Crowdfunding for Free

BY PETER BRODERICK,

A new unprecedented crowdfunding platform, dana.io, which doesn’t take a percentage of the money raised, launches today. Filmmakers, artists, and activists around the world can use it for free.

This new model is based on the ancient practice of unconditional giving known as “dana” in the Buddhist tradition. Just as Buddhist nuns and monks throughout history have been sustained by the dana offered to them by supporters, the dana.io crowdfunding platform will be freely offered for the funding of projects. The plan is that users, inspired by the concept that catalyzed the funding of their projects, will, in turn, voluntarily gift some of the money they raise to dana.io.

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The director of dana.io, Alan Clements, shared his vision in a series of exclusive interviews. His passionate belief in the power of gifting grew out of his experience living as a Buddhist monk in Burma during the late 1970s and 1980s, where everything was offered openly and freely on dana: food, medicine, shelter, and the teachings themselves. After being forced out by the dictatorship, Clements became an investigative journalist, a human rights campaigner and a media activist. After Aung San Suu Kyi (Burma’s Nobel Peace laureate and leader of her country’s nonviolent revolution) was released from detention, Clements collaborated with her on a series of underground conversations, which became the book, The Voice of Hope.

–    Contributions go directly to users through their payment processors.

–    Users choose their payment processor (PayPal will be available at launch and will be followed by Stripe; users may soon also be able to receive contributions by check and wire transfers directly into their bank accounts).
–    Users receive contributions as quickly as their payment processor completes the transfer (the platform has no control of donations; no donations are held until a campaign ends).
–    Users receive all of their contributions minus the payment processor’s fee (PayPal 2.9% plus 30 cents; Stripe 2.4% plus 34 cents – these are the basic fees and don’t include currency conversion charges).
–    Users receive whatever they raise regardless of whether they meet their fundraising goal.
–    Users have complete control over their campaigns, including the ability to change their goals mid-campaign.

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