Inspired by a volunteer trip to Tanzania, Stacey Monk and Sanjay Patel created Epic Change in 2007. They realised the power of the local stories they heard during their journey, and believed that they might be a means to raise funds to support the impoverished communities they visited and others around the globe.
Epic Change uses donations to provide interest-free loans to local partners to finance their community improvement efforts. They then facilitate loan repayment by helping their partners to share their stories through projects that generate income. Finally they "pay it forward" by recycling repaid loans and creating Epic Change in other communities.
Their first project is with Shepherds Junior, a small primary school in Arusha, Tanzania. So far, Epic Change has provided loans that have enabled the school to purchase land, build 5 new classrooms and a refurbished school bus. The school roll has doubled in size and in November 2008, Shepherds Junior participated in national exams for the first time. The school ranked #1 out of 117 participating schools in the Arusha district.
Through the sale of a line of cards and gifts that share the stories of the children of Shepards Junior, the school has been able to pay back over 15% of their initial loan in just over a year!
Every year, Mindcomet chooses a non-profit organisation to work with and provides free-of-charge agency services and donations. So far they have worked with Orlando History Center, Habitat for Humanity, the American Cancer Society, Race for A Cure, and Toys for Tots.
This year, they couldn't choose a favourite. So they launched CommuniCause to help them select the organization to receive their pro bono social media services. So you get to nominate and vote for your favorite charity to help them win the grand prize of a Social Media Makeover valued at $25,000.
A winner will be randomly selected from the top ten charities that receive the most votes and upon awarding the winner, MindComet will provide the winner with expert consulting services to help improve their social media presence and fundraising outreach.