Crowdfunding is gaining a lot of popularity. This is where people pitch their idea to the masses and ask for people to back them. They do this by posting their idea to a crowdfunding website. Anything from $1 and up is gladly accepted. The collective money received helps fund the individual for their idea assuming they have met their goal they set for the project.

The most popular crowdfunding website is Kickstarter. The next would likely be Indiegogo. There are restrictions on which country you must be part of in order to start your own project for fundraising. However many have found ways around this in order to get their projects funded by the “crowds”.

Unlike traditional venture capital, you are not giving away any equity in your company. You are enticing people to help fund your project either by offering different levels of rewards/perks or simply because they believe in what you are doing.

It is very interesting to what the “kickstarter effect” happen on certain project ideas. They will set their goal at $20,000 and receive over a million. This doesn’t happen to every project, however it has certainly surprised me at the amount of times I see it happen.

Some other crowdfunding websites (other than Kickstarter and Indiegogo and in no particular order) are Fundrazr, RocketHub, GoFundMe, Razoo, PledgeMusic, Fundable, Crowdwise, Appbackr, Crowdfundr, and Sellaband.

You can start projects in arts, comic books, dancing, design, fashions, filming/video, food, games, music, photography, publishing/writing, technology/electronics, web, and theater. Through sites like Fundrazr you can even raise money for disasters, accidents, medical operations, travel, sports, competitions, missions, schools, etc. Really it is up to your imagination and if you feel people will be compelled to back your idea.

A typical fundraising page consists of a video explaining your idea, a very tall webpage with photos, things you have done, goals, what you will do with the money, and reward/perk levels.

Rewards/Perks can be as simple as providing recognition in a book or on a website, sending out tweet, and can also include the first production of a product, posters, t-shirts, sneak peak at a video, being able to name one of the characters in the comic, and complete kits. It really depends on the project and how creative they have gotten.

In general, I have observed that people will easily donate $1 to the cause, they are generally quite open to providing $20, and you can entice them to provide $100+ depending on the product. Especially if it is something they want (and not something they need <grin>). Also if they set their goal lower than what they need, it generally will raise a lot more money because people like to fund a project that has already reached its goal and they know they will receive their reward/perk.

Crowdfunding is very popular right now, ties in well with social media for the marketing, and is fascinating to see what ideas people have come up with. This can make people instant entrepreneurs, especially considering the fundraising periods are generally only 30-60 days and you receive all the money up front. It can be an instant client base for your new product/service. Then if you can get yourself on Dragons’ Den or Shark Tank, you can become an instant millionaire with the right idea.

 

ADDENDUM: One major difference between Indiegogo and Kickstarter to consider is when you receive your funding. Indiegogo you receive your funding right away in your PayPal account. Also if you setup “Flexible Funding” for your project, then even if you don’t achieve your goal, you still keep the money. They take 4% if you reach your goal and 9% if you don’t. On Kickstarter even if you reach 99% of your goal, you will leave empty handed when the timer runs out for your project. If you do reach your funding goal, then you receive all of the money soon after the timer is done.

215 Comments
  1. So, this is similar to making grant proposals? Only that grant proposals are more academic in nature?

    • It does a bit because of fundraising for your project. However it is very different because it isn’t a lump sum grant but rather many people funding you. They are also expecting something and will be excellent promoters for you. They want to see it succeed. They want their rewards/perks. You have no reporting requirements to the people who fund you. Though they do want you to fulfil what you said.

      • David, you just pointed out the biggest benefit of crowdfunding: the “promoters” you get! This is not very talked about because of the money you get using this method. For me, getting all those people to support a project is far more important. It’s like they’ve just became your partners who will make sure your ideas are heard by others.

        These people are like affiliates (in a sense) of your product. And because they’ve already invested money in this, they will fight twice as hard for that project. They both want their money back and get a nice bonus share of the rewards!

        • Another beneficial effect might be having met some of your future investors in similar projects. Familiarity breeding trust and trust leads to more funding, hurray!

  2. I know a lot of projects that have been funded by crowdfunding, it’s great for social justice projects.

  3. I have never really heard about this before. Who would of thought you could generate up to 20,000 dollars, just from people offering it to you.

    I guess if you have a great idea, and no funds to go forward with your project, then find many like minded people that will support you.

    • Definitely. There are a lot of people online who think like us, and we should never be afraid to ask any form of assistance from them. They are willing to help, only if you really justify your cause. Sincerity in everything you do is always the key.

  4. It’s quite nice that people are willing to donate up to $20 for something they believe in. I really never know that something like this really existed. It’s quite amazing how as little as $1 for each person can really add up for you to achieve your goals.

    • I completely agree with this because I think there are people I know who wouldn’t be able to give $25. With the crowd sourcing option they can give as little as a $1 and make a huge impact. That’s a really awesome feeling to be making a difference while giving up so little resources.

    • I don’t have much money to use besides for what I need but I’d be glad to fund something I believe in even for a dollar. I might not get much back but being part of bringing a dream into fruition would be payment enough.

    • I am one of those people who are also tight with my money. If someone were to ask me for a minimum of twenty dollars for something they just felt like doing, I would probably look at them like they were crazy and just move on. Now when someone starts only asking for a dollar, who can turn that down? I mean after all its just a dollar. But that dollar adds up, and it sounds like its working for some people! I have seen several of those “gofundme” links floating around social media. Perhaps I will take a minute to check it out and see if anything sparks my interest.

  5. I think that crowd sourcing like this makes a lot of sense. It shows that not only are people interested in the project, they’re interested enough to put money towards making it a reality which is huge. I’m a big fan of it, personally.

    • Yes, it’s really admirable – a group of people putting their efforts together to make sure a dream comes true. So similar to stars in the sky, so are obviously closer than others, some are true and other fall through; yet we hold onto the belief they are still there, and is we wish hard enough it’ll come true.

  6. I only really found out about crowdfunding when a professional wrestler called Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts had one created for him asking for help to pay for some surgery to help him continue to improve after his many years of drug and alcohol abuse nearly destroyed his body.

    He posted an incredibly moving video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=V8QJJTJM9E0) which ended with him almost crying and saying “please help me”. I had a massive lump in my throat as I pledged $200. He wanted $9,200 and ended up with over $20,000 more. 🙂

    I think crowdfunding is a fantastic way of getting your project off the ground, and I am so pleased it is helping so many people. 🙂

    • That’s really touching and I’m glad you helped out. Do you have any updates on Jake’s current condition or if he’s been doing anything lately? Definitely something I’m interested in.

      • I certainly do. 🙂

        Jake had the surgery and the rest of the money raised is being spent on urgent dental work that he has needed for a long time, anything left will be given back the donators in the form of t-shirts and signed pictures,

        Jake was taken in by another wrestler called DDP who has designed his own style of yoga and Jake has dropped a lot of weight just by sticking the the yoga sessions and eating right and looks in the best shape he has been in for years.

        Sadly he did fall off the wagon when he met a friend who was released from prison but it was a small blip and he is back on the wagon again and is training to be part of some shows for later this year, maybe even next year’s Royal Rumble.

  7. I enjoy the concept of crowd sourcing greatly. I agree that people will give a $1 to something they support or want to see made. I think what’s great about this is that if you have a dream, then you have a way to get your hand out there and explain what you’re doing. People will get behind you and give what they can. You create something and hopefully its as brilliant as you promised!

    • It also makes you feel that you’re not alone in reaching your goals in life. Even strangers are willing to invest on your project if they truly believe in you. There are a lot of people out there willing to lend a helping hand.

    • I agree, all of these small development teams can get help from the public to make their product a reality.You also get gifts if you donate.

  8. This reminds me of the story with Mike Hayes, except back then he was only asking for one-cent donations. I will definitely keep this in mind as I go through college and when I’m finally ready to start my business. Though I do hope I would have enough funds to keep myself aloft and leave this fundraising opportunity to others that might need it more than I do. With the world connected though the internet however, I think there also might be enough to go around.

  9. I think this is a really great idea to raise money – the aspect of getting something back as thanks for your contribution really appeals to me. We’re currently using crowdfunding to raise money for our university’s music society as we need a new bass drum, and it’s going well so far and we’ve had a lot of larger donations simply because the perks we’ve offered are very good and offer value for money. We’re using crowdfunder.co.uk, and you can see out page here: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/eumsbassdrum

    • I’m glad you’ve had wonderful results for you music society. I think I’m going to hang onto this for when I’m heading off to college too. I’m planning to join the knitting club and yarn is not cheap, though our club said they will provide everything, I’d really rather do something to help (beside club dues). And who know maybe we can give some of the thing we make as perks.

