Introducing Catapult. Crowdfunding and Microfinance Combined

November 8th, 2012

What if you took the best of the web, combined it, and put the focus on helping women and girls? That is the challenge taken by Catapult, a new website that brings together crowdfunding and microfinance to help women and girls around the world. Launched (with exciting buzz) at the Clinton Global Initiative, Catapult is gaining momentum with both its early partners, supporters, press and new members.

Catapult was born from Women Deliver, a global advocacy organization that brings together voices from around the world to call for action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women. Women Deliver focuses on solutions by nonprofits, NGOs and voices from around the world. Catapult can do this through each and every one of us taking an action.

There are other platforms out there that speak just to microfinance or to crowdfunding. I know for me, when I am making a loan on Kiva, I specify that I want a project that supports women. However there wasn’t one place that only supported women and that went beyond microfinance for traditional businesses, home loans and educational loans but that also supported all of the ways women and girls in the developing world need our help. Also I would be willing to make my loan a donation, if only I was given the opportunity to do so.

Catapult also speaks to the growing need in nonprofits to showcase where our donation is going. Instead of making an unrestricted donation to an organization, donors want to know where their money is going and be able to track the progress of that initiative/campaign. Through Catapult they can.

Like Kiva and many other platforms, Catapult does not take a percentage of the donation. You can support them through an additional donation in check-out but 100% of your donation goes to the project you’re funding.

Here is their mission statement:

We all believe in a gender equal world.

Obviously.

But more than 500 million girls and women will be denied the opportunity to take part in the next generation’s development.

This doesn’t have to be the reality. Organizations working for girls and women currently raise less than half the average amount raised by other nonprofits and charities.

Catapult can change that.

We’re combining the financial power and actions of people like you to help tackle gender inequality around the world.

Join me, create an account, find a project you believe in, and help fund it. Spread the word. Help get these projects out into the world.

**Disclosure: Engender Health is a client and is one of the first organizations to launch projects on Catapult’s platform. But in all fairness, I knew about Catapult way before Engender Health was a client and that is just a happy by-product of being so involved and passionate in the women & girls network.

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