Ed Norton Launches Fundraising Web Platform

Hollywoodnews.com: Following on success of Maasai Marathon campaign, new platform uses cutting edge crowd-sourcing ideas to promote micro-giving Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen among celebrities who will be using Crowdrise to promote their causes Oceana, Malaria No More, Alzheimer’s Association, Art of Elysium, City Year on board to use Crowdrise for online fund-raising campaigns.

Actor and activist Edward Norton today unveiled Crowdrise, an innovative new web platform that brings the power of crowd-sourcing and the fun of social networking to fundraising and volunteerism.

To create Crowdrise, Norton partnered with the same team of viral marketing and emerging technology experts who helped him turn his Maasai Marathon website into one of the top fundraising successes of last year’s New York City Marathon: online retailers Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe.

“With Crowdrise, we’ve tried to create a fun and easy way for people to raise money for the causes they care about and for organizations to convert their base of grassroots supporters into grassroots fundraisers,” says Norton. “Everyone on our team had been looking for better online tools to promote grassroots activism and each of us had ideas that grew out of our different experiences. The Wolfe Brothers had the impulse to say ‘Let’s just build something from scratch’ and we all started tossing it around together and then sort of did a dry run with the Maasai Marathon campaign. That went so well that we all wanted to keep working together.”

The Maasai Marathon campaign which benefited one of Norton’s long-time causes, The Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT), raised $1.2 million in less than 8 weeks, much of it from small donors who gave more than once.

Norton notes “For the marathon campaign and now with Crowdrise, we tried to blend a combination of creativity and substance that would not only engage people and be fun but actually get things done.”

Crowdrise is utilizing cutting edge ideas about crowd-sourcing to create a community-based, participation-driven platform. Both individuals and organizations can build highly compelling, personalized, online fundraising campaigns which will spur their friends, supporters and members of the Crowdrise community into action.

Much more interactive than other online fundraising platforms, Crowdrise offers a point system and prizes to incentivize participation and a signature sense of humor and irreverence. Crowdrise also introduces the concept of sponsored volunteerism.

“A lot of people in this country volunteer their time and their energies to good causes,” says Norton. “We really like the idea that if you can ask your friends to sponsor you when you run a marathon, then you ought to ask them to sponsor you when you volunteer.”

As Crowdrise co-founder Robert Wolfe puts it “We want to make volunteering and fundraising fun and easy because if the experience is fun, you’ll not only want to get more involved but you’ll want to get all your friends more involved too. And that’s great for everyone, especially the causes you are trying to help.”

Crowdrise is off to a very strong start, with a robust crop of highly-respected nonprofit organizations already signed up including the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, The Art of Elysium, Oceana, City Year, the Conservation Lands Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, Partners in Health and Malaria No More.

Notes Wolfe: “What every nonprofit organization wants to do right now is drive successful micro-giving campaigns. We proved we can do that with the Maasai Marathon campaign and Crowdrise is really just our way to give everyone the tools to replicate what we did – drive really powerful grass roots campaigns and create many new passionate and engaged supporters.”

Also joining the Crowdrise team is producer Shauna Robertson. She brings her unique brand of humor and her loyal band of comedic performers to the site. Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell and Will Ferrell just went live on Crowdrise. The new platform is an effective new tool for celebrities to mobilize their fans to support their causes in a viral and interactive way.

The Crowdrise founders:

Edward Norton has acted in the films Primal Fear, Everyone Says I Love You, The People vs Larry Flynt, American History X, Rounders, Fight Club, Keeping the Faith, The Score, Death to Smoochy, Frida, Red Dragon, The 25th Hour, The Italian Job, Down in the Valley, The Illusionist, The Painted Veil, The Incredible Hulk, Pride & Glory, Leaves of Grass and Stone. He has been nominated for two Academy Awards, for Primal Fear and American History X, and won a Golden Globe along with numerous other awards for his performances. He produced and directed Keeping the Faith and also produced Down in the Valley (Cannes Film Festival selection), The Painted Veil, Leaves of Grass and By The People: The Election of Barack Obama. Norton is also a committed social and environmental activist. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Enterprise Foundation, which works to move families up and out of poverty and transform low-income communities through the development of decent affordable housing and social service networks. Norton has been on the Board of New York’s Signature Theater Company since 1994 when he made his Off-Broadway debut there. Norton is also a Board member of the Friends of the High Line, which has worked for the last 10 years to create New York’s most celebrated new public park out of an abandoned freight rail track.

Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe started and built Moosejaw, the successful online retailer that combined humor, crowd-sourcing, social commerce and creative marketing to create an intensely loyal customer base. They were recognized by Ad Age in 2008 as one of the Top 50 Marketers and in 2007 and 2008 Moosejaw was named one of the top 100 Websites by Internet Retailer.

Shauna Robertson produced some of comedy’s biggest hit movies such as Superbad, Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, 40-Year Old Virgin, Pineapple Express and Meet the Parents.

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One Comment

  • May 21, 2010 | Permalink |

    STILL waiting for ‘Concerned’ Ed Norton to FINALLY break ranks, come forward and spill on Hollywood’s decades long sellout, suck-up and franchise slum enmeshment with history’s
    –MOST– awesomely genocidal regime –ACROSS the Pacific. (TRUE! TRUE! TRUE!)

    ESP. galling as millions continue to suffer and die on this, the once again ‘mysteriously overlooked’ 60th Anniversary of the epically relevant, STILL unfolding —-KOREAN WAR…


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