  10. Crowdfunding is great for funding all kinds of projects. I know bands that have benefited from it and been able to get albums and music videos made, artists that have been able to bring their dreams and creations to life, film makers who have finally been able to get things done. It’s incredibly powerful and is great for people on both sides. People get to be involved in something special and get rare and great perks for their contributions.

    • That’s awesome! I didn’t know that you could get funded for music videos and bands. I thought it would only be project. This is great cause my brother and his band really want to make a ‘quality’ video. He’s going to be so psyched when I tell him about this! 😀

  11. Wow! This is new to me, didn’t know something like this existed. I always thought these kind of $1 per person thing only existed in charity. This reminds me of my joke I always say if everyone in the world give me a dollar I will be rich =P.

    Great site =) helping people in need. Just hope they won’t let people abuse it.

    • Depending what you mean by rich, were it me, one cent from everyone would be more than enough. And even then, in some places of the world a few cents is already a matter of survival.
      On that note, it is a bit depressing, we’re funding ideas and dreams instead of lives.

      • Absolutely agree. It is all well and good to help someone innovate, but we could easily end world hunger with a little effort. I’ve seen the numbers and it is estimated that it could cost 30 billion a year to end world hunger. That is nothing really when you consider how many billionaires hide avoid paying taxes by hiding money in offshore accounts. It is despicable.

        • What’s also despicable is justification sometimes because, going by current definitions, ending world hunger and reducing poverty can be classified as socialist. And we all know the stories that are attached, I agree that in extreme cases is won’t work but given moderation it can do wonders. If we all reduce our expectations a little, one person’s happiness will not harm another person’s dreams.

  12. Kickstarter is definitely an example of crowdfunding at work. Whether it’s a good example or bad example though is up to debate. Recently, the first games that have been funded have been released. A good example is Expeditions: Conquistador, a really good game made from scratch because of Kickstarter. There some bad examples too, like Double Fine Adventure, which raised 3.3 million dollars, but will need more money, even though the target for the Kickstarter was a mere $400,000.

    • Do you know which countries can use Kickstarter and Indiegogo?

      • Indiegogo is open to people all over the world, according to their FAQ. The only requirement is that you have a bank account.

        Kickstarter, on the other hand, is only open to people in the US, Canada and the UK. I found it rather surprising that there were such limitations. Perhaps in the future they will expand access to people in other countries.

      • I believe they accept money from everywhere though? Just that Kickstarter accepts projects from US, Canada and the UK as MargaretG said.

        • Yes, both Kickstarter and Indiegogo accept money from everywhere. Those restrictions are just for the projects and not for the donors. I should have clarified that. Thanks, tastefuldeath.

  13. This is good information for some body who has a good idea and needs funds to make it happe. I can see this being used by several activism groups to generate funds for good causes. For example, I can see the marijuana movement using this to get money for legal fees, rallies and other politcal causes. Definitely a good tool

  14. I first heard about this on Attack of the Show, good ole Attack… Like so many things (raffles, contests, sweepstakes, lotteries, etc.) that work for other people I’d probably have the first one to make $0. Since I have no creativity and am completely lacking in ideas the only thing I can imagine is a Kickstarter page requesting funds for a new crowdfunding website. Mine would be unique in that it would only allow profiles for new crowdfunding websites. I can see it being vaguely successful.

  15. Great post. You really can raise money for just about everything, but I constantly see interesting and exciting projects from industry veterans that fail on Kickstarter. It’s really sad. It seems like hype and a fancy video are worth more than actual experience and a decent concept.

    I would love to see crowdfuning become more serious – right now, it seems like the bulk of donations are simply impulse reactions. “This video was nice, here are a couple of dollars”. Kickstarter still isn’t a place to fund any major project – especially if you consider that the initial budget almost never suffices, no matter what’s the project.

    Personally, I think crowdfuning is perfect to get the initial funding for a concept and/or prototype. If you’re seriously thinking about making something big, about making a realiable business, you need real investors. Not a couple of bucks each from a few random people.

    • In any case, any proposal or idea, no matter how good, is not a sure-fire plan. A successful venture, besides a great idea and a sufficient budget, relies also on luck. These websites are to better that luck, it’s not a guarantee. It should also be a secondary source of support and not primary; and in cases where that cannot stand, to simply hope for the best because there might not have been a spider’s thread at all.

      • Very true, crowdfunding is best when it’s simply treated as a supplement. Although there are other successful examples, of course. But yeah, there’s a lot of luck and timing involved.

        • Absolutely. You simply cannot rely on getting the amount of money you need through crowdfunding alone and it would be sensible to have another source of financing too.

  16. What a great idea! I’ve heard the name Kickstarter before but never really looked into it. This is a fantastic opportunity for those people who can’t or don’t know how to source funding for ideas anywhere else. The public gets a chance to see what you have to offer and decide themselves whether your idea will take off.

    Is the deadline 30-60 days to reach funding level the same for each project? Or are the dates to be met set by the person asking for the funds? Next time someone tells me a great idea I will definitely tell them about crowdfunding.

    • The person asking for the money sets the deadline, if the amount asked for is met by the deadline, it’s considered funded and they get the money.

      It’s really cool, but it can lead to some issues, like not delivering a product as intended and so on.

      • Yeah. There have been some cases where the company raising money have had trouble delivering the product.
        You can never forsee what will happen in the future. I’ve backed a few projects on kickstarter that came to fruition.
        I think it’s best only to back the project you _really_ want to back and that you won’t nessecarily be angry if it fails. A rule of thumb should be “don’t buy something you don’t know what or when is” 😀

  17. I’m a big fan of crowdfunding. I’ve contributed to education related crowdfunding efforts in the past, and I will continue to do so. I think it’s awesome that teachers and students today have such a passion for their interests. And it’s great that a resource like this is available for them today. It’s a nice feeling to be able to help a group be able to fund a project that they wouldn’t be able to complete otherwise.

    • As a student, I too greatly appreciate contributions to education efforts. I remember one time a teacher of mine had set up a similar crowdfunding project for a classroom set of books and I suppose we were lucky, or rather she was, and someone just outright donated the whole set to us; thus with the rest of the donations she was also able to buy some other classroom tools to help us learn.

  18. Crowdfunding sounds like a great, fun, and creative way to get peoples’ money and turn it into something worthwhile– a charity or something of the sort. I may use this idea someday; thanks for sharing! And as other comments here have mentioned, a video is definitely a great way to kick start your project. People love to be able to send colorful, “live” ideas to their family and friends and THAT’s how you get a project to succeed.

  19. Crowdfunding sounds like a great way for people to get help funding their projects, which otherwise would be impossible.
    However, what measures are in place to insure that the money is being spent on what is promised?
    Isn’t this a kind of “paradise” for scammers?

    • As far as I know there aren’t much controls in place after the project has reached it’s goal and development has began. I would assume that there are proper screenings in place to minimize the possibility of being scammed or the possibility of a project not being completed. By donating money to a cause you are putting your faith in the project, and if it doesn’t go through than your trust was misplaced

      • Basically what cwatkins said. Although there have been a number of somewhat successful Kickstarter ventures, there’s many that haven’t delivered and probably won’t deliver.

        • That’s a shame, people like that make it more difficult for the honest ones trying to put their product out.

          • It’s true, but similar with any donation you are never sure where/what exactly it is being spent on. Thus with anything of this sort, you are expected to be optimistic against the odds. It’s what dreams are made of, it’s also what keeps them afloat, alive. And if it’s something deeply ingrained, it never dies.

  20. This seems like a cool idea! I might start crowdfunding for some of my own ideas. A similar topic is crowdsourcing, where crowds work on tasks that computer’s can’t do.

    • Have you ever heard of mturk? It is an example of a crowd source marketplace. Tons of little tasks are displayed and eligible mturkers (that is how they happen to be called) do the tasks. They are very short tasks to complete and are similar to mini contracts. You get paid per task completed. I never tried it though…

      • Unfortunately mturk (run by Amazon) is currently only available in the US.

      • I’m a member of similar sites but being inthe UK means that I’m unable to work for Mechanical Turk. It’s a great concept though and allows people with some spare time on thior hands to earn a little extra cash from home.

  21. The Crowdfunding craze that is going on right now is really something great. It shows how people are able to band together or rally for the same cause. It’s really quite interesting as by donating more than a few dollars you are putting your faith in the project, and as a small time developer or just someone with an Idea it can really be uplifting.

    • I never knew about this until I stumbled upon this article. Just like you, I also find this really awesome. I feel overwhelmed about the trust people online could give to you just to help you reach one certain goal that you have always aspired reaching. Yes, the idea is uplifting.

