Crowdfunding for gifts and life experiences
Through the powers of the internet and social media combined, the way businesses and ideas used to raise capital is being revolutionized. Crowdfunding is the process through which not only business developers and entrepreneurs but normal people are gaining access to the international community of contributors and investors. These investors are only contributing in small amounts of 10-100 USD dollars but when hundreds or even thousands of people come together to support an idea, the amount of capital raised through these small contributions goes into hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.
Crowdfunding has helped raise money to finance small businesses, to lift people out of poverty, to help people get out of homelessness, for charities, and political movements. Just last month, US Senator Bernie Sanders raised $10 million in less than a week through crowdfunding. His supporters and well-wishers across the country participated in the crowdfunding campaign with whatever little amount they could. Most of the contributions were of $20-30. However, when put together, the total amount raised was a testament to the power of crowdfunding in this day and age.
While the use case for crowdfunding for businesses, charities, and political movements is a lucrative one, at its core it supports a much more intimate connection between the donators and beneficiaries of those donations. Crowdfunding has helped people raise money to support their families through tough times, to help start their careers, to help people with expensive illnesses, and to fulfill their dreams of traveling the world. These are the things that would never have been supported by traditional fundraising. Ideas that would get laughed out of the room if they were presented in front of a group of for-profit investors.
What makes crowdfunding great is that it allows people to get the money they need for their causes without putting too much strain on contributors’ finances. Furthermore, an idea doesn't have to be a great business opportunity. Instead, it can be a simple case of someone's wish to see the world or to raise money to afford a great gift for their loved one. If you can persuade people to care for whatever your cause is, you can raise the money you need to fulfill that cause.
There are countless examples that can be found in the world where small contributions from a community of people helped changed the lives of individuals for the better. Crowdfunding has saved lives, put families in homes, pay for people’s education and put food in people’s homes. Contributors can participate in fundraising campaigns regardless of which part of the world they belong to, what the cause is, if there will be any profit to be earned through it and who the beneficiary is. It is truly a powerful tool that embodies the concept of ‘for the people by the people’.