DreamBank is a Vancouver start-up that launched just yesterday. Their tagline is “Give dreams, not gifts”, suggesting that contributing funds for peoples’ dreams is preferable to gift giving. DreamBank allows users to create a “dream” and they’ll handle accepting money for it. Dream progress is tracked on their site, with donors credited. The site uses PayPal for funds transfer, but have arranged their own fee structure. Cashing in your “dream” is subject to a 2.5% fee.
To prove they’re about more than just holding your money, DreamBank has a charitable element. When creating your dream, you choose one of their charitable partners, such as Doctors Without Borders or Save the Children. DreamBank pools all contributions into a single fund and uses the interest to support the charitable organizations and cover their own costs. DreamBank itself is a private company, despite their use of a .org domain name (not against the rules, and Slashdot does it too).
Users have already created a number of dreams. Miss604 Rebecca Bollwitt dreams of attending Blog World Expo, and Strutta’s Danny and Maura are using it to raise money for their honeymoon in lieu of wedding gifts. Radio host Buzz Bishop is raising money to sponsor a run around Easter Island for diabetes. On a different scale, there’s also the boy from Squamish who wants a Lego Mindstorms kit for his own educational and creative fun.
DreamBank is not the first of it’s concept, but with a clever name, sensible interface, and well-communicated message, it’s the best-executed implementation of it I’ve seen. Congrats to web development partner FCV Technologies on a smooth launch.