August 1st, 2013 NYC Civic Tech Demo Night
On Thursday, August 1, 2013, OLC attended 21st Century Democracy and Technology’s event, NYC Civic Tech Demo featuring Fund Elevator and NYCVotes.
“FundElevator is a new fundraising platform that helps political candidates and charities reach wider audiences and make deeper connections with them. We're all about making it easy for you to change the world. Our CEO, Mickey Costa, is a GW Law graduate dedicated to making democracy for and by the people. Our CTO, James Schuler, is a summer 2012 Y-Combinator grad and 2013 Thiel 20 Under 20 fellow.
NYC Votes is a new voter engagement platform built by a coalition of companies in the NYC tech community (Tipping Point Partners, Method, Pivotal Labs among them) in partnership with the New York City Campaign Finance Board. The first portion of NYC Votes, a mobile tool for candidates to accept credit card contributions and manage their campaign finance reporting, was released on July 2nd. A civic engagement tool, for voters to find information about voting, candidates, and important deadlines, will be released late this summer.” (meetup.com)
Fund Elevator pitched first, with CEO Mickey Costa speaking for the team. Fund Elevator is a niche crowdfunding platform for charities and politicians. It works as two sites in one. “There’s certain power in small donations from one million people than just one big lump sum from one rich person,” Costa said. Fund Elevator digitizes supposer and people have the choice in supporting issues. “We can fund the next Wendy Davis,” he said.
Users can search for charities using location, trending charities, favorites. Donations can be made via monetary contributions of through volunteering (time) and they can bid on experiences or items. Fund Elevator also lets users donate money to politicians. It addresses the problem of where the money is coming from to help the campaign. With
Fund Elevator, the politicians priorities, events, causes and a forum for questions are readily visible on one page. It allows users to be a catalyst for change.
Events happen on both sides of the site. It can be used for fundraisers and rallies. Currently Costas’ plan is to have a soft launch in the upcoming week.
NYCVotes plans to go live at the next New York Tech Meetup event on August 7. The app uses a crowdsourcing fund and relies on contributions. It is actively using a call to action to get people to vote and to enhance engagement. NYCVotes also looked to create a responsively designed app that would reach the maximum amount of people, so they went with a web app as opposed to a native OS.
The app gives users the ability to engage with candidates and can use the search function to look up names, districts and offices. The search function comes with autocomplete. NYCVotes is presenting information in a safe depository where information is aggregated in a simple, elegant and functional manner.