Hello SOTGC community,
Do you know crowdfunding? This is the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually through the internet, in support of efforts initiated by organizations or individuals looking for financial support for a new idea or product. Examples include motion pictures, artists, political campaigns, startup business, software development, scientific research, civic projects, etc. Most popular is the nonprofit organization. But I caution, when asking for financial support, your supporters are looking for something in return: “What’s in it for me (WIIFM),” (Wikipedia, 2014).
Crowdfunding is a broader concept – it’s more than an individual organization reaching a financial goal and leveraging small contributions from many donors in and outside your community. Crowdfunding is an application of introducing your brand, your mission, and your cause to a larger community. It has been around for a few years and was first introduced in August 2006 by Michael Sullivan (WordSpy.com, 2014).
Crowdfunding is raising millions of dollars online. The Crowdfunding Industry Report by Massolution shows the industry raised $2.7 billion in 2012 and is projected to grow to $5.1 billion in 2014.
Hundreds of new sites are popping up as quickly as you can say, “crowdfunding.” This led me to the question…which crowdfunding platform is best? After researching I found this list from Forbes (2014) that best describes the top five Crowdfunding sites. One of them may be the platform to increase awareness and funding for your organization.
- Crowdrise – A donation-based funding platform for nonprofit organizations.
- RocketHub – A donation-based funding platform for a wide variety of creative projects.
- CrowdFunder – A platform for businesses with a growing social network of investors, tech startups, small businesses, and social enterprises. This platform offers a blend of donation-based and investment crowdfunding from individuals and angel investors.
- Indiegogo – A platform that maintains a tighter focus and curates creative projects approved for this site, such as donation-based fundraising campaigns for music, hobbyists, personal finance needs, and charities. I used this platform to raise awareness and funding for my book, The Art of the ‘Ask’…get into your fundraising groove.
- Kickstarter – A site where projects raise donation-based funding. Projects have a wide range and offer a pre-selling of new products. This site is not for charities or personal financing needs.
Crowdfunding is revitalizing and changing ways of charitable giving. It is impacting giving in a social enterprise, bringing together the worlds of philanthropy and entrepreneurship, and accelerating a broader base of funders who are looking for both purpose and profits (Forbes, 2014).
This list is a sample of crowdfunding sites. Each offers a different platform for promoting your programs and services. Find the one that fits your mission, purpose, and goals. Crowdfunding…Give it a try!
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