In the last few years, crowdfunding has taken off. With sites like Kickstarter, GoFundMe and IndieGoGo, it is now possible for anyone to get the funding they need to get their business or charity off the ground. Unlike a venture capitalist partnership or a standard bank loan, this type of funding only requires that someone who visits a crowdfunding page buys into the message and goal of the person on the other end.
Of course, there is good and bad in this. Crowdfunding allows for new technology to develop and grow, especially on sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo where your donation often goes towards producing an actual product that you will one day own. For those of us looking forward to the next new thing to try out, this is fun and feels worthy of our time and money.
The downside of crowdfunding inevitably comes from those times when you start to question if someone is asking for something they need or something they want. Should someone who wants to be a real estate agent use crowdfunding to pay for their schooling, licensing fees, etc.? Should a kid who wants a new bike, use a crowdfunding platform for parents, family and friends to chip in on it? The truth is, with crowdfunding, you may choose to give money or not.
If you or someone you know has used crowdfunding to start or grow your business, please email me at [email protected]. I would love to hear your story.