I’ve talked here often enough about crowdfunding and crowdsourcing and crowdscience that it will surprise no one if I keep going. Consano is a new entrant in the healthcare crowdfunding arena, but with several new and unique twists.
Most crowdfunding campaigns are proposed by those seeking the funds. There is no promise that they are trustworthy folk or that you will really get the perks. Most are, and you usually do (get the perks), but you need to be prepared to accept it if that doesn’t happen. Most campaigns are seeking the bulk of their funding through the campaign, and those that have outside funding streams are the exception rather than the rule. Consano is different.
There aren’t very many campaigns in Consano. Those there pretty much already have funding from major organizations like major associations and government grants. This means the project has already passed through peer review and grant review teams, in addition to the review from Cosano, who promises that all campaigns have been vetted before being listed. The funding from the campaign serves two primary purposes:
1) to expand upon the existing funding base to do MORE;
2) to build a relationship between the researchers and those passionate about their research.
In their words:
"Consano is a platform that enables you to donate any amount (small or large!) directly to a medical research project that matters to you. Usually medical research is paid for by large grants from government or other large funding institutions. Consano is part of a new movement to connect individuals directly to specific medical research projects. By harnessing the power of a crowd, we aggregate donations so the public can directly choose and support high quality medical research, pooling their money with others who care about the same health issues."
What else does Consano do differently? Well, there are no "perks", nothing to take away, except a button you can click to receive updates from the project.
There is more. Consano does more with storytelling than most sites. Most crowdfunding sites require both a video and an abstract introducing the core concepts and motivations behind the project. Consano does NOT do that, but they do have a link to the researcher’s story (which doesn’t tell me as much as I’d wish), but they also collect the stories of the donors. Now, THAT is interesting, and unusual.