Top Crowdfunding Journalists

TOP Agency wants to recognize the trailblazing journalists covering this new and evolving facet of life. As they keep up with the fast-paced environment of crowdfunding and keep us abreast of the impact crowdfunding has on individuals and businesses, we depend on their insights and thought leadership to show us how to navigate this trend and adapt to the exciting possibilities it presents.

Selecting the TOP Crowdfunding Journalists

TOP Agency wants to recognize the trailblazing journalists covering this new and evolving facet of life. As they keep up with the fast-paced environment of crowdfunding and keep us abreast of the impact crowdfunding has on individuals and businesses, we depend on their insights and thought leadership to show us how to navigate this trend and adapt to the exciting possibilities it presents.

To select our TOP Crowdfunding Journalist Awards, we looked at Crowdfunding as a subject and what it encompasses. Is it a corporate social responsibility? Is it philanthropy? Is it fundraising? Is it all three of them? Many brands are starting to donate to Kickstarter and GoFundMe causes as an act of social responsibility and philanthropy is going to nonprofits that often crowdfund-raise as well. The line is blurring and these complex intersections are often where reporters shine. Our list reflects this gray area and we selected writers who excel at providing clear and concrete information while also using an authoritative voice to navigate the ambiguities. We are honoring the most impactful writers from both large and emerging publications who provide the best insights into this awe-inspiring trend. We also used analytics to discover which writers have the widest reach. And, naturally, we nominated journalists known for breaking major news in their respective fields. The result: the Top Crowdfunding Journalist Awards, comprised of stellar reporters across digital, print, and broadcast mediums who cover everything from policy to wellness.

TOP Crowdfunding Journalists

10. David Hessekiel Forbes

9. Susan McPherson Medium, Forbes

8. Kris Putnam-Walkerly Forbes

7. Devin Thorpe Forbes

6. Samantha Hurst Crowdfund Insider

5. Chris Albrecht The Spoon

4.  JD Alois Crowdfund Insider

3. Omar Faridi Crowdfund Insider

2. Brian Heater TechCrunch

1. Matt Burns TechCrunch

10. David Hessekiel

Current Publication:Forbes
Beat:Philanthropy, Crowdfunding
Twitter Followers:3,698
Twitter Username:@DaveCause

David Hessekiel has positioned himself as a thought leader in the philanthropic and crowdfunding spaces. This is not only because of his journalism but also through his work with Engage for Good and Peer to Peer forum, which brings to light opportunities for brands to engage with crowdfunding and other philanthropic efforts. From Patagonia’s Action Works platform and grassroots matching to notable GoFundMe campaigns, Hessekiel is a leading journalist on philanthropy and crowdfunding.

Signature Story

While David has reported on a number of charity and crowdfunding initiatives, one story he covered in which the two topics intersect is about Hershey dedicating some of their advertising budget to help GoFundMe campaigns cross the finish lines. In this effort, Hershey specifically focusing on helping family members reunite over the holidays. The opportunity also created a specific landing page for these particular types of campaigns for other individuals to contribute as the platform becomes more saturated, it becomes harder for goals to get met.

Why You’ll Want to Read

David’s experience working in the space as a conduit between brands and initiatives gives him a deep richness in authority and thought-leadership on how brands are becoming more and more involved in crowdfunding. David is a key player for anyone who wants to keep their finger on the pulse of what’s going on in crowdfunding.

9. Susan McPherson

Current Publication:Medium, Forbes
Beat:Philanthropy, Crowdfunding
Twitter Followers:45.7 k
Twitter Username:@susanmcp1

Susan McPherson’s reporting occupies the space between where corporate responsibility meets crowdfunding. Whether she’s breaking down how GivingTuesday became the social phenomenon it is today or unpacking the latest trends in corporate social responsibility, her work often weaves in and out of philanthropy and crowdfunding as the lines between two become increasingly blurred.

Signature Story

McPherson’s interview with Spotify’s then Director of Social Responsibility is illuminating of where such an influential and forward-thinking brand is pushing the needle. As more brands become value-based and value-driven in their decision making, that prioritization comes out in the ways in which they donate to nonprofits and crowdfunding campaigns.

Why You’ll Want to Read

If you’re invested in how brands approach philanthropic efforts and where that intersects with crowdfunding, McPherson is required reading. She’s an expert in the space and through Forbes has the platform to be a conversation-leading journalist in these stories.

