How it works
A safer and more including way to support great charity projects
The vision of Capital Smiles is to list great projects of all sizes that aim to make the world a better place – projects that are well-thought through and run by a team with dedication to achieve results. We value projects that welcome collaboration from their supporters, and we encourage projects to share lessons-learned and knowledge to increase projects’ outcomes and end-results. Every project on the Capital Smiles platform has successfully passed a screening and review by the Capital Smiles’ team. The review focuses on the following three areas:
- Experience and previous initiatives of the team behind the proposed project
- The project’s budget forecast and cost estimates versus the total ask from the Capital Smiles community
- Whether the project addresses root cause issues and looks to provide genuine “good” in the world
You can see the person in the Capital Smiles team that is responsible for the project by looking at the top-right corner on the project-specific page. This person will ensure that the projects post updates and reaches out to the community to discuss things such as challenges or potential follow-up projects.
We refer to the team (or individual) behind Capital Smiles initiatives as ‘Project heroes’ because they invest time and effort to pursue positive changes in the world. However, the community and the supporters that donate to the great causes and engage in discussions regarding the project are equally important – and together we can change the world for the better!
Your donations, profile and account
Once you have created an account, you can donate to projects and post comments or questions to the project heroes. You can also engage in discussion in the forum, send messages to other users and read-up on how this all started, the team, and our exciting plans for the future on the Capital Smiles blog.
You can see an overview of your donations in the ‘My Donations’ page on your profile, and you can see a list of people/organizations that have supported a projects under the ‘Backers’ section on the project-specific page (NB that donations may be conducted anonymously, so the total amount donated in the ‘Backers’ section might not correspond to the total donations received by a project).
We charge a small fee to ensure quality of projects and keep the ship going
Charging a modest fee of 5% enables us to maintain a high standard of quality on approved projects, a platform that empowers supporters and facilitates cooperation, and active marketing for the projects from the Capital Smiles team. We are determined to keep costs at a minimum, hence, there are no salaries or costs of labour.
Everyone in the Capital Smiles team do this because of the positive impact we hope to provide and any revenues exceeding costs will be re-invested in the platform or donated to selected projects.Transaction fees
We use Stripe & PayPal as our transaction facilitators for donations. They charge transaction fees depending on the location of your financial services provider.
- PayPal is used as a transaction facilitator for PayPal transfers and eligible debit and credit cards. You can find further details in the Paypal terms and conditions
- Stripe is used as a transaction facilitator for eligible credit and debit cards. You can find further details in the Stripe Service agreement
What happens with unsuccessful projects?
In the event of a Capital Smiles project being unsuccessful at its fundraising deadline, one of two things will happen:
A) The Capital Smiles team will work closely with the Project heroes to see if the donations can be used to support the cause, although less-effective or part of the scope. If this is the case, the donations will be transferred to the project heroes and an explanation of exactly how the money will be used will be outlined in the ‘Updates’ section of the project-specific page.
B) If the Capital Smiles team is not satisfied that the donations can be used in a satisfactory way towards the cause, the full donations will be reimbursed to the supporters without any Capital Smiles’ fee applied (although transactions fees may still apply).
Our Project Heroes are the people with the drive and creativity to help make a difference in our world. It is a primary mission of Capital Smiles to help them. We are immensely proud to introduce you to a few of them.
“Hello! Being part of a platform and movement like Capital Smiles is something very exciting for me. I love the feeling of receiving support from people to help improve the quality of life for Sara. Being a project hero at Capital Smiles means a lot to me. With your help I know that she will receive monthly support for her basic needs. Also I keep on meeting people here in Bogota that would benefit greatly from listing their projects on Capital Smiles, I think that this platform has huge potential and will become a vital network of help for many people and causes. Thank you for this opportunity” Monica Bernal
“Your support for CLS through Capital Smiles will make the world of difference for students near Kampot in rural Cambodia. These students cannot currently afford to attend school which means that they don’t have access to any education at all. I set up CLS over 10 years ago and have been working hard to see it grow ever since. Capital Smiles and the communities kind support will enable another village to access education that will make a real difference for their future and the future of their families. The school will be run by Cambodians with support from international donors like you. If you’d like to know more about the wonderful work being undertaken by these Cambodians for rural Cambodians, please see the CLS website or on Chumkriel Language School Facebook page. Thank you Capital Smiles for this opportunity to reach out to a wide network of potential donors!” Nget Sothy
Legals and rules