Innovation That Matters

Hussein, Claude & Leo in training | Photo source Beam

Crowdfunding homeless charity creates new kind of gift card

Nonprofit & Social Cause

A London charity helps homeless people to crowdfund their training so that they can find employment

Spotted: Homeless charity, Beam, has a new type of gift card for the holidays. Rather than allowing recipients to choose from experiences or consumer goods, the card allows them to choose a homeless person to help back into work. 

Beam is a crowdfunding platform dedicated to helping homeless people train and find employment. Rough sleepers are referred to Beam through established charities or local councils, and Beam then assigns them a support specialist who helps them develop a tailored career plan, building on their personal strengths and interests. The public can then help fund that person’s journey through Beam’s crowdfunding page.

On the page, donors will find information about the person seeking funding, including a breakdown of their budget, which includes items such as travel, training and childcare costs. All of the money donated goes directly to that person. Donors also receive updates from each person they fund, as well as data showing how many of the people they have funded have completed their training and started new careers.

Donors to Beam can also opt to have their donation split among all the active crowdfunding campaigns. Over the past two years, Beam has helped 130 homeless people launch crowdfunding campaigns, raising more than £500,000. Alex Stepney, Founder and CEO of Beam explains that he started the charity, “to develop a true long-term solution to tackling homelessness, empowering homeless people to support themselves and their families.”

Tech is often denigrated for its heartlessness, but at Springwise, we are seeing a new breed of technopreneur – one who is interested in using innovations to help others. Some recent ideas covered at Springwise have included a social enterprise that repurposes double-decker buses and housing and training centres for the homeless, and a digital billboard that helps the homeless find shelter.




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