Avril Lavigne Chooses Invested.in to Power Her Philanthropic Crowdfunding Project, the Rockstar Room
Not all crowdfunding is about financing the latest technological innovation or artistic endeavor. In fact, with equity crowdfunding tied up in governmental bureaucracy, some of the most interesting uses of crowdfunding has been for philanthropic causes. Yesterday, the Avril Lavigne Foundation partnered with Los Angeles crowdfunding backend as a service startup Invested.in to launch The Rockstar Room ahead of her September birthday.
The Rockstar room is a month-long crowdfunding campaign to support children with serious illnesses and disabilities. Visitors to the site make donations of various levels to contribute specific music-related items that can help these sick kids have fun, learn new skills, and “feel like Rockstars.” Support levels range from $5 guitar picks to $50 keyboards to $1,000 to help a kid write, perform, and record their own song.
As is common in other “incentive-based crowdfunding” platforms like Kickstarter, contributors receive rewards for their support. Rewards in this case range from a simple (generic) thank you video from Avril to memorabilia to a personal phone call with the star thanking the largest donors for their support.
Over the coming months, the foundation announce a memorabilia auction as well as release a “secret item” in the Rockstar Room. Current auction items include autographed memorabilia from Avril and other musical stars, exclusive concert tickets, and meet and greet opportunities.
The power of crowdfunding is the ability to tap into Avril’s more than 35 million fans on Facebook and 6 million followers on Twitter to create positive impact. The Rockstar Room is a modern, social media enabled version of the classic telethon. Knowing the viral power of social media, and the ease of donating online, it’s likely that this tech-enabled version will generate massive results.
The Rockstar Room was launched in partnership with Global Philanthropy Group (GPC), an advisory and management partner to philanthropic organizations specializing in “highly-leveraged philanthropic strategies.” GPC was the one that tapped Invested.in, recognizing the unique opportunity available through crowdfunding.
“We believe that crowdfunding is a critical part of the future of philanthropy, democratizing the process of giving and enabling small gifts to make a major impact,” says GPC co-founder Trevor Neilson. “Invested.in is a model for what we believe will be at the core of non-profit fundraising five years from now.”
Once financed through the Invested.in platform, the Rockstar Room initiative will be implemented at the Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA. Music therapists will work with kids to help them write and record songs to create their very own, professionally mastered CD. Once the project is complete, Avril’s foundation be hosting a Rockstar CD-release party for the musicians involved, their families, and other young patients at the hospital.
The Rockstar Room is the first philanthropic initiative announced by Invested.in. Previously, the startup which is a recent graduate of Venice, California accelerator Amplify partnered with third generation Silicon Valley VC Adam Draper to launch the startup finance marketplace Boost Funder. Through its affiliation with a registered broker dealer, Boost currently allows accredited investors to “pledge” equity investments into startups.
Invested.in is a highly customizable backend platform, meaning it can, and hopefully will be applied to a wide variety of crowdfunding initiatives. Years from now, when there’s time to look back and reflect on the impact made, it will likely be philanthropic projects like the Rockstar Room that have the most meaningful impact.