Open alms on­line

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Web -

IF there’s a pro­ject you be­lieve in, put your money where your mouse is to help it be­come a re­al­ity.

Some bril­liant ideas just don’t make it off the ground due to a lack of fi­nan­cial sup­port.

Crowd­fund­ing is a way around that hur­dle.

Like crowd­sourc­ing – ask­ing the in­ter­net pub­lic for ideas – crowd­fund­ing is ask­ing them to fund your pro­ject.

It’s a grow­ing trend as so­cial me­dia sites, on­line com­mu­ni­ties and mi­cro­pay­ment tech­nol­ogy make se­cure do­na­tions vi­able for the fundraiser and the in­ter­ested sup­port­ers.

Crowd­fund­ing can help with disas­ter re­lief, such as the re­cent Queens­land Floods Ap­peal.

It helps in­de­pen­dent cit­i­zen jour­nal­ism sites like fund­ing GetUp! TV com­mer­cials.

In the arts, mu­si­cians seek sup­port di­rectly from fans, such as Amanda Palmer’s ‘‘ ninja gigs’’, and in­de­pen­dent films se­cure sup­port, such as the Tas­ma­nian-pro­duced A Quiet To­mor­row ( www. aqui­et­to­mor­row. com. au).

The ‘‘ all-or-noth­ing ap­proach’’ of crowd­fund­ing ensures that if the goal amount isn’t reached, money is re­turned to the in­vestors ( but check the small print with in­di­vid­ual sites be­fore in­vest­ing).

New York-based startup Kick­starter is the lead­ing on­line crowd­fund­ing plat­form for peo­ple. If peo­ple reach their goal sum, the site re­ceives 5 per cent of the money raised, but all in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty and copy­right is re­tained by the pro­ject cre­ator.

Aus­tralian site Poz­i­ble does the same thing lo­cally, help­ing crowd­source fund­ing for arts and the cre­ative in­dus­tries, in­clud­ing mu­sic, films, artists, writers, de­sign­ers and events.

Web­sites are emerg­ing for spe­cialised crowd­fund­ing niches.

Crowd­fund­ing is an in­no­va­tive de­vel­op­ment in on­line net­work­ing but a lot of great au­thors started out that way, in­clud­ing Dick­ens. The idea has just been adapted for the in­ter­net age.

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