Crowdfunding campaign aims to help Boston blind kids

The New iPad
Mike Yawney

Earlier this month, a Citizinvestor, a crowdfunding startup that raises money for local government projects, launched a Boston campaign to put technology, like iPads and Bluetooth keyboards, in the hands of ten local blind children.

Now, about a third of the way through the 60-day campaign, organizers are revving up the push toward their $7,450 goal, because if that mark isn’t met, the project doesn’t happen.

If a Citizinvestor project is 99 percent pledged, nobody’s credit card gets charged.

“We ran a (technology) program last year for students who are blind, because we had funding at the time. It was so fabulous, that we committed to try and do it every year,” said Deb Socia, executive director of Tech Goes Home, the non-profit with a mission to give low-income populations access to technology.

“They will be able to access email, do research, use social networking – imagine how that can change your life as a kid,” Socia said.

Jordan Raynor, a Citizinvestor co-founder, said he believes that people want to invest to improve their community, and with relatively small dollar amounts, like $5, $10 or $20, the average Bostonian can be a modern day Carnegie or Rockefeller.

“Ten years ago, we had to look to traditional philanthropists to build parks and pools, or put technology in the hands of kids. With Citizinvestor, we’re allowing any Bostonian to rally their citizens together behind one cause. You can be a microphilanthropist of sorts,” Raynor said.

Breaking down the numbers on the Tech Goes Home campaign:

  • Goal: $7,450 total in a 60-day period
  • $1,450: already raised; 40 days left
  • $4,000: 10 iPads at $400 each
  • $750: 10 Bluetooth keyboards at $75 each
  • $2,400: Two Tech Goes Home trainers at $1,200 each
  • $300: To pay for one Tech Goes Home assistant
  • 10 – If they reach their goal, a class of ten blind students and their families would be trained to use iPads, Bluetooth keyboards and voice over software as a means to learn, work and play.

Since launching in September, Citizinvestor has launched campaigns in several cities, including Tampa, where Raynor and another co-founder are based, Washington, D.C., where the third co-founder is based, Philadelphia and Chicago.

Although it’s too soon to release details, Raynor said that more Boston campaigns are planned.
“More projects are coming down the pipeline. With only a few dollars, Boston residents will be able to make a pretty significant impact in the community.”

Watch a video from Tech Goes Home here:


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