8. Kris Putnam-Walkerly

Current Publication:Forbes
Twitter Followers:17.7k4
Twitter Username:@Philanthropy411

Kris Putnam-Walkerly is the philanthropy contributor for Forbes and, through her speaking engagements, has become a thought leader in the space of philanthropy, corporate responsibility, and crowdfunding. Her two decades of work consulting major brands on how to give back has helped her develop deep expertise in the field, which is reflected in the way she clearly reports on the major developments and trends in the area. She’s a thought leader in the space and has owned that right through consistent years of excellent work.

Signature Story

Putnam-Walkerly’s critique of philanthropy managers spending all day behind a desk to try to find what’s the best use of their budget is enlightening and, slightly, scathing of old practices in a modern world. In order to truly know the maximum impact of funds, managers should be out in the field, actively engaging in the community and seeing many crowdfunding initiatives already exist for many of the common issues at hand.

Why You’ll Want to Read

Putnam-Walkerly’s reporting could prove to be much more valuable and informative to those running a crowdfunding campaign than those looking to donate. Because of her under-the-hood perspective of how corporations and brands decide philanthropic efforts, that perspective is critical information for those trying to work their way into that space. Putnam-Walkerly’s expertise and writing is a great torch to illuminate the dark maze of crowdfunding and corporate social responsibility.

7. Devin Thorpe

Current Publication:Forbes
Beat:Philanthropy, Crowdfunding
Twitter Followers:41.1k
Twitter Username:@DevinThorpe

Devin Thorpe is best known as a speaker and consultant who works with brands that want to either increase their social responsibility efforts or see a higher ROI in doing so. But he’s also a fairly prolific contributor to Forbes on the topic, confirming his status as a thought leader in the space. Additionally, Thorpe will also host or moderate events that draw the line between venture capitalism, CSR, and crowdfunding, putting him at the forefront of values-driven branding.

Signature Story

While Thorpe’s podcast interviews are insightful and entertaining, and his reporting on crowdfunding news is up-to-date and well-written, it’s the more thinkpiece-y essays that often separate Thorpe from the pack. His latest story on gratitude and how it affects the workplace, especially where it touches CSR or crowdfunding, is a delightful treat compared to the problem-filled clickbait that fills up most of our feeds.

Why You’ll Want to Read

Thorpe’s work is a fantastic resource for anyone looking into where CSR and crowdfunding intersect and how many brands are getting more into value-driven philanthropic work. Additionally, Thorpe’s work extends beyond just writing for Forbes, including podcasts, TED talks, speaking engagements and much more than just the written word.

6. Samantha Hurst

Current Publication:Crowdfund Insider
Twitter Followers:740
Twitter Username:@SamanthaHurst14

Hurst’s work in the crowdfunding sector has established her as a leading journalist. She expertly navigates the noisy corridor of campaigns being funded and startup rounds being completed with a fantastic filter for what’s important. That’s especially true in the cryptocurrency sector, which she covers expertly with tech and FinTech.

Signature Story

As crowdfunding and cryptocurrency continue to see a combined chorus of development, it becomes increasingly important to report and make sense of the evolution in both these sectors and how they relate. Sarah’s story on the four major cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Libra, and CBDC) and the waltz they all play with each other is an excellent and creative point of view on the current state of fairs in those worlds.

Why You’ll Want to Read

Hurst’s work rides way ahead of the bell curve in the crowdfunding and FinTech sectors, making her a trailblazer for anyone who wants to know the trends and movements of the industries with clarity and accuracy. Her reporting is an exciting look into the future of these two industries.

5. Chris Albrecht

Current Publication:The Spoon
Beat:Crowdfunding, Tech
Twitter Followers:2,143
Twitter Username:@AlbrechtChris

Chris Albrecht is the managing editor of The Spoon and covers the intersection of tech and crowdfunding with an eye toward the future of our relationship with food and the Internet of Things. Whether it’s connected cooking over Thanksgiving, or how crowdfunded food startups are being gobbled up by big-name competitors, Albrecht is able to speak clearly and authoritatively on the industry’s trends and developments.

Signature Story

Albrecht has covered nearly every inch of where tech meets crowdfunding, but one story that stands out in particular highlights what a small Chai-making company called Chime did differently than nearly every other crowdfunded business. Not only did they only use crowdfunding to manufacture their product – not run the company – they also pledged to be able to return cash to investors if their product is late or they want a refund because that helps separate the funds. Albrecht lauded the innovation and that kind of journalism is necessary for pushing crowdfunding to its potential.

