Crowdfunding / Nonprofits / Philanthropy / Startups

You click, sponsors pay: Cake Fundraising’s new twist on giving

The online platform launches later this month. Cake helps nonprofits and sponsors reap more benefit from fundraising campaigns.

What an organization's campaign will look like on the Cake Fundraising website. (Image courtesy of Cake Fundraising)

Cause marketing campaigns create exposure for the sponsoring business and money for the nonprofit, but precisely how much of each comes via online campaigns is nigh impossible to measure.
“Right now, all [companies] get is a banner [ad], and you can’t measure a banner,” said Justin Kersey, cofounder of Cake Fundraising.
Cake, which has five employees and is based out of the Emerging Technology Centers’ North Haven Street incubator in Highlandtown, is a fundraising platform set to launch on Oct. 26. The site works like a crowdfunding platform similar to Kickstarter or GoFundMe, but with a bent toward directing visitors to sponsors, who pledge a certain amount per click.

A platform for making nonprofits and their sponsors happy.

Cake’s website isn’t visible to the public yet, but updates are available on the startup’s Facebook page.
One of the fundraising campaigns that will be on the site when it goes live is for Baltimore’s Eden Community Ventures Corporation. Sponsors are listed in the page in tiers based on how much they have pledged. That amount is fulfilled per every click users make from the Cake page. Sponsors can also target promotions and coupons at Cake users, Kersey said. In Eden’s case, sponsors include State Farm, Legg Mason and McCormick. Each will donate $1 or $2 based on how much they have opted to give per click, up to their pledge amount.
“Businesses only pay if they get the results that they want,” Kersey said. “We, at this point in the industry, have no competitors.”
Kersey’s journey to founding Cake began two years ago as an e-commerce venture, then pivoted about eight months ago to cause marketing.
“That’s kind of like the general trend businesses and nonprofits are moving in,” Kersey said. “It’s a $5 or 6 billion market if you think of any kind of sponsorship or co-branding relationship with a business or nonprofit, but it’s almost exclusively done offline.
“Generally speaking it’s only available to Fortune 500 companies and really, really big nonprofits,” he added.
Kersey said he aims to open up the sector to smaller businesses and smaller organizations. Nonprofits and businesses can filter and search Cake’s marketplace to find each other, and there is no upfront cost for either side. Cake takes a five-percent slice of per-click revenue, far smaller than using a crowdfunding site would cost (up to 10 percent for Kickstarter, counting processing costs) and far lower than the industry standard.
“Roughly, the fundraiser will end up with 93 percent of all the money raised on our platform, which for a nonprofit is excellent,” Kersey said.
In addition to Eden, Kersey said Cake has inked deals with a Boy Scouts of America council in North Carolina and the international nonprofit Stop Hunger Now, with more organizations to come before the platform’s launch later this month.

Companies: Cake Fundraising / Emerging Technology Centers (ETC Baltimore) / Kickstarter

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