  22. Thank you very much, more so for including sources to use. Me and a few friends from College are setting up a Telecoms and Broadband ISP on resale rights and this would definitely help fund it. There are also some nice tips you’ve provided there, I’ll be sure to put some of them into play.

    Cheers again mate.

    • That seems to be a hard market to enter, there are much stronger competition in general. But best of luck, make a goal and be sure to keep to it. What’s your selling point?

    • Sounds like a nice idea. Wish you all the best for realizing it and I am pretty sure that these crowdfunding sites could help you on your way.

      Never give up on it!

  23. Crowdfunding is very much sticky business; on the outside it looks great because it opens you up to your target demographic, but there are many shortcomings. The whole perk system is wasting money, every business that chooses to use crowdfunding would have to put aside a fairly significant part of their budget just to dedicate it to rewards. Morever some people never deliver, I can’t remember what the game was called but there was a game on Kickstarter which was being delayed over and over again, then they decided that they want even more money ,and finally decided to split the game in half and release it in two halves, meaning that the original supporters only get half of the product that they paid for. This really is a tricky situation and I am personally very careful with croudfunding because it could get you in a lot of mess.

    • Good points. Like anything else, you need to be careful. I’d make sure a cause (project, whatever) has a really good solid plan before supporting it. Just because its posted online doesn’t mean it should be held to lesser standards than a typical proposal to a bank.

      • Yes, I agree, SarahRTW, there is always risk in funding for investors. Those who help to fund Kickstarter projects face those same risks. They should definitely do their due diligence. And also, the usual rule of thumb should apply; don’t donate more than you can lose, regardless of possible perks.

        Medza, you make a good point about perks. Yet from the perspective of the project creators, this kind of fundraising may be their only option. It might be a case of no funding versus receiving funds which, in part, must be diverted to perks.

        Plus, as others have mentioned, with crowdfunding, there are the potential benefits of publicity both through social media and possibly traditional media. There is also an opportunity to build an audience, a customer base, or other kind of support that is appropriate and needed once the project is implemented.

        As crowdfunding is so new it will be interesting to see how it continues to evolve and change.

    • Finally one good response. People need to be careful of these projects as many times they just fall through and the product is not able to be delivered either on time, or ever.

      Also sometimes people get over ambitious once they see the influx of money coming in and are not able to handle it all making it all collapse. It really is not as simple as it sounds.

  24. I’ve seen first hand how crowdfunding can help struggling artists. A friend of mine raise 2,500 for a stop animation project she had to put on the back burner for a couple years due to low funds. My issues with crowdfunding is the tendency for established acts to get in the game and raise uber-cash I think could be better spent on more unknown artists. Look at Amanda Palmer who raised a million dollars. That is absurd. I feel like it is a bit exploitative.

  25. HMMMM. its nice work. it seems like focused group discussion. nice way to share things, ideas and people reply.

  26. I’ve donated to a few kickstarter campaigns, and gotten some super fun stuff in return. In addition to ‘perks’ sometimes, you get to see a really cool project come to life, that wouldn’t have been able to happen without the support of fans. A great example is the recent Lizzie Bennet Diaries kickstarter. After having a hugely successful youtube show, they put together a kickstart to make a DVD. All these thousands of people who, presumably, had already watched the show for free ended up giving money towards the DVD. They ended up raising so much money, though, that they were able to go back to everyone involved in making the show and pay them a cut of the money! I’m super excited for my DVD to come in the mail!

  27. Thought this idea seems to be successful I would be scared to donate. Even with fundraisers that come door to door there is no guarantee that your money is going to what you believe it is going to. With a website and that ability to appeal to a massive audience I’d be worried about the conmen vs. philanthropists.

    • That is a risk, yes. But there are also times when people decide some dreams are worth the risk. We’ve seen people put aside their whole lives to chase after a dream, not knowing where it would take them; thus if you truly see a project you’re really into then give it the same attitude. It’s like what my family says about lending friends money: lend money that you won’t mind if they don’t return.

  28. The only problem with crowdfunding, that I can see, is how it really opens you up to a severe backlash from people who don’t like your idea. For some people and projects this won’t be an issue, but for some it has potentially had a damaging effect. The musician Amanda Palmer, as mentioned above, has been criticized nonstop for the last year for having the gall to raise as much money as she did. Much more seriously, Anita Sarkeesian was the victim of serious harassment and received rape and death threats for her kickstarter that funded research into sexism in the video game industry. It’s a great source for funding, but sometimes it’s better to stay out of the public eye.

    • It is disheartening to hear that Anita Sarkeesian would receive those kinds of threats for such a worthwhile project. I was not aware of that.

      But criticism of artists, yes, that does not surprise me.

      I have been following Spike Lee’s situation. He is being criticized for using Kickstarter to fund his upcoming film. The perception is that he is so wealthy he should be able to do the funding himself.

      He has done several interviews to defend his use of Kickstarter as well as to educate the public about the realities of Hollywood as an industry and the difficulty independent filmmakers have had over the years to bring their projects to fruition. Sadly Hollywood is still a bottom-line conscious industry that likes to play it safe with sequels and remakes of blockbusters.

      • I don’t really get all the hate on Anita Sarkeesian. I mean, I’m a girl, and I don’t believe in some of what she’s saying but the amount of vitriol thrown her way is just shocking. I also don’t believe Kickstarter should only pick projects that cannot be funded by its own presenter. Let’s not stifle people’s creativity just because they can afford to get their ideas running.

        • Have you ever seen her videos or read her interviews? It’s pretty obvious now that the only reason she’s doing this anymore is for personal gain and popularity.

          Sure, her agendas might have been in the right place when she began, but now it’s just about herself and everything she says is pretty stupid. Although, I don’t support the hate she gets, and the people might be overdoing it. But for sure she has no one to blame but herself.

          • I’ve watched one video from her series and didn’t really agree on her view point. I basically just ignored it and moved on. I don’t want to give her my valued attention (positive or negative) if I don’t think she deserves it.

  29. The only problem with crowdfunding, that I can see, is how it really opens you up to a severe backlash from people who don’t like your idea. For some people and projects this won’t be an issue, but for some it has potentially had a damaging effect. The musician Amanda Palmer, as mentioned above, has been criticized nonstop for the last year for having the gall to raise as much money as she did. Much more seriously, Anita Sarkeesian was the victim of serious harassment and received rape and death threats for her kickstarter that funded research into sexism in the video game industry. It’s a great source for funding, but sometimes it’s better to stay out of the public eye – especially if you’re doing anything even the least bit controversial.

  30. I have seen crowdfunding a few times through my friends. Most recently, one of my friends set up an account on Kickstarter and asked for $5 to support her trip to Africa in order to build orphanages for the children there. I thought it was a great cause and supported her. I had no idea this concept had a name since I just assumed it was fundraising. You learn something new everyday!

    • That sounds really cool. How much did she managed to raise and how turned the whole story out? Is she still there to help those poor children?

    • That is great news. Such a worthy cause. As exciting as crowdfunding is for the arts and technology projects that we hear so much about, I’m always happy to hear about the humanitarian causes that have had success. Your friend’s commitment to see the project through is admirable.

      As time goes by, I think it will be very interesting to see the overall influence crowdfunding will have on the philanthropic sector. This could be a way to re-energize people to give, even a small amount. They may feel more connected to these causes as they can watch how events unfold. It’s not the abstract experience of sending a donation in the mail, online or by text and not being able to see where it’s really going.

  31. Kickstarter is an incredibly useful site for so many projects that run out of money. Nevertheless, just as previous commentators before me said, I would love to see the concept of crowdfunding at work at a more personal or charitable level. For example if a person needs medical treatment and it’s not affordable crowfunding could be the solution. I don’t know if there are any websites that deal with this yet.

    • @weedmastersr, Fortunately for personal and charitable causes there is Fundrazr, as David mentioned in the article. People who need some assistance with medical and health care expenditures can use it. I was curious too, and I looked it up.

      There are more details here:
      https://fundrazr.com/pages/whos-it-for

      I think this is great, as it helps potential donors to give to individuals with more confidence. Maybe there are other crowdfunding companies like Fundrazr, but I am glad to see there is at least this one!

      • Well, fundrazr gets very few views and mentions compared to kickstarter. I had not even heard of it until you mentioned it which prompted me to google it. It will be interesting to see what the crowdfunding craze morphs into in the next twenty years or so when we transition to guaranteed minimum incomes and universal healthcare. I doubt very many people will be begging for venture capital or healthcare funds if they have a guaranteed minimum monthly income that pays for shelter and food as well as free healthcare. Yes, this is going to happen as a result of automation of labor.

