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3p Weekend: 10 Crowdfunding Campaigns to Support This Holiday

Mary Mazzoni headshotWords by Mary Mazzoni
Energy & Environment

With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.

As is always our motto around the holidays: It's better to give than to receive. With that in mind, this week we're rounding up 10 crowdfunding campaigns to support this season. For extra brownie points, donate in a loved one's name to make everyone's holiday a bit merrier.

1. Love is Project

The LOVE bracelet is the latest product from African lifestyle brand, LIFE Line, in collaboration with The Supply Change. Aimed at connecting communities around the world and impacting them through the art of love, the project funds women empowerment and education programs, job training, and community-building activities for Maasai communities in Kenya.

For a $25 donation, you can help fund the project and get a LOVE bracelet to gift this holiday. (Although technically you'll just have to give a photo for now, as the bracelets won't ship until February 2015.)

Click to contribute

2. A Revolutionary Cookie for a Cause

The only thing better than cookies are cookies for a cause. That's the idea behind (R)evolution Cookies, the project of a pastry chef looking to turn artisanal cookies into life-changing experiences for people with autism and developmental disabilities.

Her dream is to open a facilitated bakery where individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities can get empowering training and employment opportunities alongside professional bakers and facilitators. A $25 dollar donation will get you or a loved one 10 percent off cookies -- for life. And with tasty fillings like Nutella and lemon line curd, that's a pretty big deal in our book.

Click to contribute

3. Empower Syria's Refugees: Project Amal ou Salam

Project Amal ou Salam is a volunteer-run grassroots organization that works with Syrian refugee children in day-long workshops. The organization uses music, art, sports, photography and team-building activities to teach children about trust and unity and help them deal with the trauma they have sustained.

In addition to running workshops in refugee areas in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, Project Amal ou Salam also sponsors schools in these countries of refuge and inside Syria. They also run smaller workshops in response to urgent needs, such as the recent influx of Syrian refugees from Kobani.

If you're looking to gift your donation, you'll receive a collection of unique Syrian recipes for a $25 pledge or a photo print for $50.

Click to contribute

4. Up North Farm School Bus: Sustainable education on wheels

The team at Up North Farm is looking to transform a retired school bus into a mobile farm and greenhouse to bring farm tours to students across the country. Lesson plan themes include animal husbandry, water collection, soil health and pollination. The bus will be powered by solar panels on the roof, veggie oil or biodiesel depending on temperatures.

The team is planning a 60-school tour over four months (two in spring and two in fall) that will reach more than 2,400 students. "We would like to help make sure this is not the first generation that doesn't know what food looks like, where it comes from and who grew it and help farmers transition to a more sustainable system," they wrote on their Kickstarter page.

Click to contribute

5. Embrace: A smart watch designed to save lives

Embrace is a watch that looks great on anyone, and it can track your activity, stress and overall balance. But it's specially designed for people with epilepsy: They get an alert when an unusual event happens, like a convulsive seizure, warning them and their loved ones.

For $189, you'll receive one of these cool wellness watches to keep or gift to your favorite health nut. Even better, with the company's one-to-one model, your donation will also provide a watch to a family in need.

Click to contribute

6. Desolenator: Transforming sunshine into water

The team at Desolenator is looking to develop the "most affordable and environmentally friendly water purification technology ever." According to them, the technology has the potential to provide water independence for up to a billion people living in coastal and water-stressed areas -- using the power of the sun alone.

Unlike reverse osmosis systems that are expensive, have consumables and are usually powered by fossil fuels or solar stills that have a low yield, Desolenator is robust, energy independent and has no moving parts. During its lifetime, Desolenator will desalinate water at a lower cost per liter than any system at this scale available on the market today. For $450, you'll receive one of your own to test out, but there are also perks for smaller donations if you're on a tight budget.

Click to contribute

7. TriplePundit 10 Year Re-Launch

We'd be remiss if we didn't take a moment to mention our own crowdfunding campaign: To celebrate 10 years on the Web, we're giving TriplePundit.com a makeover -- and we need your help! In a nutshell, we’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover some of the costs associated with our re-launch. It’s a modest $10,000 goal, but it’s just what we need to bridge the gap for a re-launch some time in February and a great 10-year celebration.

With your help, we’ll be able to bring you better navigation, more resources, better readability, more in-depth coverage of new issues and more. We're also offering loads of perks -- from cool 3p stickers and T-shirts to a dinner with our founder -- for you to gift (or keep) this holiday.

Click to contribute

8. Chuice for Healthy Lifestyles & Sustainable Communities

The makers of Chuice -- a bottled juice made from a blend of over 30 fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts and seeds -- currently order their ingredients from all over the country. But they're looking to source everything near their own community in Atlanta, Georgia, and they need your help.

"We’ve been hard at work the past few months engaging with several family-owned farms and organizations local to Georgia that are committed to helping their community through promotion of locally grown food," the team wrote on its Kickstarter page. "These groups are excited to be involved with a company that is growing and creating a need for more fresh produce."

Click to contribute

9. Help Harriet Tubman Students Graduate

Harriet Tubman Democratic High School is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit school serving mostly low-income families in and around Albany, New York. The school enrolls many students who were drop-outs or considered at-risk, and offers a safe and diverse community for all youth.

The school receives no public funds, and last year more than 90 percent of its students qualified for tuition assistance. They're halfway through the school year and must raise an additional $21,000 by July 1, 2015. The $5,000 goal of Harriet Tubman's Indiegogo campaign will allow the school to reach its incremental goal this quarter and give more kids a chance to graduate. For 35 bucks you'll receive a signed thank-you note from the students, and for $65 they'll send you a handmade gift. How cute is that?

Click to contribute

10. Sustainable Agriculture: Cluster Farming Ghana

Cluster Farming NGO, an agricultural organization based in Ghana, focuses on all aspects of sustainable agriculture. The group recently launched sustainable Hub Farm on 40 acres in Ekumfi Ekrawfo, consisting of a nursery, animal breeding station, fish hatchery and animal/fish feed production.

After years of investing and innovating, the Cluster Hub Farm is ready for further expansion. Additions include the expansion of animal feed production, the purchase of a fodder production system for Barley grass and the purchase of an incubator with a capacity of 5,000 eggs. For only a few dollars, you can provide nutritious food and agricultural training to entire communities in the area.

Click to contribute

Based in Philadelphia, Mary Mazzoni is a senior editor at TriplePundit. She is also a freelance journalist who frequently writes about sustainability, corporate social responsibility and clean tech. Her work has appeared in the Philadelphia Daily News, the Huffington Post, Sustainable Brands, Earth911 and the Daily Meal. You can follow her on Twitter @mary_mazzoni.

Mary Mazzoni headshotMary Mazzoni

Mary Mazzoni, Senior Editor, has written for TriplePundit since 2013. She is also Managing Editor of CR Magazine and the Editor of 3p’s Sponsored Series. Mazzoni’s recent work can be found in Conscious CompanyAlterNet and VICE’s Motherboard. She is based in Philadelphia, PA.

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