Open alms online
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.