    • Oh, Indiegogo can be used for funding charity projects too. I have a friend I told Indiegogo about and I’m hoping his children’s food charity gets funded. It can be challenging still in the internet to get donations so I thought maybe crowdfunding can help.

      • Yes, you can raise money for charitable projects on Indiegogo which is great.

        For personal matters such as assistance in paying medical bills and health care costs, in addition to Fundrazr there is also GiveForward. A married couple who were victims in the Boston Marathon bombing used the site to raise more than $800,000 for medical treatment. There is also the Human Tribe Project. So it’s great that there are these options for people in need.

  32. Technology has really come a long way, and it just can be a portal to everything now. I do feel okay with crowdsourcing. It is an easy way for someone to reach his/her goal–people just flock on your idea if they like it, if they believe in your cause, and, sometimes, you even receive more than what you expect. Things like this, however, sometimes teach people how to not work hard on their own because what they think about is that there are always a lot people around the globe and around the web to help them out.

    • Well, everything has its pros and cons. You are right with everything you say but I guess it is hard to betray on these sites because most people want some kind of proof that shows that the request of that person is legit. And I think these sites will get more advanced so we can more and more exclude the thought we are being betrayed.

  33. Great article. This has become an amazing new way to get things to market for even the smallest of dreams out there. Also an easy way to know what the response to the product would be. I know I have been apart of a few Kickstarter campaigns and was happy to support their desire to bring something very useful to the market. My most recent one was when Ubuntu released their phone for crowdfunding. I got in while they offered the first day deal 😀

    The only bad I see about this is seeing famous people starting to use it for movies and other projects they could either invest their own money in or use their endless resources all ready available to them, and too me that should not be allowed. Zach Braff is a great example, personally I do not think people like that should be able to start crowdfunds.

    • I don’t think using Kickstarter for movies or other similar projects is necessarily bad. Sure, people can invest their own money on a project however, there can be other reasons on why one would use Kickstarter to do that. A series that I loved from before, Veronica Mars, successfully got more than $5m to make a movie. I think it’s a smart move to show how much fans want it back while opening the possibility of the TV network to pick up where the series (or movie) left off.

      • I agree. Despite having fame, filmmakers can’t always get the films they want to make financed.

        An example of this is George Lucas who was unable to get “Red Tails” — that movie about the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II — financed in Hollywood because studios did not want to spend that kind of money for a movie with an all black cast. So if even the legendary George Lucas faces such obstacles, just imagine what other filmmakers must go through.

        So I think Kickstarter is a great alternative to a bottom-line conscious Hollywood that wants to play it safe with blockbuster franchises and sequels.

  34. I participated in the Veronica Mars kickstarter and thought it was a perfect move from Rob to pitch it there. They had been trying to get a movie made since 2007 with no success because the distributor wrongly believed that there wasn’t a market for it. They thought there would not be enough fans or enough money to be made from the project. The kickstarter was created to show that there were in fact fans – a lot of them. They agreed to distribute the movie and advertise for it and help secure casting if Rob could raise the funds proving that there was still a fan base.

    I think Kickstarter is an amazing resource for all types of projects and have seen some really neat inventions and ideas put up on the site. If I could, I’d invest in a lot of them.

    • I didn’t know about it before but if I caught it, I would’ve surely contributed! As a fan, I would gladly do it because I really liked that series. I don’t know much about Kickstarter itself but I was able to check the Veronica Mars page and they had rewards tiers or something and there was a tier that would allow you to become an extra in the movie. I’m sure people would be wary about contributing in Kickstarter but if the project sounds well-planned and it’s feasible, I’d go and participate.

  35. Kickstarter really has hosted some very interesting pitches for products and services that probably wouldn’t have seen the light of day otherwise – and I know some proposals especially have been wildly popular, gaining even more money than they originally asked for.

    I’ve only contributed to one, so far. An adventure video game made by some guys responsible for the old Space Quest games. I guess I’m far too careful with my money, since I’ve seen lots of other cool stuff on the site before!

  36. My friend and I decided to try out Indiegogo for a hobby project of ours, launching model rockets using a smartphone app by Bluetooth. 🙂 I am getting to see firsthand what is required to put together a campaign. Here is a link to our project page: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/479311/wdgi/1852164

    • I hope you get enough (and maybe more!) funding to make an Android app for that project! Seriously, those projects that make learning fun should get funded. If poorer countries invest in projects like that, it might be cheaper but still would get the results people want.

    • I just checked on your project. Congratulations on reaching the goal! Also glad that you’re including Android support on your rocket smartphone app. I may not have been able to contribute but it’s good to know cool projects like these are funded.

    • Congratulations on reaching the goal!
      And… a great practical demonstration on how crowdfunding can be very effective.

      Good luck with the development of the app, it’s a cool idea!

  37. Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter can be a testing ground for new ideas. However running a successful kickstarter campaign is not as easy as it sounds. it often involves a lot of marketing. Also there has been cases of fraud, so one needs to be careful when backing projects.

    • Yes, there was a case of fraud which was publicly revealed just the other day. Victory Square Games’ Elementary, My Dear Holmes was running a Kickstarter campaign and it was suspended. They were accused of faking donors so that they would be eligible for matching funds from Ouya. But they were caught and fortunately all of the real donors will get their money back.

      So publicity thus becomes a double-edged sword, as such cases as these can get widespread exposure.

      • Wow. That is really interesting. I am glad that they were caught. I have heard that Ouya has been an incredible disappointment even though it was all the rage on kickstarter. Apparently it is a really cheap console that does not have any quality games. I wonder if it will even remain in production a year from now.

      • It’s good to know that these crowdfunding companies are able to protect the funders. That should be a good incentive for people to fund the project they like and not worry about being misled.

        I’m not sure if that’s a common occurrence. I think I have heard someone tried to pull the same thing but on the Ouya side.

  38. Crowdfunding is something great. I’ve seen so many interesting and awesome projects in the past that just didn’t get any chance to realize it’s a shame. With this concept there are so many different types of people able to fulfill their dreams I just can say thanks to the guys that invented this.

  39. Crowdfunding is a great tool, but I only if you have an either incredibly original and functional idea or if you already have a certain fanbase that would pledge money without you even having to ask.

    And a danger of crowdfunding is overfunded projects. Some developers or artists get way more than they estimated they needed, but that in return means fans will be expecting more and that you have to put aside way more money for rewards and in some cases, it just ruins the whole concept of the product.

    • I think the presentation of the idea also has a lot to do on how many supporters a project would attract. People have to show that their ideas are feasible and that those who pitch in would be getting valued rewards for helping “kickstart” a project. I’m gonna guess there isn’t much originality in ideas, just that some are heard while others aren’t so I’m thinking the presentation would have more influence on a project’s success.

  40. I used Kickstarter to fund a short film I was making. It worked extremely well and we met our goal. Personally, I think this is the future of funding projects, especially among indie games and films. It seems like people are much more apt to donate when the amount is so little, and I think the incentives have something to do with it. It’s definitely one of the coolest things I’ve used in a while. I’ll probably use it for my future work as well.

  41. Crowd Sourcing is a great way to raise money for a project and kickstarter has blown up over the last year, products like the OUYA would never have been released if it wasn’t for crowd funding. Its great because people can support projects that might not have gotten the money they need.

    • Unfortunately, a part of the negatives of crowdfunding is that while you do contribute to a project, you do not get direct say or even a vote in what happens with that money. Now, that’s usually a part of the conditions when you pledge your money, it’s a bit of a gamble on the funder’s part.

      The OUYA, for example, sounded like a fantastic product that really had potential, and to some, it’s a good product. Overall though, I think it flopped a little bit compared to what the hype had it pinned at.

      • Yeah, I’m not hearing much about the Ouya these days and we’re hearing similar products. Even though the execution seems to have missed the target, I do like how it encouraged others to try creating something like the Ouya, with some differences. I guess that’s really what I love about crowdfunding, it accelerates developments in technology.

  42. I think that crowdfunding is a really good thing. Many of the games such as Wasteland 2 would never have been made if not for Kickstarter. It allows fans to support games that they want made.

    • Yes, the indie games really take advantage of those sites. And I am really glad about this because as you say: how many games we would never have seen without crowdfunding? It seems to be the only way right now to put up a really vivid indie games industry.

  43. It’s great to see how the kickstarter craze has kicked off recently. I loved how it worked for the Veronica Mars movie, as I’m sure many people have been waiting on it for quite some time. It’s also cool how like David said, you can pretty much crowdfund for just about anything.

    • I’m very excited to see how Kickstarter and similar crowdfunding sites — Indiegogo in particular — have enabled filmmakers to raise money to direct and produce independent films.

