Remember when you had to follow a map to get where you were going? Remember when mobile phones were for actually making phone calls? Advances in technology have totally changed the way we do everyday life. Case in point: crowdfunding platforms i.e. Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and many more. Although we don’t give these commonplace websites much thought or concern, it really is incredible what they’ve been able to accomplish. Going back to old ways of doing business, it used to be that funding was all about who you know, and now it’s quite literally who you’ve never met.
Regardless of your orientation as a journalist, entrepreneur, investor, artist, or educator, there is absolutely a project near and dear to your heart that just needs a little boost to get off the ground! These sites provide fundraising that help turn ideas and visions into realities. Not only is financial support provided, but also a community of supporters rooting on your cause and watching you achieve your goals!
The projects being created are incredibly diverse and range from bands fundraising to release an album, new inventions and products that need funding to get started on production, to worthwhile charitable causes, and much more. These websites are an incredible tool for raising awareness and bringing great ideas into the public eye. A unique example of how these websites are being utilized is the story of the bullied bus monitor, Karen Klein. After a video was uploaded of the elderly woman being verbally abused by middle school students in New York, people decided to take action. An individual with no relation to Klein decided to set up a fundraising account on Indiegogo with a goal of $5,000 to send this poor woman on a much deserved vacation - the response was tremendous. Over $650,000 was raised for Klein in just a matter of weeks (an exorbitant amount for anyone, but especially compared to her $15,000/year salary).
One of the most popularly funded projects on Kickstarter in the last few months was the Pebble SmartWatch. Pebble blew past its goal of $100,000 with $1,000,000 raised in the first 28 hours, and over $10,000,000 by project completion. Since Kickstarter launched in 2009: $250 million has been pledged to projects, more than 2 million people have backed a project of some kind, and 24,000 projects have been successfully funded.
“Everyone should have the opportunity to raise money, and now everyone does.” As technology and the world are ever evolving, there are more opportunities than ever to fill a need, or support a cause.
So what is next? Now that we can use our smartphones for practically anything, or give to a cause through an online portal, what idea will help transform an entire industry? There is nothing new under the sun, but there are always new and more efficient ways of doing the same old thing!