Charity Concert Will Catapult Crowdfunding Site for Women and Girls

May 20, 2013  |  

An image from a fundraising effort to benefit women’s education in Africa. via

A new crowdfunding platform, Catapult, is preparing for a boost in awareness and donations thanks to a fundraising concert set for June 1. The organization, started in October, focuses on issues and causes supporting women and girls, and allows donors to pick which projects they want to fund.

As the only charity crowdfunding platform focusing on women and girls, Catapult has more than 80 organizations from around the world currently listed on the site, with plans to add more as the June 1 Sound of Change concert approaches. Catapult itself is funded by Bill & Melinda Gates and MacArthur Foundations and has a partnership with Gucci’s Chime for Change initiative, which is presenting The Sound of Change charity concert in London. After the show, attendees will receive an email with information on how to choose a project on the Catapult platform and can send the cost of their ticket as a donation to that organization.

Scheduled performers include Beyonce, JLo, Florence & The Machine, John Legend, and Rita Ora. Beyonce along with Gucci’s Frida Giannini and actress Selma Hayek Pinnault are leaders with the group.

Catapult’s projects fall into 28 different categories, including maternal health, HIV/AIDS, leadership, human trafficking, violence against women, and more.

“We’re just the platform. They’re the experts,” Catapult founder Maz Kessler told MadameNoire. “We provide a place where they can bring their work to the public and engage through an online tool. People can support the causes easily, at any level, and know the organization is excellent, has been vetted, and has done great work.”

She added that Catapult encourages transparency, supplying donors with updated information about where their funds are going.

Kessler was a musician before founding Catapult, and said she has always been passionate about supporting and help women and girls.

“Girls and women are 52 percent of the world’s population and so many issues come under that heading,” Kessler said. “Catapult, by funding all these individual projects, allows people to engage for girls and women exactly the way they want: around education, a specific geography or region, or health. Crowdfunding allows us to do that while overall contributing to generally advancing the lives of girls and women.”

As the organization grows, it is collecting data and working to understand what issues certain groups and communities care about.

“We are young and new, so we are excited to take this new community that’s coming through the concert and the performers,” Kessler said. “A lot of these young fans are new to the issues that affect girls and women around the world. We’ve done well to-date, but we are about to have a global movement.”

Like many charitable organization, Catapult values partnerships as a means of advancing its efforts.

“We are excited to move to the second half of the year and giving season and continue to have these vibrant partnerships,” Kessler added. “We want to bring these issue forward so we can all help create a world where girls and women do not have to encounter these very outdated obstacles.”

What about you, readers? Of all the issues affecting girls and women, what issues do you care about? Where would you put your donations?

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