Crowdfunding is all the rage right now. It's so popular that Donald Trump has even jumped on the bandwagon and while I was less than excited about his crowdfunding venture, I'm more than excited about a new crowdfunding cause platform called Causora. Causora launched on August 5 and had already raised more than $100,000 from Google and Univision executives.

Causora isn’t a standard crowdfunding cause platform, though. It also offers customers a one-for-one reward. In other words, if you donate $20 to a Causora campaign, you will receive $20 in merchant gift cards. Right now, merchant partners are limited to certain regions of California, but Causora plans to roll out a national platform in the next six months.

Experienced entrepreneur Kai Buehler founded Causora after working on fundraising campaigns at his daughter's school and in his community. Buehler discovered that incentivizing the process led to more donations. "Causora's mission is far-reaching: In order to maximize donations from individuals, we want to create a new platform with incentives, bringing the best of private markets to the non-profit domain,” Buehler said.

NextStep is one of approximately 150 charity partners signed on with Causora. NextStep founder Janne Kouri (pictured above) explains the draw of Causora, “What immediately attracted me to Causora was the fact that it's a win-win-win platform for everyone involved.”

I love the idea behind Causora, but I have to admit that it is a sad state of affairs when organizations have to incentivize donations in order to raise money. The recent economic recession hit charities hard and some nonprofits will never recover. I commend Buehler for thinking outside of the box and creating a solution to the post-recession fundraising dilemma. I just wish that so many of our nation's citizens weren’t caught up in the ‘what’s in it for me’ motto to think about helping others.

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