Why You’ll Want to Read

While there’s a crowdfunding campaign for nearly everything these days, Albrecht focuses mostly on how that intersects with tech and how that tech helps solve major global issues, such as food development and delivery. As climate change continues to be impacted by how we create and deliver food to urban centers, Albrecht has a spyglass set on where tech and crowdfunding aim to solve these issues.

4. JD Alois

Current Publication:Crowdfund Insider
Twitter Followers:62
Twitter Username:@JDAlois_

Signature Story

JD Alois’ has done a fantastic job covering the crowdfunding sphere in regards to what the trends are in financial and technical evolution and progress, but his story on the way gender plays a role in how European crowdfunding campaigns are successful or not is really illuminating of how individuals and consumers choose to donate and what can motivate them to do so. This kind of reporting is invaluable to anybody who works in the space or is considering starting their own crowdfunding campaign.

Why You’ll Want to Read

AS tech and FinTech continues to aggregate an increasingly larger piece of the business pie, so too will crowdfunding efforts for these industries. If you’re invested in the industry or want to join – or even just find these developments fascinating – then Alois’ beat is required reading as he covers the early adoption wave before it even begins to crest.

3. Omar Faridi

Current Publication:Crypto Briefing
Twitter Followers:711
Twitter Username:@braindrainomar

Faridi has cemented himself as an authority in cryptocurrency, FinTech, and where those intersect with crowdfunding. Oftentimes, many new platforms and currencies will use crowdfunding as a means of getting off the ground and to leverage that to investors, Faridi has reported on these trends with accuracy and clarity, often demystifying an opaque and cerebral industry and financial sector, which is one of the many reasons why he’s earned a spot on Top 10 Crowdfunding Awards.

Signature Story

Faridi is a great reporter in the space of FinTech and cryptocurrency, but he also has his finger on the pulse of every development in the area. His story on how forty percent of financial managers consider mobile apps will be a transformative and disruptive factor in wealth management is critical for any developer on entrepreneur using crowdfunding to develop an app, as most do.

Why You’ll Want to Read

If you’re invested in the FinTech or blockchain sector then Faridi’s reporting will only add value to your work. His ability to report on complex subjects, financial and banking updates, as well as technological innovations, startup funding and crowdfunding creates an encompassing look at the industries at hand.

2. Brian Heater

Current Publication:TechCrunch
Beat:Crowdfunding, Hardware
Twitter Followers:13.1 K
Twitter Username:@bheater

Brian Heater covers the intersection where crowdfunding meets developments in hardware. The technical innovations that we can hold and touch – that take up actual space in our lives – is usually overshadowed by apps. But with a manufacturing aspect that’s necessary for production, these startups typically rely more on crowdfunding to get the ball rolling than the typical SaaS, FinTech, cryptocurrency, or other app-based software that comes along.

Signature Story

While most crowdfunding campaigns are covered based on success, what can be equally important are some of the failures as they’re often indicative of the health of the market. For example, Heater’s coverage on failed consumer sous vide device, Nomiku, provides great insight into how many crowdfunding campaigns can become their own greatest enemies as they provide a solution only to have a major competition outplay them before they can obtain funding.

Why You’ll Want to Read

Heater’s coverage is insightful and concise, providing an added value for anyone working in tech (as most TechCrunch reporters do) but also to anyone looking to see a more realistic look into crowdfunding and startup life as many are going day by day to see whether their product will go to fruition.

1. Matt Burns

Current Publication:TechCrunch
Beat:Tech, Crowdfunding
Twitter Followers:17.2k
Twitter Username:@mjburnsy

Matt Burns is a Senior Editor at TechCrunch and provides a thought-leading and insightful look at the tech industry, especially where it collides with crowdfunding. His passions are clearly cars (on the tech side, clearly) but also the gadgets that we’ve begun incorporating into our daily lives and what makes them worthwhile. As our society and culture become more tech dependent, having journalists like Burns available to inform of us of not only major trends and changes in the industry but also what is and isn’t worth our time, is increasingly important.

Signature Story

As stated earlier, with the saturation of tech into our daily lives as well as our crowdfunding campaigns, it’s important to be able to weed through the information to get to the heart of what’s true and what isn’t. That’s why his debunking of a “Kickstarter darling” battery generator is a prime piece of crowdfunding journalism that turns a popular opinion on its head and helps keep startups asking for funding honest and transparent.

Why You’ll Want to Read

Burns is a fantastic source for finding validity in the tech and crowdfunding sectors, as well as for holding many brands honest with how they brand and market themselves and products. One of the major functions of journalism – regardless of vertical or beat – is to be able to hold accountable the powers that be. When it comes to tech and crowdfunding, that’s just as important as anything else.