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Conscious SF: Crowdfunding for Impact with Lava Mae, Learning Shelter, & IndieGoGo Life

Crowdfunding continues to be a growing phenomenon and powerful platform for anyone to reach their goals. Beyond raising funds to meet a campaigner's goal, crowdfunding creates an engaged community to rally the resources to make real change in our cities. For innovations on ending homelessness and poverty, crowdfunding could be the key to aggregating the resources and community support needed. Join us for a panel discussion featuring inspiring people who have utilized crowdfunding as a force for good.

Doniece Sandoval - Founder, Lava Mae

Driven by a fierce belief that everyone has a right to dignity and the knowledge that access to showers and sanitation are in serious short supply for the homeless, Doniece was compelled to start Lava Mae.

She has orchestrated marketing, PR and development for both private and nonprofit organizations including ZERO1: The Art & Technology Network, San Jose Museum of Art, Wilson McHenry Company, Informix, DoubleClick,, McGuire & Company for Coca Cola and ACA Joe among others. Her passion is finding unique solutions to problems that matter to her. Homelessness has been on her radar for quite some time but she was at a loss as to how to truly help—until she passed a young woman on the street crying over and over that she’d never be clean. Lava Mae is Doniece’s answer.

Marc Roth - Founder, The Learning Shelter

As Spokesperson and Founder, Marc is the front-face of The Learning Shelter. His story serves as the model for The Learning Shelter. In 2011, Marc moved to San Francisco for a new job, finding it no longer existed once he got to the city. By working out of makerspaces in San Francisco, he was able to gain new skills and establish collaborations that allowed him to pursue entrepreneurial ideas that ended up making him a serial entrepreneur. His ideas are in various stages of development and include a laser company (SF Laser), and a digital fabrication network (Abricate). But they all have one thing in common: Whatever he does next, Roth intends to hire from within the homeless community, which he views as a hotbed of untapped talent. To that end, he created The Learning Shelter, to see if the path he took could be a model for others who were homeless.

Breanna DiGiammarino - Co-head, IndieGogo Life

Breanna DiGiammarino is the founding Co-Head of Indiegogo Life, the easy way to raise funds for yourself or someone you love. Whether it’s for college tuition, veterinary bills, adoption costs or medical care, Indiegogo Life is here to help through all of life’s challenges and celebrations. Bre co-led the development and launch of Indiegogo Life in December, obtaining coverage in 40+ publications upon launch including Entrepreneur Magazine and growing the site to include influential fundraisers such as blogger Humans of New York’s fundraiser to send kids in Brooklyn to Harvard with more than 30,000 donors and $900,000 raised. Prior to Indiegogo Life, Bre was the Head Causes at Indiegogo, where she led the company’s work in all areas of impact, particularly focusing on nonprofits, social enterprise and personal cause. Before Indiegogo, Breanna was the Senior Associate at the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, a social venture and an Associate Consultant at The Bridgespan Group, the non-profit arm of Bain & Company. Breanna holds a Master of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management from the NYU Wagner School of Public Service and graduated with a B.A in Biology and Government from the University of Virginia. You can find her online @IndiegogoLife or via

Moderated by Rose Broome - CEO and Co-founder, HandUp

Rose is the co-founder and CEO of HandUp, a crowdfunding website for homeless people and neighbors in need. 100% of donations on go towards basics like food, medical care, and housing through partnering social service organizations. In 2014, HandUp was named the Most Innovative Startup of the day by Fast Company and won the 1776 Global Challenge Cup Competition; Rose and her co-founder Zac Witte were also named in the Top People in Tech by Business Insider. Previously, Rose served as COO at SuperBetter Labs and as a Data Manager for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. She studied Campaign Management at Santa Clara University and Psychological Research at San Francisco State University. Rose lives in San Francisco and is a core organizer of Science Hack Day and Tech for Good SF. She can be found on twitter at @rosical.

Special thanks to Rainforest QA and Heavybit for hosting us this month! 

And, thank you to Harmless Harvest and San Franola Granola for contributing  coconut water and granola!