Ideas are best when they’re acted upon. And in most cases, all it takes for them to spark is a little help from the community.
The concept of altruism isn’t new to Filipinos, as is crowdfunding. We’ve seen numerous Bayanihan acts here and there alongside other manifestations embedded in our culture. Founded by Patch Dulay, The Spark Project modernizes this selfless and communal concept—it helps Filipinos fund their dreams into reality.
Many may recognize The Spark Project as a local spin-off of Kickstarter, except that it goes beyond mere crowdfunding. Beyond providing an avenue for accessible crowdfunding of local projects of almost any category—be it in the area of arts and culture, entrepreneurship, social advocacies, and the like—The Spark Project differentiates itself by providing continuous engagement before, during, and after each project they aid.
The Spark Project markets itself as community that enables creative entrepreneurs and changemakers to pursue their passions and projects. From their humble beginning in 2013 to succeeding as one of the the finalists of BPI Foundation’s BPI Sinag business challenge for social enterprises, the community has come a long way since. In the span of their presence, they’ve funded 50+ projects, raised over PHP 5.5 million, and have had over 2500 backers.
At the core of The Spark Project is its belief in the talent of Filipinos in all aspects. “We want to promote Filipino creativity and innovation and discover the next Filipino world class brand, because we believe that Filipinos can do it. Filipinos have the capacity to create great things,” Dulay shares.
The Spark Project has enabled a plethora of dreams and has even validated Filipino talent and creativity. A coalition of songwriters, musicians, and songwriters from Visayas once used the site to ensure that VisPOP lives on. Raising more than PHP 200,000, they now aid those who wish to produce VisPop music. Many may not know, but Gouache Bags actually started with the Spark Project. Alongside an idea and a prototype of a waxed camera bag, Gouache was able to raise PHP 184,900. They now have a store in Ayala the 30th, and are now a full-fledged business and a social enterprise that also help displaced bag makers to earn additional income. Similarly, a community in Palawan utilized The Spark Project to crowdfund their socio-eco tourism project. With their raised amount of PHP 368,000 they were able to purchase their boat and other equipment to kickstart Kawil Tours, a tourism project that provides expeditions in Culion-Coron.
Crowdfunding however, Dulay shares, isn’t magic. It’s a public way to raise funds, and it entails a lot of preparation, persistence, and accountability. To begin crowdfunding through the Spark Project simply visit their site, click on create, fill out the form and wait until your application receives approval.