Hi, a short contribution for 2 things:
Adding a crowdsourcing resource that I think is not included in the list: goteo.org It is the normal crowsourcing plattform, but it includes innovative features, like non-monetary contributions and describing a lot of “returns” the project is producing. It puts an emphasis on the commons.
Telling about our experience with Ashoka, that we contacted to ask for support. They specialice in supporting social entrepreneurs, and have a long experience doing it. This is, apparently, good and bad. On the good side, they have resources and a very powerful network that, combined with the financial support they give to entrepreneurs (up to 3 years of salary to concentrate in his/her project), can have a very positive effect. They have also quite streamlined and stable processes for the selection of candidates.
But this could also be their weak point. In my case, it took very long till they considered our request. First we contacted them through the Mexico organization, through one of our allies that have done several projects with them. By the time they answered, almost 8 months later, we had already contacted the Spanish organization.
The Spanish Ashoka team took its time to react (I think they evaluate new proposals twice a year, which means a 3 months time delay). After providing quite a lot of information about the project and exchanging several e-mails, we had a Skype call with one of the responsibles. It was quite nice, and gave us the opportunity to explain many things. They showed interest. On the bad side, that several small details made us think that they had not been really reading (with proper care) the e-mails we sent them, nor the documentation. Probably they have a lot of candidates and need to optimise the time, but… well, it is not the best.
At the end of the call was the moment when they told us that they needed to see results, proof that the model was working, before considering supporting us. They had interest in the project, and were willing to stay in touch, but they considered it to be still “too immature”.
This is ok. And is perfectly consistent with the procedures of Ashoka. This is the way they have been conducing their business for many years, quite successfully. But we have the impression that this can be too rigid to be able to capture web innovation, where the drivers of grow can get activated very quickly. If they wait to see success before they support… well, maybe they will be arriving too late, and their support is no longer needed. Or the alternative: a project that with their support would have been successful… will not reach that point.
So… our experience was good. But all the time we spent preparing documentation… would probably have been better used doing “real work”.
Lesson: do not contact Ashoka till you have something very solid.