Thom Feeney hatched a plan one day to raise funds— from the people of Europe and the world— to help pay off Greece’s debt. So he turned to the crowd funding site Indiegogo to try and raise billions of euros.
Although that plan wasn’t successful, an alternative plan did raise a quarter of a million euro and is now supporting jobs, like a position in a charity supporting Alzheimers victims and a volunteer coordinator for a wildlife protection agency.
Feeney, who calls himself a British Philhellene, became one of the most talked about people in the world. His fundraising campaign went viral and his story appeared in media throughout the world. Of course— no one believed he could raise the billions needed to pay off Greece’s debt— but the plan itself was catchy and the media was hooked.
He reached €1,930,577 in that campaign but the rules of fundraising site dictated that the donations be returned to the donors of the goal isn’t met in full.
But that did’t stop Feeney who returned to Indiegogo, appealing to those same donors to give the donation to a new campaign he had started to help the people of Greece.
Feeney raised €289,152 from more than 13,000 donors throughout the world in small donations and partnered with Desmos, a Greek charity doing work in numerous areas of interest in Greece— especially helping youth find work and skills needed to become employed, productive members of society again after almost a decade of economic depression in the country.
Desmos implemented the “Desmos for Youth” program, funded exclusively by the money raised via Feeney’s Greek Crowdfund campaign, offering impactful jobs to the nation’s unemployed youth.
Since January 2016, the program has created 15 new jobs in Greek charitable organizations located in Athens, Thessaloniki and Drama, exclusively for previously unemployed young people between the ages of 18 and 29 years old.
The immediate positive impact is obvious— employment for someone who’s been previously unemployed. But the ripple effect is what makes this program so great. The actual jobs these young people have been hired for involve work at non profit organizations doing good to serve their respective communities.
Desmos estimates that this ripple effect of good and the people touched by the work of these newly employed young people has impacted more than 20,000 people to date.
Desmos put the plan together and issued an open call to the nation’s nonprofits— offering to fund positions in their organizations (with the money from Feeney’s fundraising efforts). They received over 100 proposals.
The program funded 15 jobs at the following organizations:
1. Nestor Psychogeriatric Association: Memory Clinic Psychologist Program “I don’t forget my Memory”
2. Aggigma Zois: Office Support- Project Management
3. Emfasis Foundation: Co-operations and Volunteers Manager
4. Drama Ladies Union (Drama): Mobile School Project Manager
5. The Bridge: Mapping Project Coordinator
6. Special Education Center (Thessaloniki): Physical Education Teacher
7. Wildlife Protection Association ANIMA: Volunteers Manager
8. Gerontas Paisios Society of Love and Giving (Thessaloniki): Office Support – Volunteers Manager
9. Margarita Vocational Training Center: Catering Workshop Trainer
10. Positive Voice: Athens Checkpoint Coordinator
11. Organization Earth: Educational Programs Coordinator
12. Melissa- Network of Migrant Women in Greece: Office Support– Project Manager
13. SciFy (Science For You): Junior Software Engineer
14. CivisPlus: “After School” Program Coordinator
15. Desmos Non Profit Foundation: “Desmos for Youth” Project Manager