December 28, 2011 · Behind The Scenes

Year in Review Part II: IndieGoGo’s Best of 2011



With the new year on the horizon, its time to celebrate the year gone past by sharing some of the best and brightest campaigns on IndieGoGo. These are campaigns that have knocked it out of the park with their GoGoFactor, fundraising goals, or overall idea and execution. Yesterday we began with the best creative campaigns. For the next two days we will be sharing the best cause related, and entrepreneurial campaigns with you, and we will finish the week with the "Best of IndieGoGo" awards. The diversity and quality of campaigns this year is truly amazing – we are so proud of everyone helping to raise funds through IndieGoGo!  Now…enough from us….on to the Best Cause Campaigns of 2011:   





Light is one of the contemporary world's most important resources- yet many communities around the world only have access to it through unhealthy, expensive, or unpractical means. LuminAID, developed by two students, makes portable light affordable, sustainable, and available for everyone. These amazing campaigners raised over $50,000 to get their portable, solar rechargeable, lights produced. They’re now being distributed to in-need communities all around the world.

Runners Up: 

Peralta Elementary: Art in Our Heart


Around the United States school programming is being cut due to the economic recession- art programs are getting hit exceptionally hard. Peralta Elementary has an outstanding arts program, which teaches kids to think deeply about their world. The arts program's usual patchwork of funding through grants has dried up this year- and they needed to raise funds to keep the program going. Through IndieGoGo they've been able to perserve this invaluable resource for its students.  

The Lovewell Project


The Basement is a space in Shreveport, Louisiana where in-need people find refuge; they can find protection from the weather, wash their clothes, take a shower, and have a safe place to call their own. The Basement is running out of space and in an attempt to continue to serve their growing community, they need to move into a larger space. They started this IndieGoGo campaign to help them do just that!



 50 for 50 for WriteGirls! 

50 for 50

Colleen Wainwright wanted to do something different for her 50th birthday- she wanted to help open the doors of opportunity for girls everywhere. She managed to use IndieGoGo to raise over $61,000 for the Write Girl organization, an outstanding L.A.-based nonprofit that benefits teen girls by helping them develop their writing skills. 

Runners Up: 

Spark Arts


Fun loving and creative couple, Nathan and Natalie, launched this campaign on their wedding day. Their goal: create an affordable high-quality performing arts studio where anyone can take classes and workshops in theater, music, comedy, and movement. Thanks to a wonderful IndieGoGo campaign the space has launched and the community has a great new resource!

Attendance Records 


Attendance records is exactly what creative youth need: a student run record label for public school students. They raised money to help provide youth a place to channel their creative voice by granting them access to tools and education for music, art, and writing.



Join the FIN Free Movement 


United Conservationists, an international NGO who has been around for 9 years and in 30 countries, used IndieGoGo to raise over $20,000 to help with their campaign to legislate the ban of shark consumption in Canada. They are focused on education, awareness, lobbying,  and technology in this area of environmental need.

Runners Up: 

Alabamboo: Ride or Die


This campaign is all about taking a team of four cyclists from Alabama to San Francisco on bicycles made of Alabama farmed bamboo. They used IndieGoGo to help with the finances- the costs of the bikes, uniforms, food, and amenities on the trip. You can see their ambitious trip documented here.

Cinque Terre Liguria 

Cinque terre

In October 2011, a beautiful town in Cinque Terre, Italy saw the ravaging effects of a flash flood. Community members quickly organized together to help raise money and awareness for the aid needed to start rebuilding. 



 Polar Vision 


This campaign is raising awareness for eyesight related disabilities by enabling the first visually impaired person to set a world record with a trek from the coast of Antarctica at Union Glacier to the South Pole.  The 580 mile trek through one of the worlds harshest environments directly benefits two charities: San Rafael, CA based Guide Dogs for the Blind and UK based Sightsavers International.

Runners Up: 

Cheb Shabbah Cancer Treatment


Global electronic music and DJ Pioneer Cheb I Sabbah was recently diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer. He found himself without health insurance, and was able to raise over $75,000 on IndieGoGo to help with medical bills. More recently, in even better news, he has exceeded all of his doctor's expectations and now the cancer is under control!

Help the Haleys Have a Baby


After trying to get pregnant for many years, the Haley's realized that they would need IVF treatment to have a child; this was something that their insurance didn't cover. Since they couldn't afford the procedure, they started a funding campaign on IndieGoGo to help them achieve their dream of having a baby. The update: she's now pregnant!



 Create Maize and Blue History: Help Establish a Muslim Chaplain


Many religious groups have a religious counselor in place to bring guidance and stability to their communities. When you're on a University campus it's important that this position be a permanent one as the four year cycle of graduation makes the community transient. Using IndieGoGo the University of Michigan Muslim Students' Association  has raised enough money (over $29,000) to establish the first Muslim chaplain position in University of Michigan history. 

Runners Up:



These campaigners create music that reflects their faith. Christian infused hip-hop offers a new opportunity to discuss faith, culture, and disenfranchisement within Christian and Non-Christian circles worldwide.

Help Build Norbu Retreat House and Hospice


Norbu House, set in rural Wisconsin, is a place especially created to support people by providing retreat space in a quiet, reflective, environment. Hosting large group retreats as well as end-of-life care, the space is open to people of all religions, who desire a serene, supportive space.



The Real Social Network

The real social network

This year, protests were at the forefront of global political action. This project charts both the political and the personal to reveal the causes and charges of the recent anti-austerity student protests in the UK. Passionate, raw, and politically adept, these students have started one of the strongest movements of the past 40 years.

Runner Up: 

Crowdfunding Campaign to Change Crowdfunding Law


Due to securities regulations dating back to the Great Depression, crowdfunding sites cannot offer investment as incentives for crowdfunding in the United States. Recent movements in Washington, including support from the White House, have been pushing to change that. This campaign is where the movement started, and raised money and awareness to help organize a lobby. 


Rock and Rawhide


Shelter animals live difficult and isolated lives. The goal of this IndieGoGo campaign is to improve the quality of life for these animals by providing them with toys. Happier animals results in more adoptions!

Runner Up: 

Please Help Addie


Saving Shibas Inc. is a 501(c)3 rescue group which helps abandoned or neglected Shibas Inu dogs. Addie is a beautiful, black and tan Shiba Inu who was hit by a car and needed surgery. Not able to afford the cost of surgery themselves, his owner turned to IndieGoGo to crowdfund for the costs. Now, Addie is on the road to recovery!

Jungle Joy – Wild Bonobos in the DR Congo


Isabel Behncke Izquierdo is a primatologist and doctoral student at Oxford University. She studies wild Bonobos in DR Congo and her passion is Bonobo conservation. The funds she raised through IndieGoGo went directly to the health center, schools and workers on the project.



Year in Review Part I: Best Creative Campaigns

Year in Review Part III: Best Entrepreneurial Campaigns

Year in Review Part IV: Best of the Rest