How to Start, Fund, & Grow a Social Enterprise

with Tom Dawkins, Co-Founder & CEO of StartSomeGood


98 - Tom Dawkins StartSomeGood

Tom Dawkins is co-founder and CEO of StartSomeGood, a global crowdfunding platform and education provider for social good projects. He previously founded Australian youth nonprofit Vibewire, worked for Ashoka in Washington D.C. and HopeLab in Silicon Valley, and was founding director of the Changemakers Festival with The Australian Centre for Social Innovation. Tom has consulted with numerous nonprofits, associations, and governments on how to better engage their communities using social technologies and has spoken at conferences such as SXSW, SOCAP, Purpose, The World Summit on the Information Society, and the Nexus Summit.

After Tom spent some time working in the social innovation space within the more formal structure of Silicon Valley, he recognized that there was a major gap on the fundraising side, which enabled him to explore the concept of crowdfunding. This is how StartSomeGood was born.

Since launch, StartSomeGood has helped over a thousand projects and now has the highest project success rate in cause crowdfunding

Tom’s initial idea of just developing a crowdfunding platform expanded to include more educational pieces, such as Good Hustle, a 10-module course that prepares a person with an idea with the tools they need before they launch a crowdfunding campaign; and the providing personal feedback to every campaign that is launched on their platform. They are interested in developing the person behind the idea, not just the idea itself.

In our episode, Tom breaks down the building blocks behind those 10 foundational modules, including but not limited to the importance of community and developing your ideal market avatar. He also dives deep into his own personal and professional journey of what brought him to found StartSomethingGood, offering insight based on his own experiences to the aspiring social impact entrepreneur. 

CEO Tom Dawkins Speaking at the SAMAG 2018 panel on collaborative giving 

“Don’t let uncertainty hold you back. The future is deeply uncertain. The only way we create the future that we all want and need and deserve is by taking purposeful action now.” – Tom Dawkins

Topics Discussed: 

  • The beginnings of StartSomeGood
  • Tom’s evolution from political activist to crowdfunding platform founder
  • Good Hustle, StartSomeGood’s 10-module course that prepares for launching a crowdfunding campaign
  • The foundational elements required to launch a social enterprise
  • The importance of early-stage innovation for the betterment of our world

Links from the Episode:

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