Donadora: Helping social innovators prove the impact of a donation

Fanny Villiers is the CEO of Donadora, the first Mexican crowdfunding platform dedicated to social impact driven projects. Previously, she was COO of Fondeadora, the leading crowdfunding platform in Latin America, which is now partnering with Kickstarter in Mexico. We asked Fanny about her experience with both platforms and how they are helping social organizations to make meaningful connections with their funders. We will visit with her on the Strategy World Tour Mexico City February 26 – March 1.

Fondeadora is Mexico’s first crowdfunding platform and a Kickstarter partner. Can you describe your origins and how the partnership works?

Since 2011 Fondeadora has been a central player and witness of the nascent entrepreneurial ecosystem in Mexico. With over 2,000 successful projects, 200,000 backers and more than $250 million pesos funded so far, the platform has led a crowdfunding movement. It has unlocked resources to the talent creating social benefit to society through concerts, expositions, products, performances, recordings and many other artistic and creative expressions that make Mexican culture rich and vibrant.

Last November, we started conversations with Kickstarter about how we could work to amplify our mission together. We sold our ‘creative division’ to them. Now any Mexican creative can start a project on Kickstarter taking advantage of their reach, know-how, and global impact as pioneers in reward-based crowdfunding.

Aside from the inspiration this has meant for Fondeadora, we have found a clear common ground in our philosophy and core values. We both work hard for the benefit of the projects and their creators, put trust in our backers as a central asset and believe in openness and contributions from all allies, with a mission to democratize funding and make creative projects come to life.

What is Donadora and how is it different? 

Donadora is a crowdfunding platform to create social impact. Campaign promotors can be individuals, social organizations or social businesses. Their common ground will always be that they attend to social issue in Mexican society. Since the beginning of 2016, more than 800 campaigns have raised more than $50 million pesos and aided thousands of persons in need. Our mission is to facilitate donations to issues that matter. Our campaigns are focused on the impact they produce and this is—for us—the best way to reward the backers.

Donadora is different from Fondeadora in two aspects:

  1. Our action is centered on the impact produced by each campaign, while Fondeadora’s mission is all about creation.
  2. Our business model is a bit different since we transfer all the money collected in a campaign to its promotor, even if it hasn’t reached the campaign’s goal. We made that decision according to the diverse fundraising techniques used by social organizations.
The Donadora team

Can you tell us about Vitaluz, being funded through Donadora to provide solar energy for families without electricity?

Vitaluz is a social business led by three young entrepreneurs who aim to provide light for all the rural communities that have no access to electricity. They launched a campaign on Donadora to fund the installation of solar panels that would bring light to 500 Mexicans in small villages around Mexico City. The major issue is that the villages are about two hours from the city centers, and still have no access to the national system. They designed their campaign around the impact each donation would produce. For example, if you gave 1,500 pesos you brought light to a whole family with two children, and allowed them to keep studying even after night has fallen.

Donadora’s commitment to measuring impact is intriguing. How are you going about this? 

We truly believe that the best way to get common people to make small donations to social causes is to let them know the impact they would produce with that money. After 5 years operating Fondeadora, we have learned how to mobilize big groups of people around special projects. We translated this logic to the magic that social organizations do. Most of the time, campaign owners in Donadora are conducting amazing projects to attend social issues around them but they do not know how to communicate about it. We always recommend they present a social problem through the positive solution the organization is bringing. Proving the impact of a donation is part of the game, because it forces the campaign owner to present his initiative within the constraints of crowdfunding.

We ask the campaign owner to associate each donation amount proposed with the concrete impact it will serve. If you sum the impact made by all the donations you pass through Donadora, you’ll get a your own impact. We’re still developing the best way to measure it, but this is surely our objective.