.

Encompassed by fun, frustration, inspired brainstorming and plenty of lessons learned—I’m grateful for the experience. The campaign was a rewarding opportunity, as it asked me to look deeper at our organization and present to the public with fresh eyes, a clear message about the nature of our work.

With little experience crafting a promotional video, Allie and I took it upon ourselves to storyboard, script and sequence a piece that felt honest and appealing. After scrapping our first video the night before our planned launch date, I realized knowing something and sharing it are two entirely different balls of wax.

After a dozen more calls with our editor we produced something that felt more accurate and telling.

Our online fundraising platform, was terrific and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to raise capital for a good cause (or even a broken tooth). The user interface was incredibly straightforward and the mysterious “GoGo Factor,” (a weighted algorithm based on user participation that determines which campaigns get featured on the Indiegogo homepage) kept us motivated to think up new and creative ways to spur new donations.

Why our promotion for the seventh daily donator to select me filmed getting pied in the face, didn’t pan out, I’m still befuddled…

We put fourth our best efforts and received some generous help.

Comment 2 on The Caregiver Space Indiegogo Campaign

While we didn’t reach our end goal of $35,000, our $9,700 was an incredible display of the generosity from the people in your own community. From our own friends, family, colleagues and neighbors, caregivers and strangers, I was blown away by the touching personal messages we received, donations gifted and social sharing this campaign prompted.

Comment 1 on The Caregiver Space Indiegogo Campaign

The overall response to our appeal for support was extremely positive but we also ruffled a few feathers.

Money can be a sensitive subject for caregivers who devote a great deal of it to those they provide for and asking for a contribution understandably made some caregivers uncomfortable. I want to take this moment to publicly apologize to those caregivers: we never want our users to be indebted to our site in any way.

We’re committed to ensuring the community space we’ve created at The Caregiver Space will always be free.

Tweet about The Caregiver Space Indiegogo Campaign

As we make steps to ensure the company’s fiscal sustainability while we await IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt status (which will allow us access to outside funding, sponsorships and grants) we needed to ask our community to pitch in because we don’t want to wait to expand and deepen the scope of what this site offers.

We’re mission driven to deliver quality caregiver support because you deserve it, and we love supporting the circle of care.

Written by Jonah Okun
Jonah served as our Operations Director for two years. He holds a degree in Comparative Digital Communications and Happiness Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His intrigue in promoting well-being through new digital platforms pairs perfectly with the organizations goal of making online support for caregivers a reality. Prior to his time at The Caregiver Space, he spent seven years as a professional chef, baker and restaurant manager. He now happily resides in Brooklyn, New York.

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  1. Donna, first off– that is an incredible action you took to secure a pensions for caregivers! In the short time I’ve known you, I have already witnessed many of your amazing ideas. Your work and advocacy continue to be a big source of inspiration. Also, I absolutely agree about targeting it towards friends and family of caregivers– we attempted to do that but couldn’t quite reach our audience. If friends and family can’t help caregivers directly, they might be able to help build a support for them. This was a great learning experience and we hope to do even more for caregivers next campaign!

  2. I am particularly interested in minimum wages and overtime passed by Federal Laws, especially concerning Live Ins. What are the definitions of Live In and minimum rest requirements … many Caregivers are being taken advantage of. Receiving only one day off a month, and not getting proper rest periods. Thank you kindly. Ms. Dunlap.

  3. Can you provide the names and sources of any legislature that is currently being passed, or attempted to become passed, and what we as caregivers can do to help. The emails of the correct government department, and whom to address our concerns to? Thank you. Y.

  4. I couldn’t agree more with Calicaregiver. At one point I tried to get a large pension fund CEO to work with me to create a caregivers’ pension scheme (social security) to present to the UK government. I am Canadian and back in Canada now. I have been a full time caregiver my entire adult working life and I have no pension except for the most basic one that everyone gets. I feel that I have made a contribution to society and deserve something better for my old age. In terms of crowd sourcing funds for The Caregiver Space, you guys did a GREAT job. I’m sorry that you didn’t reach your target – I think maybe next time it should be directed at ‘friends and family of caregivers’ maybe? Keep up the great work!

  5. I absolutely agree– caregivers should receive benefits, especially since they are saving the U.S. government $450 billion dollars in healthcare costs. There are a few strong advocates who are working on these pressing national issues. Janice Lynch Schuster is a great person to check out!

    Our organization focuses on providing emotional and informational support for family and professional caregivers. I empathize with your situation– you’re doing incredible (and taxing!) work.

  6. I’m a caregiver that works 96 hours straight per week. I’m fortunate e ought to have an employer that provides some benefits for my employment voluntarily. But, most do not. I believe the biggest support a private Caregiver who is employed by the family or individual they are caring for, is to receive the same federal employment benefits that the rest of the work force in the nation receive., I.e. social security contributions, unemployment, and disability insurance, paid holidays & vacations. What is your organization doing to support caregivers who are not protected under federal labor laws?


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