Years ago, when you wanted to start a business venture, you would have to find investors by proposing your idea in person. Crowdfunding has changed the way people finance projects and businesses. Virtually anyone — musicians, actors, authors, screenwriters, entrepreneurs, or those looking to lend a helping hand — can obtain funding from the “crowd.” That is, of course, if they like your idea.
Kickstarter had a large role in kick-starting the whole idea. Launched in 2009, the site has collected over $1 billion in funding for around 60,000 projects. Enticed by the creative process and the promise of some sort of reward, like a copy of a book or an album for instance, over 6 million “backers” have pledged money to various projects. It works on an all-or-nothing model. Project creators indicate a budget goal, and if — and only if — they meet that goal do they receive the funds for their project. The success rate among the all-or-nothing model is fairly high. Of those projects that receive 20 percent of their funding, 81 percent reached their full goal.
These days, you can choose from dozens of crowdfunding sites. It’s best to choose a site where your idea is more likely to stand out and receive positive feedback. Some crowdfunding sites specialize in certain areas. For instance, PledgeMusic is primarily for musicians. You also want to look for a site that offers fair, transparent terms and conditions, and one with a high rate of success. Right now, there are some pretty amazing things happening on these sites. Here are a few.