      For decades, this has been the struggle that the indie film and art film industry has faced. It’s great to see that crowdfunding has been working with great success, as with the example of ‘Veronica Mars.’

      ‘Salaam Dunk’ is another such film getting funding — in this case with Indiegogo — as well as a lot of notoriety.

  44. Crowdfunding is great, it uses the wide reach of the internet to gather support for good ideas. I think this a great tool for empowering and motivating people to peruse worthy ideas, I’m sure a lot of people come up with great idea’s everyday and it’s unfortunate that a lot of them just stay as ideas. It make it easy for you to support or invest in idea’s you like or could benefit from.

  45. It really is surprising how much Kickstarter has caught on and become so popular.

    I mean full feature length movies are being funded by these sites and new consoles are coming out of them

    I supported a few of the Kickstarter projects a while back and it’s actually been a nice experience.

    • Kickstarter is a phenomenal tool for up and coming products or ideas just because you can directly access your investors, so to speak.

      There’s something more than just supporting something you wish to have; the idea that you, as an individual, are making an impact on whether or not the product comes to completion is a huge motivator in recruiting additional funds. Kickstarter supporters are often fervent advertisers for their product of choice and will convince friends, family and groups online to join their cause.

      It’s a natural and pretty cool way to get your funding.

      • Yes, there are some real gems out there on Kickstarter. Just yesterday, I was reading about a documentary on French filmmaker Alice Guy-Blaché, who is believed to the the first woman to direct a movie, and this was in 1895. Hers is a story that needs to be told!

        So the documentary on her life and work is now on Kickstarter: “Be Natural: The untold story of Alice Guy-Blaché.” This is what I was reading:

        http://www.thewrap.com/movies/article/catherine-hardwicke-julie-taymor-back-kickstarter-project-close-hollywoods-gender-gap-112961

        I continue to be very excited about crowdsourcing. For independent filmmakers it is a wonderful equalizer, as it is such a challenge to fund these worthy projects. And besides, as in this case, the funding process itself draws attention and publicity and ultimately more donors.

  46. The biggest thing I like about crowdfunding is that it’s a very natural way to spread awareness about your product. A lot of the publicity comes down to word of mouth of supporters convincing their friends and family. Combine that with the fact that it allows companies to avoid royalties and other costs associated with a producer or other kind of third party middle man means more money gets put in the right places.

  47. Since there’s a lot of people sourcing for funds like this, I wonder whether Crowdfunding has a way to double check whether it is a valid cause and not a scam. Yeah, maybe if one person donates $1, it’s not much. But if it all adds up, it could be big, and it’s not good if it’s not really a valid cause.

    • Yes, there is a risk of fraud. When you Google crowdfunding fraud you will see quite a lot.

      As an example, I found this article from the Better Business Bureau’s blog very illuminating. It discusses a particular case on Kickstarter; a fake start-up company was raising funds, but they were caught before they received the money.

      http://www.bbb.org/blog/2013/06/crowdfunding-sites-grapple-with-fraud/

      The article also goes on to discuss due diligence and what the potential donor can do as far as asking questions to determine whether or not the project on a crowdfunding site is legitimate.

    • I’d probably Google the company/people involved with the Kickstarter project if every I want to fund one. If it’s someone I can’t see on the internet, I won’t be contributing. Better safe than sorry especially when it involves money.

  48. Good overview explaining the basis of crowdfunding , one of the new catch terms that seems to come up all the time. Is there any data on the success of business that have been crowd funded vs traditional funding? It’s down to the entrepreneur to make his venture successful, of couce, regardless of how they get the money for their venture.

    • Yes, I agree. Regardless of how one gets the money, it is still a matter of taking the funding and using it wisely and judiciously so as to have a successful venture.

      I think one of the advantages — as others have pointed out — is the potential to get publicity during and after the fundraising phase. That’s an advantage over traditional funding which does not get that kind of buzz. A data comparison would be interesting for sure.

      If you Google “Kickstarter success stories” you find a lot of articles detailing some profitable ventures in a variety of disciplines, as it is a hot topic these days.

      What strikes me is that there are often projects that go on to success that might have found traditional funding difficult or challenging.

  49. I was sort of surprised when Kickstarter exploded when it did. I didn’t think strangers would offer their money so quickly and with “no strings attached” (well, a few attached) as they did to Kickstarter applicants. I wonder how long these trends will continue. I can see the support fading out in the future as I don’t anticipate a high success rate for the crowdfunding crew. I’ve yet to donate anything to Kickstarter nor do I plan on doing so.

    • Being financially-challenged myself, I was skeptical at first. But then I learned how people can have much money to burn when I started online gaming. Gosh, you wouldn’t believe how much some people would spend on a text/graphical weapon and how proud they are.

  50. I was not aware of websites like these and l’m very happy to see this now, the reason why l am so happy to see it is because funding for businesses has more or less dried up and if you cannot get funding from the bank then you are stuck. This way you can get support from the public who think you have a good business idea, l will have to visit these websites myself for a more in depth look.

    • I’d imagine this is godsend to many people given the economy these days. It’s not even similar to borrowing since the people funding your project is only mostly expecting your completion of a product or service plus some giveaways.

      • Yes but you have to ask the question: Is charity necessary in a world that contains justice? The answer is no. If the economy were fair at all then people would not be begging for startup funds from these crowdfunding sites. If people were paid a living, fair wage then they would have the capital to start their own businesses without the charity of others. That is my only beef with this. We need to make the world a more fair place. Right now I find it difficult to consider bringing a child into this style of economy. Everything is too random and unfair.

        • Would be fun for the world to be a better place. Sadly, I’m mostly jaded about things in the world since it’s unfair most of the time. The good thing about it though is I would get happy when ideas like crowdfunding appear to empower people who usually won’t get good opportunities to work on whatever they have to offer.

    • Yes, it’s a much different scenario to use crowdfunding versus the traditional bank loans. For the entrepreneur embarking on a new business venture or someone in the arts with a new project I imagine it would be as encouraging as it is empowering to get such direct support from the public. It’s an opportunity to develop a customer base and/or fan base accordingly.

      Crowdfunding reminds me of what I’ve read about the mutual aid societies that were prevalent at one time, whereby a group of like-minded people or community would pitch in and help one another. Along with the much-needed financial assistance it must have been quite a morale booster as well, I would imagine.

  51. I have considered getting into the crowdfunding scene on a piece by piece basis. I see a lot of people trying to raise all of the money that they need, all at once. I wonder how well it would work to place step-by-step kickstarter campaigns for individuals goals on a specific project. If I were to write a graphic novel, for instance, I have considered using crowdfunding to fund the initial stages. Once I did that if it panned out I would use that money for that part of the project and work on a new funding project for the next step.

    • That’s an interesting idea. It would give you a smaller, easier target to achieve. I wonder though how receptive people would be on only funding a specific stage, because you do need to give your supporters something.

  52. I am a little confused about kickstarter. Does their policy mean that if I am unable to reach my goal they will keep all the money that is funded? That sounds extremely terrible.

    • It does. It’s why David has offered Indiegogo as an alternative. I suppose it’s also a way to make sure that people’s money are returned if ever the project won’t push through with insufficient funding.

      • Yes. Despite the reassurance of getting funding from Indiegogo, I think Kickstarter has significant advantages, not least of which it is that the more popular of the two sites. Really, it is the market leader in the crowdfunding world and projects tend to get a lot more media attention. I think the all-or-nothing funding does, as you point out, give donors more reassurance and perhaps encourages them to give more money than they would to Indiegogo where there is no guarantee that the project will come to fruition and that their donations will actually be used as intended.

      • Oh the money gets returned? I thought the money went to kickstarter and they kept it. I was losing it at how much money they would be making!

        • Lol, they getting refunds if the project doesn’t reach its goal, my friend. If they kept the money without the project being started, there would’ve been a ruckus in the internet no one can contain and Kickstarter would have been kicked out, so to speak.

        • KickStarter uses the Amazon payment system. When you back a project, your credit card does not get charged for the amount you back. If the project is successful at the end of their campaign (typically within 30 days), all of the credit cards get charged that same day. Of course some of them don’t go through at that point and people with campaigns on Kickstarter have said this can easily be 10% of the total funds you don’t receive. Also Kickstarter and Amazon both get cuts of the action. So you really need to be careful with your estimates on what to do with the funds.

  53. I think the crowdfunding trend has both its advantages and its disadvantages…

    It’s a great way to gauge interest and get potential customers interested in your product or service; and it doesn’t pose a great financial risk either.

    As a customer, it can be very amusing to browse through sites like Kickstarter and IndieGogo. (I am quite guilty of this myself.)

