Alongside Paypal’s introduction of micropayments, and the app store model shifting online payment behaviours, crowdsourcing is experiencing a surge of popularity when it comes to raising funds online.
This is the mother lode when it comes to leveraging social media to gather funds online. Kickstarter provides a central location where creatives can direct their friends to pledge financial support for a project (with various rewards) and Kickstarter takes care of all of the transactions. While relatively fresh, it has already financed a huge range of creative projects and is becoming increasingly visible online. They boil their success and approach down to 3 things:
– A good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide.
– A large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement.
– Every Kickstarter project must be fully funded before its time expires or no money changes hands.
It’s a formula that seems to work, the threat of not reaching a goal spurring fans into publicising projects wide and far. Blue Like Jazz raised $345K to cover a shortfall in producing a film of the book by Donald Miller. Glif raised $120K to produce an iphone tripod mount stand combo. Comic artist James Kochalka raised $11k to develop a computer game. An Eco-Volunteering Documentary raised $7.5K. Swimming Cities raised $6K to build a floating island of boats to take art to India. The best stoner-action film since “Pineapple Express” raised $671. Adventures in being small has managed $67 so far. Not all succeed though, but it remains a useful platform for gauging support for projects. Some failures are more special than others though, such as this attempt by Nicholad Gurewitch ( author of the fine Perry Bible Fellowship comic book ), to ‘erase the national debt of the USA’. Their goal of 15 trillion was unsuccessful.
Notably though, as Kickstarter’s transactions are handled by Amazon payments, project creators currently must have a US bank account and address, although International project support is promised for the future.
Entering the void then, Australian based Fundbreak enables local creatives to join in the action. Format and approach is pretty much identical, though it currently features a smaller range of projects. One notable project seeking / deserving funding is well respected investigative journalist magazine New Matilda, which seeks $175K to stay alive and build foundations for the years to come. ($37K raised at time of writing.. ) Visit Fundbreak.com.au to see more, or start your own project fundraiser.