Sunday, May 12, 2013

So what is CrowdFunding?

Crowd Funding is the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Platforms for crowdfunding are Kickstarter, Global Giving, Donors Choose, and  Ed Backer,  to name a few.

My favorite is Kickstarter, which has been getting some pretty impressive attention lately.  Studio 360 just did a newscast on it. Kickstarter - probably the most well known- has been  offering creative types a way to raise money for their artistic practices.   Yesterday morning, On the Media did a presentation on crowdfunding by  famous Hollywood creators and actors,  Rob Thomas  and Zach Braff , as well as Roman Mars.  Click here to listen. They needed money to start filming their movies and tv shows. It seems that even scientists are getting involved  in Kickstarter. My favorite is the scientist who is trying to grow glowing plants so that you can have plants instead of lamps. 


Contributing to crowdfunding allows pledgers to become integral part of the projects they support and back with their dollars. There are some pretty cool rewards for pledgers who support the projects financially.  It is similar to the  rewards you get from the public radio or television drives. Spreading the news and the links about the projects is important, too. Getting the word into the hands of the media is critical. 

Crowd funding is not just about raising the money to offset the cost of projects.  Its greatest value is in raising the project’s profile. For example, Ted Talk Fellow Camille Seaman's BIG CLOUD project  generated alot of excitement! Here is an interview with her about her Kickstarter experience and her work. 

Another valuable part of crowdfunding is the feeling that you get when people believe in you and your projects. It is a wonderful thing to have people support you - even more amazing when they make a personal investment in your project. 

Crowdfunding makes things happen. A fellow art teacher needs to reach her goal of making LEGO art, check this out.  Tricia Fuglestad is the  Art Teacher at Dryden Elementary School in a suburb of Chicago. She is  using LEGOs to collaboratively make radially symmetrical designs on square base plates. The kids LOVE this activity and seem to want to create endlessly. They started making the creations a few months ago and she doesn't have enough LEGO bricks to finish. Her class needs about 10 more deluxe LEGO brick packages to finish them!


PHOTO courtesy of http://drydenart.weebly.com

The single most stressful part of crowdfunding is the all or nothing law. If a project is not backed 100%, then it DOES NOT get funded. Please check out these amazingly intelligent and creative projects listed here - including mine. 

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