    A downside is that products can get quite a bit over-hyped (the “Ouya” being an example of this). Another trend I’ve noticed is that it’s not all that limited to “Indie” projects anymore (I’m referring to the “Ubuntu Edge” smartphone here, which sadly failed to meet it’s goal).

    Concluding, I think crowdfunding is a very interesting movement and I’m sure there will be many interesting projects in the future. I’ll be keeping an eye on these sites for sure!

    • Yes, Ubuntu Edge had quite a lofty goal of $32 million. I think it was overly ambitious and it’s a shame that it failed. But getting pledges totaling $12.8 million with crowdfunding is still impressive; it’s the most ever. It shows what is possible. But after all the publicity and the hopes and expectations, it must be a terrible letdown both for the company and its potential donors.

      I think companies will have to be much more realistic in their expectations of what crowdfunding can do.

      • $32 million’s crazy indeed. I think they should’ve did it in baby steps. Small goals first. In any case, Ubuntu’s still going at the smartphone scene with Ubuntu Touch. Funny thing about Ubuntu Edge is there are some people predicting Ubuntu’s doom because of it. I don’t see it that way. Ubuntu’s been free for a long time, I think they can handle this hurdle.

        • Yes, in retrospect, it’s all the more surprising that Ubantu would set a $32 million goal. And I agree, they can handle this setback. I’m sure they will survive.

          Ubantu has a small market share overall but I think its users would have had the passion and enthusiasm that would have helped the company reach a smaller goal. I think they should try crowdfunding again with a more achievable goal. That would make for a great success story.

  54. Crowdfunding is indeed a great idea as there are many small businesses and young people who need the funds in order to expand and increase. The concept of donating is quite moving because whenever you give towards something good, you always find it come back to you and then you can give another place again. It is a principle of life, whatever you put in life you also receive.

    • I agree. It’s great to hear the success stories. And for donors, to be a part of that success. Such real-life stories can serve as inspiration to others, and embolden them to venture out to seek funding and notoriety for projects for which they may have a true passion.

      Over the years — before the days of crowdfunding — I have known people who had innovative ideas yet did not have the opportunity to bring them to fruition. It was usually due to lack of funding and/or the necessary publicity needed to generate interest and/or test the market to see if indeed there was interest.

      It’s great to have this option nowadays. I believe what we’re witnessing with crowdfunding these days is just the beginning of what could become a longstanding tradition.

  55. Great article, no wonder it’s so popular. Gathering funds for a project can be incredibly useful, and rarely optional. Also, it’s perhaps one of the most confusing processes to try and start. I had experience with setting up a donation pool about a year ago. It was chaotic. We didn’t anticipate how we would get viewers to the actual donating portion of our site. People weren’t reluctant to give, we just couldn’t figure it out. In the end, we got good funding for our project, but it would have been nice to have seen this article then.

    • People think it might be easier and cheaper to do something like that but yeah, the problems from organising a donation pool can be so frustrating. It’s better to go to the professionals with experience in it and the popular crowdfunding orgs like Kickstarter and Indiegogo where you’re sure everything’s being taken cared of in the best way possible.

  56. This could be very useful for me in the future. I always have bright ideas that could truly take-off but I lack on the funding side been a student so having people help me ‘kickstart’ my ideas would be amazing. I am sure to try out these websites sometime soon. I mean I like the idea, if I had some money to spare I’d be helping fund new projects. It’d make me feel part of something big, like I’m making a difference.

  57. I’ve supported many crowdfunding projects, notably the Ubuntu Edge phone (basically a phone which would dual-boot Android and Ubuntu (Linux) AND had some pretty great specs!) – which unfortunately failed. To be perfectly honest, I doubted from the very start that it’d reach its funding goal, considering that they were asking for more than anybody had ever, ever received in crowdfunding history!

  58. Great article, David. I have enjoyed helping out friends in the past via Kickstarter. I helped fund an album and tried to help fund an independent film as well as another album, but they unfortunately did not meet their goals.

    I didn’t realize that there were other forums that let you keep the money you raise even if you don’t meet your full goal. I truly appreciate this information, as my husband and I are working on a start-up mobile catering business and would love to have some angels to help jump start our business rather than investors doling out suggestions.

  59. It is always interesting to see the “kickstarter effect” as you call it. The problem for marketers is that this is normally achieved through some irreplicable reason. Sometimes a fundraising project just clicks and connects with the hearts of everyone who sees it, goes viral and makes a $1,000,000 instead of the wanted $20,000.

    I wonder how much money has been spent by the big internet marketing companies on having theri fundraising projects go viral. I wonder if this will be a job in the future: “Professional Kickstarter Creator”.

    Maybe I’m just being naive and it already is a job. It wouldn’t surprise me.

    • You’ve made some valid statements, gurukiller. That’s what happens when people can utilize emotivism, and create experiential cases that inspires others to contribute. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are several forums that had secrets, or some kind of hypnotic process in enticing others to offer their cash for one’s dream or ambition.

      It always amazes me how those kickstarter cases ends up having way over the preferred amount though. It just seems that the person would have to follow-up with more future updates if they ever receive that much cash. Because people could start complaining on how one would use the left over cash, of course.

    • Yes, what you describe is definitely a profession. Just Google “Kickstarter Consultant” and you’ll find a wealth of information just on the first page of the results. There’s quite a bit of debate over the merits of hiring a consultant versus doing it yourself.

      I was curious about this too, and it’s amazing in just these few short years that Kickstarter has been around (2009) how much has been written about that company in particular and other companies that have entered the crowdfunding industry.

      For anyone who wants to do this on their own, I think it would be very helpful to read what’s been written. It’s a hot topic and has been for a while and so there are plenty of resources for research purposes. It’s a matter of doing the due diligence which is always important.

  60. When it’s done at an aggregate level, a dollar from each individual can stack up pretty quick. It’s also good that you mentioned the difference between the two money raising online organizations as well. Though I figured that Kickstarter had a lot of individuals reaching their maximum and even beyond depending on the type of product of course.

    In my experience, seeing individuals work on a book or even an animation seems to garner a lot of attention and donations from others. It’s just who actually commits and doesn’t try to casually fade away from the popularity that’s the main issue.

  61. Here is my question on this; if people are able to post their idea and gain funding and can immediately have access to the funds, what stops people from taking advantage of this? What if they don’t ever have any intentions on developing their idea? What if that money just went in their pocked and people donated like $20,000? Then what?

    • Great question fairydust007, and I could respond in saying that the person, or group of people willing to do a scam like that wouldn’t really have a chance anymore if they actually wanted a project to be communally funded. And with anything with things like KickStarter and other fundraising programs, it’s not too difficult for others to start tracing the potential scammers through the Internet.

      Combine that with the fact that Internet sensationalism is inevitable for something like that, and the person is pretty much risking their reputation. It’s difficult in finding those that may be fraudulent beforehand because they may use a front of being sincere, and striving to accomplish some dream only to give others broken promises.

  62. Last year there were several links posted by my friends in my Facebook feed talking about promising technology. I checked on some, and indeed I found them promising, thus I donated, as you said, $1. I think there were 3 where I donated. I don’t think they ever materialized though, as I never got an email (or perhaps the deadline still isn’t over, otherwise my money would have been refunded).

    I’ve also found a similar site that’s intended to fund travels. I forgot the name but that’s what I want to do haha!

    • I’ve heard of the travel funding website. It sounds great in the beginning, but apparently, there’s wayyy more people that are requesting then donating. It’s become a high competition race to stand out from the crowd. Doesn’t sound so interesting anymore, does it?

  63. Awesome ideas. I’m internet savvy and didn’t know about this. Thanks for the heads up. What are the reasons someone would not come lynch you for absconding with their contributions? Showing progress of your project, idea or even would be enough to keep this from happening? I can see this in many ways. Anyway, thanks for the info.

  64. I have found it quite inspiring to go on the Kickstarter website to see what the world is actually willing to pay for. This ‘tactic’ is one that could be very valuable for startups, to see what is in demand, and what they could supply. There is a story from a lot of years ago about a student in the USA, who wrote to a popular columnist in the paper asking if he would help him pay his College fees. This was done by asking the readers of the column to send the student a penny (or more if willing). The student ended up being able to fund his entire college career with this method. Of course, nowadays this would be harder to achieve – but it remains inspiring.

  65. I think crowdfunding might be the best thing since sliced bread. It’s all about the people and cutting out the corrupt middleman…..the banker. I think it’s great that people are helping other people in this way. I was so excited when I first heard about this, and I am so glad it’s going stronger than ever.

  66. I will have to check this out. I’ve seen a couple people doing this for things like surgeries, but it’s really a wonderful idea for business and creative projects. I think the fact that kickstarter is all or nothing actually can really motivate people to give when they might normally not. A lot of time people assume something will make it anyway…but with this approach, you know if doesnt get any money unless it makes goal!

