Crowdfunding: an outlet for impact

Impact. It is a small word, but has an echo that reverberates across miles and oceans.

It is also what many of us have aspired to achieve in our careers, our actions, and our lives. In fact, especially for Millennials, the importance of having a positive social impact in our businesses, careers, and personal lives continues to grow. In a recent survey, Deloitte found that 73% of Millennials believe this to be true.

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“The message is clear: when looking at their career goals, today’s Millennials are just as interested in how a business develops its people and its contribution to society as they are in its products and profits.”

                                      — Barry Salzberg, CEO of Deloitte Global

For me personally, I have spent the last 8 years of my life studying, working, and researching how to impact the field of cultural heritage, to help preserve the precious treasures of the past for the generations of the future, and how to do so as part of a professional career. Yet, it hasn’t always been easy trying to find the best way to make a meaningful contribution.

However, tools like crowdfunding have made giving back possible—not just for experts and professionals of a cause an individual would like to help champion—but everyone from all backgrounds and fields. Today, in 2015, Millennials believe that their work/life balance should have a positive social purpose and impact.  In fact last year, the 2014 Millennial Impact Report by the consulting firm, Achieve, concluded that 87 percent of millennials donated money towards a cause they were interested in supporting through gifts that ranged below and above $100.

So what is my point? The innovation and accessibility of crowdfunding has given us a way to participate in positive social impact in a way we’ve never had before: without the necessity of large amounts of time, capital,  on-site presence, or extensive hands-on experience. It has become a type of community/group effort that is as simple as clicking ‘donate’ on a website or mobile app, and sharing with others on various social media outlets. Crowdfunding platforms allow individuals to get involved with causes that not only feed their career interests, but also their charity and volunteering objectives that meet the needs of a personal hobby or past time.

For me, this opportunity to get involved manifested in the form of a new crowdfunding platform specifically for Italian cultural heritage. LoveItaly! gives individuals, businesses, and other entities the opportunity to help support the preservation of this country’s many treasures, a legacy that has given so much to humanity over the centuries—from the Ancient Romans to the Masters of the Renaissance (and let’s not forget the FOOD!).

DSCN7859So how was I able to get involved?

By becoming an Ambassador for the organization, LoveItaly!, in the United States, I now have the opportunity to help advocate and raise awareness through this platform from an ocean away! Perhaps that is not so exciting to some of you, but to me, it is extremely important to remain connected to this field after my recent move back the to the United States. Now I have the ability to stay engaged in a cause that I am truly passionate about without needing to be physically present.

Why Italy?

Florence, Italy was where I DSCN9484first fell in love with cultural heritage ten years ago, and that love affair has never left or diminished. Instead, it has driven and pushed me to work towards finding new methods and opportunities to not only promote the importance of saving the world’s heritage, but also to diligently work to establish the economic benefits these factors have on sustainable development. In other words, my time in Italy gave birth to the outlet I needed to fulfill both my career goals and personal passions.

However, your dedication doesn’t need to be at the same level. That is the beauty of crowdfunding platforms like LoveItaly! Even if your love for Italy only goes as far as your favorite vacation spot, beloved painting, or food dish—the platform doesn’t require you to be an expert to help Italy’s legacy and influence continue into the future. Your donation or involvement can be as great or small as you would like it to be. It, in a way, allows the individual to have a tailor-made giving experience, and who doesn’t love options like that?

You can get involved too!

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Especially now, platforms like LoveItaly! are so important. We are in a time when the world’s cultural heritage is under attack by various outside forces—whether that be urban development, climate change, or terrorist groups like ISIS. Your involvement can help make sure we still have something to offer our future generations. Check out LoveItaly! to see how you would like to get involved. You can also check out my page dedicated to what is happening at LoveItaly! or contact me via email here.

Culture cannot wait, and it cannot be replaced. Fortunately for us, it is now easier than ever to play your part and feed your passion. Get involved.

Share. Create. Do—you won’t regret it.

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