Recently a customer sent us a page from GoFundMe to show us the fundraising page they set up to raise money for a memorial bench for a loved one. There has been a big upswing in using crowdfunding to fund not just the latest technology ideas – but also for smaller, more personal fundraising efforts. A variety of fundraising sites have been created to help enable you to raise money for your own causes.
What is Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is a very “hip / technological” word that means something very simple – using the power of the crowd to raise money. It started with tech – someone would think of a great idea to solve a problem using technology, and they would reach out to a “crowd” (friends, strangers, etc) and ask them to donate – $1, $5, $5,000 – to help build up a pool of money that would allow them to bring their idea to market. Sites like Kickstarter.com are well-known for helping inventors raise money for their ideas – some go on to make millions; others, not so much.
One of the best things about crowdfunding is that you break through barriers of geography. You no longer need to knock on doors or set up a table outside of your local grocery store in order to raise money. You can set up your fundraising page and then spread the word to your family and friends on Facebook and Twitter, send out emails, etc. If you encourage everyone you know to pass the link to your page along to their circles, then you expand your reach exponentially!
Crowdfunding for Charity
Crowdfunding eventually caught on with Charities – and many of them used a variety of sites to help raise money for their causes.
The great thing about crowdfunding is that you don’t need to be a specialized charity to set up your own crowdfunding site. If you have a cause you care deeply about – or, some people even turn to crowdfunding sites for help funding their college degree, a mission trip, or even a honeymoon – there are a variety of sites out there that can set up a website for you and help you collect money for your project/event/trip/idea/dream.
Some of these sites host your fundraising pages for free – others charge a fee – so make sure you do your homework before you sign up!