June 6, 2013
Internet Crowd Funding: The Future Of Fundraising
Recently, there have been several websites that have been created so people can put up their own projects to be funded by anyone who wants to support the cause. It seems even big business moguls have started to catch onto the trend of crowd funding.
Crowd funding is a method of fundraising in which a certain person or organization will advertise their cause on a website like Kickstarter or Indiegogo or, the latest, FundAnything. It could be anything, from funding the filming of an indie movie, to helping a family pay for a loved one’s recent surgery. Through these websites, anyone can donate to any cause that they like by means of PayPal or other online transaction services. Many projects also encourage benefactors to share with people they know, getting the word out about their cause. These websites make money through advertisements, and they collect percentages of the funds depending on whether or not the campaign reaches its goal or not.
Within the past year, there has been a boom in crowd funding campaigns as new websites have been opening up and more people are finding opportunities to pursue their interests with the help of others. Indie gaming projects, parties, business events, music artists, almost anything that requires a good deal of money can be found on these crowd funding websites.
One factor that contributes to the success of crowd funding websites is the donation incentives and rewards that many projects give to their benefactors. Many times, donations of a certain amount will earn certain rewards, such as access to private alpha testing of a game, or a T-shirt and Deluxe CD edition of an album. These smaller benefits often come at a price of a $5 to $25 donation. Many projects have even larger rewards, such as early access to the full release of a game for a donation of $100 or more. This way, people seeking crowd funding can attract more people to donate to a cause that they may or may not have donated to before.
Crowd Funding isn’t limited to small indie projects anymore though. Within the last month or so, mega-business mogul Donald Trump has started up a new crowd-funding site by the name of FundAnything.com. This website works just the same as kickstarter.com or any other crowd funding site. The catch here is: every so often Trump himself will decide to donate a hefty amount of money to fund a certain cause, without demanding anything in return (always charitable, Don.)
Several projects have already received huge donations from Donald. After an event where he was promoting the website, he gave two suitcases full of cash to Celeste Buckingham and Jenny Dellafranca to help them support their specific interests. He gave Celeste, a Slovak-American rising pop singer, $25,000 towards her $100,000 campaign to support funding for her new album and music videos. Dellafranca, leader of local New York business Bubble Learning, started a fundraiser to throw a party for the kids of New York that had been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Although she only asked for $7,000 on her project page, Trump donated a total of $15,000 to support her cause. The two were interviewed along with FundAnything’s founder on Good Day New York in May.
As each project on these crowd-funding websites gets funded, more and more seem to take their place. If you’re looking to start up a business, collect money for your school, or just party, crowd funding is the best way to go.
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