  67. I don’t know if it exists already but there should be a page of “green crowdfunding”. Dedicated entirely to implementing this model to bring out ideas of “alternative energy”, recycling and the like to life.
    If you ask me, instead of a new smartphone making the news, I would like to see a new source of energy, or a better recycling system in place.

  68. Unless you appeal to the excitement, risk-taking, or charity mindset of investors, you will not get successful funding. This is the same as any other pitch you take to VCs, but you need to mould that into something understandable, tangible, and that can provide real results to the most common people out there.

    I have typically seen technology products doing much better than the rest. (that may also be due to the field that I belong to – technology!)

  69. Crowdfunding is definitely a great way to get projects started with the help of money! I’ve seen much success with it for various types of products. Many times, there are wonderful successes and creativity that come out of it. Unfortunately, other times it seems like broken/impossible promises or bad products are made. Everything comes with a little risk!

  70. I heard of Kickstarter before. I think a former public school teacher wanted to start his own private school for poor kids used Kickstarter. That funding allowed him to choose the students who would be a great fit. Additionally, a film maker wanted funding so he used that website.
    If I could get a few idle retired friends to help me, then I would go on all of those Crowdfunding sites to ask for start up funds. I would open an after school homework help center.

  71. Crowdfunding is really a great way to generate the funding for good projects. Over time, many big and great projects have come through crowdfunding. I’ve seen many bands and solo artists raising funds for their albums. I had once donated to by favorite artist, Tyler Brown Williams and he brought his album to life. I got all the songs for free and I also felt proud to help my favorite artist.
    Some great software companies have also come through crowdfunding. Macaw is one of my favorites.
    Overall, I really love crowdfunding.

  72. Yes, crowdfunding has really helped many projects become a reality. Projects like Oculus VR, for example, needed heavy funding and they are turning into real stuff than just mere dreams, all thanks to crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is a boon to the IT world as lots of people have innovative ideas and ways to make their dream a reality but they lack the funding to do so and crowdfunding helps them a lot. I personally suggest everyone to have a look at sites like Kickstarter or the similar sites mentioned in the article and donate to projects they like. Besides, this technique is corroborated by the PC video game retailer Steam owned by Valve. They now have an ‘Early Access’ game section where you can purchase the game and play the unfinished version which is in constant development and suggest improvements to the game as well. This is a clear derivative of crowdfunding and is helping shape up PC games of the future. Great ideas need great funding, and great funding can come from the crowd.

  73. It’s quite heartening to see that people will back these projects that they have interest in, and it’s a great platform for people that are looking to start a project or manufacture a certain type of product. I’ve seen Kickstarter projects getting 4-5 times the amount that they initially wanted to raise, but in the end it’s all up to the person’s integrity to use all that money to fund the project.

  74. I’m a big fan of shows like Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den, so imagine my delight when I found Kickstarter. The enormous range of products being offered to the public is dizzying to say the least. I’m just a lurker in their pages though as I don’t have credit cards that I can use. I wish I can try out the really cool ones (especially that Sous-Vide cooking gizmo. That was way cool.).

  75. I just hope this doesn’t end up becoming abused. People pretty much get money for just about anything with these crowdfunding websites. It doesn’t seem to take too much at all to make a lot of money off these things. It makes you think about what people actually do with all that money once they start making 10x the amount of money they originally intended to…

  76. Observing “the Crowdfunding Craze” as you put it, is a bit like observing multiple social experiments. It is incredibly interesting to see what people will put their money towards, particularly what people will fund far over the requested amount. I have been impressed that sometimes the projects funded over the requested amount are charitable and/or beneficial to society as a whole. It has also made me think about what projects (I am in special education) I have dreamed of in the past and perhaps would be good for a crowdfunding proposal.

  77. I think crowdfunding is a really cool thing. It helps small entrepreneurs and gives everybody an option to be heard if their idea is good enough. Some people abuse it of course, but I really love seeing what other people come up with creatively that I wouldn’t have otherwise heard of.

  78. Crowdfunding is a great idea. I like that you can support different people in small amounts, especially artists who need funding for films or albums. Recently a guy made big headlines by crowd funding his potato salad. It got picked up on social media and he ended up raising thousands of dollars. I think he got a book deal too, lol. I need to think of a great idea and get it up there!

  79. It’s great that we can just back up almost everything nowadays. But sometimes some of the great ideas that we’re backed up actually fail to deliver what most people thought it should deliver, for example the Ouya or that awful Steam game Stomping Land

    • My friend got the Ouya and he did invest a lot on that Kickstarter project and once he got the console he played for it for about 5 hours and after that he went on and asked me if I wanted it for Christmas.

  80. Online fundraising has became very popular. It is a lot easier and faster to raise money online because it can be shared through social medial which will bring more donors to your site. I have used online fundraising a few times to help raise money for friends and family.

  81. It’s amazing how the crowd funding community reacts to projects. I’ve had two friends who put projects on KickStarter. One had a modest $10K goal, and only made about $250 by the time it closed. The other has a $25K goal, and I think he was around $80K by the time it closed. So it’s quite strange how people can flock to some, while others get generally ignored. I guess if you have a unique idea, it could be a great way to go. Definitely beats the old practice of taking out a loan from a bank or investors.

  82. I had no idea there were sites like this and was possible to do something like this online, but I can’t help to wonder how the people who donate can be sure the person they’re donating the money to isn’t a scammer or something like that. I’m not sure I guess I’d need to explore the site to truly understand how it really works. I’m sure there is more to it.

  83. As much as I love the concept it’s not entirely safe. First of all you have to really be sure of yourself and the project you’re backing before you get into this because if it fails there are instances that you won’t be able to get back the money you’ve invested.

    I’ve heard a lot of horror stories regarding Kickstarter projects that flopped and everyone who backed up the project didn’t get their rightful refund. It’s a good way to just get your ideas started but just be sure that you will deliver because the people backing you up don’t have something to back them up when everything fails.

  84. Crowd funding is a great concept, yet also dangerous. If a company decides to not release a product, or if the product is a scam, then backers lose their money. Also companies can be bought out like what happened with Oculous Rift.

    • There’s nothing wrong with a buyout of a crowdfunded entity as long as the original agreement with the pledgers is still fulfilled. Sure, it can be a little awkward when your home-grown offering gets turned in to a corporate shill, but the pledge agreements always stipulate that it’s a pledge to an idea with absolutely no guarantee of final product.

  85. Since 2013, more and more crowdfunding websites have emerged. Within that one year, some have been specializing on catering to projects on a selected areas. I learned this as I was looking for ways to fund my adult learning projects: there are crowdfunding for education! Best practices from some of these crowd sourcing websites include establishing a separate platform to learn about the basics of crowdfunding before toying with the idea and cashing in. Like a crowdfunding university or courses on succeeding in crowd sourcing. These things are quite useful for motivation.

  86. How do you know these guys are legit source. Im always skeptical on doing somthing liek this. But I do see good reviews in the comment so when I need it ill try it.

  87. I think these websites are amazing! Wow! It’s funny I’ve never heard of any of these sites and to see that there is real help and resources out there for those who struggles with obtaining just that is really amazing. I actually have an idea I’ve been working on that I might just submit for the help. I will truly pass this information on great!

  88. Some of the things I have seen people crowdfunding for make no sense. I saw someone raising money for a treadmill she wanted. Apparently it HAD to be one with all the bells and wistles.

  89. I think it’s wonderful how people are coming up with all these different ideas to get their businesses and projects funded. These sites are great for people with genuinely good ideas. But I also think investors have to be careful when investing in these projects. Sometimes it is just a scam and sometimes it’s someone with a great idea but little motivation to finish what they start. Research on the project leaders should always be done first.

  90. This is fantastic, I know this is true, a friend of mine fundraised for her Masters degree at Schumacher College in the UK for a sum of £7000, that is equivalent to $12000 US Dollars! Astonishing isn’t it? And the director Spike Lee famously fundraised all the amount for his film “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus” through a successful Kickstarter Campaign.
    You have to believe in what you are offering and prepare juicy rewards.

  91. This article really has my interest. The business of starting a business is a well-known element of suspense in many stories. I still don’t understand how they differ from loans with very low to zero interest, so I kind of have to dig up more information on how people are using the crowdfunding services in many parts of the world. To me, it sounds like the time spent on a campaign that does not reach its full goal is not a time well spent–a bit like gambling. But then again, some element of business is a lot like gambling, too, so in either case the story is about making sacrifices.

