Crowdfunding: How ISA Did it
Crowdfunding: How ISA Did it

Crowdfunding: How ISA Did it

These days, I’ve really been racking my brain about crowdfunding – how best to go about it for Happy Heights. There weren’t many of the How-To articles you usually see, so I decided to study a group that I know have been having a successful run of crowdfunding recently, ISA.

ISA is short for Initiatives for Social Action and I found out about them through my skin-diving org ISDA. Simply, they describe themselves as “an organized movement of young professionals in the Philippines geared towards social involvement and nation-building.” Very general, an advantage of which is that they can do a large amount of diverse projects and still stick to their identity.

Their crowdfunding project is called the 123 initiative and it’s still ongoing.123 is for 100 pesos, from 2 thousand people, for 3 projects. Ingenious 🙂

How did it become successful? Here are some hypotheses:

  • THE CAUSE. One of the things that makes an advocacy or a cause good, I think, is that it’s plainly obvious. Who wouldn’t want to share the comfort of having all the bare necessities with their fellow men? Duh, right? The cause was excellent and undoubtedly worthy. People also got the chance to really know the people they were helping with this video ISA released, in cooperation with the Brevarians – a video always helps to make things that much more real to people.

  • CLEAR TARGETS. “The 120 Aeta residents of Sitio Yangka, Capas, Tarlac this December. You’ll also help provide school supplies to 50 students next school year. Be part of our 2,000 movers!” ISA is very much clear about the end goal. 2,000 movers donating 100 pesos each, amounting to 200,000 pesos. Showing people the actual numbers helps because they have an idea of the worth of their donation and where the money is going. 
  • OWNERSHIP/PROMOTION. All the people who donate get to post a picture of themselves with the 123 initiative image. The album probably has more than a 100 pictures of images like Ryan’s (below), of all kinds of people. In a way, it gives people a sense of ownership, “I AM PART OF THE 123 INITIATIVE.” They become an integral part of the movement and they can look back at what they’ve done with pride. Plus, these pictures are probably one of the best ways to promote crowdfunding – letting people see how many people have gone the extra mile.
Ryan 🙂
  • THE AMOUNT. ISA isn’t asking for much. I think the fact that it’s just a 100 pesos gives people that extra push. It’s like saying, “Hey, helping out really isn’t that hard. In fact, it’s not hard at all. Come on!” I really believe that a lot of people out there are thirsting to volunteer and do good – they just have to be given that extra encouragement. Giving them ways to volunteer that start out small empowers them to think they can do it and could be able to build an attitude of helping.


So yeah, ISA has been doing a good job 🙂 So far, their labor has been fruitful and it’s a great thing to see.

I’ve learned  a lot just by going on their Facebook page and it’s making me excited for my own project!

Right now, it’s a question of volunteers/groups sponsoring a kid, or collecting a pool funds just like ISA did. On the one hand, sponsoring a kid makes it more personal for the volunteers, but collecting a pool of funds involves more people. What do you think? 🙂


  1. Awesome post Dindin, thanks for writing about ISA and our “123 Initiative”. We’ve received a lot of help from a lot of people and their generosity has been a great source of inspiration for all of us.

    Just an update for those interested, we’ve already given part of the money for the patubig project to the Sisters of the Holy Spirit Aeta Mission to officially get the project started. We did it last December when we went up for our basket of joy project.

    For more updates about us and our projects please check out our Facebook Page and our site:

    Our website is still new but we’re hoping to fill it up with some great content soon.

    Thanks again Dindin and it’s great that you decided a blog about social entereps and NGOs. Hope you continue to write more awesome stuff.

    Oh and Ryan is ridiculously cute :). Love his hair lol.

  2. And about your Happy heights project, it’s great that you’re starting something like this. When the idea for 123 initiative was conceptualized, we really didn’t get into all technical stuff about crowdfunding.

    We just thought that we could ask all our friends to donate and we just shot for a ballpark figure considering how many friends each of us could talk to. We figured it’d work but we didn’t know it’d work that well to be honest.

    I’m sure your project will be successful :).

    And feel free to drop by our FB page/group or get in touch with us if and when you finalize the details for Happy heights. There might be some of us who can help or at least donate once you start crowdfunding.

    Might I suggest getting in touch with mountaineering groups since the activity is hiking after all. Maybe you can find social climbers (the good kind lol) who can help out :). For example last December Gabay Mountaineering helped us keep everything in order up and down the mountain for our basket of joy project. Daming sumama sa amin last time so the extra experienced manpower was a big help.

    Maybe you could even prioritize getting in touch with climbing groups who can collaborate with you to get volunteers (from their own ranks) and to help you raise funds.

    1. Hi Malds 🙂

      Awesome news about the project getting started last December. Idol!

      Sure, I’ll let you know. I’m planning to start crowdfunding this week, after I meet with the coach of the softball team. And, thanks for the suggestions, I will definitely try to contact some mountaineering groups.

      Actually, right now I’m also looking for friends who own restaurants/catering companies. Para the meals, sponsored nalang rin. Bawas rin sa kailangan i-raise na funds.

      Ah well, lots of work to be done but I’m excited!

  3. Coolness!!!! Make sure to leverage social media. That’s gone unexpectedly well for us :).

    Like you said, madami naman dyan talaga gusto tumulong. You just have to let them know how they can.

    May mga sumama sa amin last december who knew absolutely no one sa group namin or sa mga ibang volunteer groups na sumama. Yung mga tipong solo lang dumating sa meeting or nag message lang sa FB.

    Nakita daw nila sa facebook lol, may nag share lang and they just really wanted to help :).

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