mPowered Development (mPD) is a global social venture whose mission is to reduce poverty and suffering around the world by facilitating greater awareness, engagement and funding for small-scale, high-impact projects in developing countries and disadvantaged communities over a single digital platform.
The main driver behind mPowered’s value proposition is that traditional models of international aid and charitable giving are inefficient, opaque, and at times, broken. Beneficiary communities in developing countries are rarely consulted about what they actually need, which creates a disempowered and dependent dynamic. But that hasn’t stopped people from giving; last year, individual Americans donated a combined $23 billion to international causes, more than the entire budget of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). And our 20 developing country target markets over the next 5 years represent the fastest growing segment of social media adoption; in those countries, there will be nearly 750 million social media users within 5 years.
Platform users register for free, providing basic information about who they are, where they are located, and what they care about. Once they are registered, ChangeFunder members can either register a project or search for projects according to causes or locations they care about. Users can create, find, follow and fund people, communities, and projects; share projects and progress; and track their own positive impact.
We began testing our “alpha” version of the platform with communities in Kenya in August and September 2019. This “minimum viable product” version of the platform was designed to test the process for easy sharing of potential projects for funding. Our beta version is now live at https://app.changefunder.org. Version 1.5 of our platform is targeted for November/December 2019 will have more social elements built in. Funding to mobile phones in disadvantaged communities will be live, but still handled manually behind the scenes while we raise funds to build out an automated process. At the same time, we will be taking the platform to South Africa in December 2019/January 2020 to explore a launch there in January/February 2020.
Yes. We are open to early-stage/angel investment to round out our 2019 friends-and-family investment goal. If you are interested in scheduling a presentation about investment opportunities, contact us at info@mPowered.dev.
In August 2018, mPD’s founders formed ChangeFunder LLC to lay the groundwork for a new kind of social media platform that will appeal to hundreds of millions of people, both in developing communities and in the U.S. The goal was to create a revolutionary social media and direct funding platform – combined with direct, in-person engagement and support – that could empower communities to share their needs and secure small-scale, sustainable funding to improve their lives.
In May 2019, as we explored the potential of creating a related nonprofit organization to allow for charitable giving, we partnered with Raffa Social Capital Advisors to serve as our Fiscal Sponsor. Success in generating charitable donations was significant enough that the decision was made to establish a separate 501(c)3 entity, with its own Board and staff called ChangeFunder.org. To avoid confusion, we changed the name of ChangeFunder LLC – the company building the technology platform – to mPowered Development. As such, ChangeFunder.org is our first nonprofit partner/client.
The owners and staff at mPD work closely with ChangeFunder.org, but are neither salaried employees nor Board Members, though we do assist with fundraising on a volunteer basis.
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