  92. I know someone who was successful with Kickstarter to get her dance studio opened up. I had no idea that you would not get any money out of it if you didn’t make it all the way to your goal. To me that seems completely unfair. I might look into these sites more now that my interest is peaked.

  93. Crowdsourcing is a great way to make a bit of extra cash. I’m more involved in being a crowdsourcer than starting the crowdsourcing myself. Also, it was mentioned in the article above that one of the crowdsourcing sites was Crowdwise, but it’s actually called Crowdrise.

  94. I think crowdfunding is one of the most polarizing things, some ideas/projects are awesome and things that would actually be of a lot of use for people, then you have projects that get full funding and then some for the most useless garbage or jokes instead of donating that money to a charity.

  95. Wow, never heard of crowdfunding. I wonder if I can do that for my website? This is technically a business proposal in cyberspace, which is where the world is heading, anyway.

  96. This is a great thing and sometimes a sad thing.

    Sometimes I’ll see kickstarters or any other kind of fundraising on any of the other sites created for this purpose, and it’ll be something heartwarming like saving a puppy or whatever it might be.
    Other times it’s a fundraiser for somebody’s joke. I mean, some of the stuff that has gotten excessive amounts of money is hilarious in a way but it makes you think about the stuff the money could have gone to instead.

  97. Crowdfunding is great for those with ideas, but not the time to ask investors about it. It also gauges public interest the best- not the investors, but those that will actually buy your product. Unfortunately, it also can be used for the ego (ask the guy who wanted to raise money to fly Eithad’s First Apartments. He didn’t get funded.)

  98. I love that this has become a thing. Crowdfunding is great and makes it possible for some of the more obscure ideas to come to life. Even Indie game developers are seeing gains using a platform like this, offering early access to the game. It not only funds the game, but also promotes it!

  99. Kickstarting is great — so many great projects came out of this, so many people get new ideas that they before could never have wasted time on (or money! it’s great for seeing what people will go for). But that said, it does also breed many silly projects (potato salad anyone?). But it gets a better chance to people. And there are many sites, blogs and facebook groups focused on strategies, advice and discussions for whoever wants to make a Kickstarter.

  100. Crowdfunding is an interesting idea. The only drawback is that you are relying on other peoples faith in you. Have there ever been any legal battles related to this practise, perhaps when a business idea did not succeed?

    • I’m not sure but I think the people who participated in the crowdfunding for Oculus Rift might be suing facebook. Before facebook bought out the owners, the backers were promised the final product for donating. But since facebook paid the owners off, they’re not legally required to provide a copy to the backers, since the laws are still unknown concerning crowdfunding in general.

  101. I absolutely adore Crowdfunding, and I think it a great way for people to raise funds for their small businesses. I have heard stories of people abusing Crowdfunding by saying they’re using the money for X, but actually are using the money for a new iPhone or whatever. However, things like this don’t seem to occur often, which is good news.
    I first heard of crowdfunding when a friend of a friend raised about $40,000 for a documentary he was creating on gay rights, and I was amazed at the amount of people that gave their money in support on his project(the documentary was beautiful, by the way).
    I’m actually thinking of using crowdfunding to rase money for my own lipstick line.

  102. I think the outrageous success of Star Citizen’s crowdfunding campaign is a testament to the fact that the model does work when the fanbase is as dedicated and fervent as Star Citizen’s.

    To date, they’ve raised over $60 million in two years – much of it from repeat pledges. It’s a consumer driven model that directly correlates investment dollars to the amount of demand there is for a product.

    • Yeah that amount of funding is pretty crazy! That fanbase though is very dedicated and since Free/Starlancer there hasn’t really been a suitable multiplayer space sim in that genre. The recent failure of X4 just further paves the way for Star Citizen.

  103. The thing that caught my attention is the one for disaster relief. This will be a great boost to recovering morale and helping people go back to their lives faster.

    I am familiar of kickstarter, but I have not started a goal there. I might check with Indiegogo if it can help me with my archery dream. I think winning archery competitions will be that much closer.

  104. Ahhh, yes, kickstarter. A few of my entrepreneur friends love it, while others HATE it. I agree it’s a good way to raise money but I have heard stories that legitimate business ideas get swept aside for asinine ideas like that potato salad guy. I think Kickstarter itself is a brilliant idea though.

  105. There are a lot of gripes about crowdfunding. Some are more legitimate then others, but the bottom line is this: you get what you pay for… mostly. Looking at the good side, there are a lot of things that crowdfunding has allowed niche communities to do like, make movies or continue a tv series or a book series. Franchises that have a cult following are being resurrected by their fans, and that’s a good thing for the fans. I know I wouldn’t mind paying for a second season of Firefly.

  106. I am still not sure I understand. I get that people are giving you money in order to kick start a business, but I just find it rather hard to believe they would do so if it was me! I am also not sure if 0tiI would trust the business I was funding should I ever be in a position to help. However, if it does work,. it seems a brilliant idea as technically anyone who thinks of a business venture worth starting might be able to do so. Most of us do not have the capital t follow our dreams and so maybe these sites are a good thing I would just like to know there was a way of checking out that things are legitimate if I am giving money away.

  107. I only disagree with the part where you said it’s better to keep the price a bit lower – I had a guy who made a CrowdFund for a cookbook, and he put the goal 1000 dollars below what he needed. The last month when he was writing the book he had to borrow money or eat at my house a lot. It was nice cause he did cook, and he was a very good one.

  108. I think crowd-funding is a great way for projects that would never get off the ground otherwise to get going. In particular, I know a lot of musicians who have been able to record great albums due to Kickstarter. I do question the “anything” part of this, though. I am not sure it is a wise use of resources to crowd-fund potato salad, which is one of the silly ones that made a pretty big wave recently. Still, I am happy to have such extended communities helping each other in the world.

  109. I never heard of this crowd funding craze. You’re right about the capital ventures, they tend to want half or more of your company for just helping you finance your ideas. Social media is a great way to get recognized or get some free publicity. I think I might try this.

  110. Crowdfunding is one of the most beautiful things about the internet. You can start up any project you want and if it is interesting people will pay for it.
    If you word it nicely it can attract a lot of investors too.

  111. Does anybody remember that time when a person posted on Kickstarter that he wants to make potato salad and he got like 2,ooo$ dollars for it? Crowdfunding can go crazy sometimes, and when it does, it takes you by surprise!

  112. This is a great way to help those of us who have great ideas but no funds to pursue them. It is true simply one dollar can make a big difference in someones life you may never even meet.

  113. I think crowd funding is a great idea. It is marketing on a grander scale. Before this, and social media, you had to just go out and go around promoting your product. If you had the money or connects you can get someone or a company to help you out. Now you just need social media and the right wording and your product can go far and fast. I just wish there was more rules to deciding what you can promote because some are not worth it, like the potato salad one.

  114. Crowdfunding is an interesting idea that allows anyone to “invest”. Although I’ve never “bought” anything on Kickstarter or Indiegogo before, I remember looking on Kickstarter and finding a huge variety of products. I even saw a Kickstarter project for Beef Jerky from Australia or someplace around there. Even now in 2016, Kickstarter is still very popular and because of that, we know for sure that Crowdfunding was/is not a fad, and will continue to garner attention.

  115. I think crowdfunding is a very interesting idea. I’ve invested in a couple of interesting sounding startups – I like the idea of young entrepreneurs getting a boost to get going. It would be interesting to know what effect it’s had, if any, on charitable donations. It does make altruism very easy.

  116. Crowdfunding has developed a lot since 2013 (when this article was written). One noticeable change is that more and more people are using it each day for personal donations. No job but still have bills to pay? Don’t worry, just ask for donations on the most popular crowdfunding sites to date. A lot of people oppose to crowdfunding ‘campaigns’ such as these, but the good thing about donating is that you absolutely do not have to.

  117. I did try to raise funds on kickstarter for a movie project with a friend a few years ago. Apparently not too many people are interested funding movie projects a fact I learned the hard way.

    There are some projects that are more likely to get funding on kickstarter and at times you might also need some help from friends to get things moving. Someone will be more willing to pledge some money for a project if they know others are interested in seeing your venture become successful.

  118. It’s great that this support exist, there’s a lot of people out there with great ideas but the only thing that is stopping them is money and a little (big) donation can really help. I only have donated once for a guy who was moving from his homophobic parents house to a rented apartment, it was great to see him get better when he got out from that toxic environment. So, those pages are also a great way to show some empathy, which I think it’s great.

  119. It is a noble idea and one of the reasons why the internet is a blessing for us. If done with the right intention, this is a very potent philanthropic tool. One must not misuse it and should only use crowdfunding only in projects only humanitarian causes or any project that involves at least some well-being of the needy.

Leave a Reply