Crowdfunding is an absolutely amazing phenomena combining the strength of the World Wide Web with greatness in entrepreneurship. There are many aspects that are outstanding about it. While it is a great thing and in reality only bears a small risk, as most funding is of a low monetary value, there is a grey zone that can be taken advantage of by profiteers, professional liars, who will tell you of the suffering of a small child, or the glory of a sustainability project that will benefit local communities to only pocket the money themselves.
There is no point being negative about crowdfunding, as there will continue to be a lot of great ideas and projects. There is a trend towards regulating crowdfunding, similar to the regulation of mortgages. In the UK the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) is keeping a close eye on crowdfunding sites. “Around one in five crowdfunded businesses fail.” The Independent. Make sure not to be naive, there will be some bad apples, so check thoroughly before giving your money to a cause and use a reputable crowdfunding site. Kickstarter is trust-worthy and has a good reputation. Here are a number of sites that are about Crowd Funding.
Kickstarter is an American public-benefit corporation based in Brooklyn, New York, that maintains a global crowdfunding platform focused on creativity. The company’s stated mission is to help bring creative projects to life. Founded: 28 April 2009
Indiegogo is an international crowdfunding website founded in 2008 by Danae Ringelmann, Slava Rubin, and Eric Schell. Its headquarters are in San Francisco, California. The site is one of the first sites to offer crowd funding. Indiegogo received some bad press at Crowdfund Insider: Most Indiegogo Campaigns Fail, And Thank Goodness
GoFundMe is a crowdfunding platform that allows users to raise money for a wide variety of personal causes, including medical bills, special events, and even for animals and pets. Founded in 2010 it is San Diego-based (California). GoFundMe has been featured on CNN, Forbes, New York Times, and TIME. There is some bad press about GoFundMe at Gizmodo – GoFundMe is a Great Way to Scam People – looking at a case in which a campaigner did not pass the funds to the intended parents of a sick child. Apparently the events that can be funded with this group are rather broad and could include private holidays and more.
Other crowdfunding sites:
News on Crowdfunding: Crowdfund Insider