CROWD­FUND­ING

Here’s ev­ery­thing you need to know about on­line fundrais­ing.

Los Angeles Times - - PARADE -

Amid­dle-schooler named Vi­dal was on his way home from school when he bumped into Bran­don Stan­ton, the pho­tog­ra­pher be­hind the popular blog Hu­mans of New York. When asked about the most in­flu­en­tial per­son in his life, he told Stan­ton about his prin­ci­pal. In­spired, Stan­ton launched the “Let’s Send Kids to Har­vard: Vi­dal Schol­ar­ship Fund” cam­paign on Indiegogo, a fundrais­ing site. With the money, in­com­ing classes of sixth-graders at Vi­dal’s school in Brook­lyn could tour Har­vard to ig­nite their aca­demic dreams. Stan­ton hoped to raise $100,000. By the time the cam­paign ended on Feb. 22, he’d raised $1.4 mil­lion.

That is crowd­fund­ing. To­day’s hottest form of on­line fundrais­ing “gives us the abil­ity to di­rectly bring an idea to life, no mat­ter how big, small, wacky or se­ri­ous,” says Brian Meece, co-founder of crowd­fund­ing web­site Rock­ethub.

Bands have been ask­ing fans for on­line dona­tions for years, but since Indiegogo, Rock­ethub, Kick­starter and Quirky be­gan mak­ing head­lines in 2009, crowd­fund­ing has taken off. “It de­moc­ra­tizes cre­ativ­ity,” says Jamey Stegmaier, pres­i­dent of Stone­maier Games, who’s raised over $1 mil­lion via Kick­starter. “Crowd­fund­ing puts the power of cre­ation in the hands of the peo­ple; they get to vote with their money as to whether or not some­thing will ex­ist.”

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