Crowdfunding is something that at first glance can appear to be new, but is really just a updated version of asking your neighbors for money to help you do something. The only difference is that the definition of “neighbors” has expanded to include anyone with an internet connection and some extra cash.
Sites like Kickstarter and YouCaring allow users to create a fundraiser, set their goal, and then promote their campaign to their connections on social media networks to get support. Taking advantage of these sites can boost not only your financials but your visibility. The more that people donate to your campaign and share it, the more people see your business and what you are hoping to achieve with the money you raise.
This type of user-generated campaign is not for the well-established and successful business, contrary to most of the topics I’ve covered on this blog. This is for the small business that wants to launch a new product; a game designer who needs funds to finish their game; a family that cannot afford a hospital stay or a surgery; a young entrepreneur that has no other way of generating money for their product or service.
Many of these campaigns unfortunately do not reach their goal, at which point most host sites, such as Kickstarter, return the money to the donators. But for those which meet their goal or surpass it, they now have access to funds which will allow their dreams, service, or product to come to life thanks to strangers on the internet.