Beam is the world’s first crowdfunding platform to help homeless people train up and get into work. Homeless people, or Beam ‘members’, raise money for training courses through online campaigns.

Beam member Tony in training to become an electrician

According to The Guardian USA, Beam is “one of the top tech innovations to watch out for in 2018”, and Sky reported that Beam is “a brilliant new way of positively helping the homeless”.

An empowering model

Beam is a platform for our members to find their voice, tell their stories and build their own support networks. The Beam model empowers them to make a positive choice about their future.

Meanwhile, the public are empowered to make a long-term difference by funding our members’ campaigns, allowing them to access new training opportunities and increase their employment prospects.

Typically, our members also get a massive boost in confidence from the Beam model. As the donations and messages roll in, they realise that huge swathes of the population are right behind them and many members have had the confidence to use their voice in the media as Beam ambassadors.

How is Beam different to other crowdfunding sites?

We built Beam because we saw the need for a completely different type of crowdfunding platform. There are 5 major differences between Beam and other online platforms that allow people to crowdfund for individuals.

1. Collaborative, not competitive

On other crowdfunding platforms, some campaigns succeed and some fail — often spectacularly. Beam is different. We aim to ensure that every member’s campaign successfully funds by bringing new campaigns onto the platform only when other campaigns have funded. So far, 100% of our campaigns have successfully funded.

2. Supporting every member and their campaign

On every other crowdfunding platform, you support specific campaigns. On Beam, the majority of our supporters support every live campaign, either donating on a one-off or monthly basis. It’s great if you feel a particular connection and want to support a specific member. If you want to support all our members, that’s great too!

3. Partnered with the experts

Beam is delighted to be partnered with more than 10 leading homelessness charities and advised by prominent figures in the homelessness sector. Our partner charities make referrals of suitable clients to the Beam platform and remain involved as the individual progresses through training and into work.

4. Crowdfunding + Services

Beam is a hybrid between a crowdfunding platform and a services organisation. Each member has a “Member Manager”, an employee of Beam who supports the member all the way from their referral through training and hopefully into employment. Beam also looks after donations and purchases the budgeted items for each campaign on behalf of the member. We never hand out cash to members.

5. Outcomes-focused

Other crowdfunding platforms have a business model that incentivises them to raise large sums of money, regardless how that money is spent. Beam’s Key Performance Indicators are all outcomes-based, so as an organisation we view success in terms of members succeeding in their training and getting and sustaining employment, using the smallest amount of funding to achieve those ends.

Beam member Joe was interviewed on London Live
Tony went on BBC Radio London

Find out how this new model of crowdfunding works for yourself and follow our members’ progress over on their Beam profiles.