The word crowdfunding has been popping up all over, but do you know what it means?

Crowdfunding describes a way people come together (most of the time online), and pool their money to support a predetermined goal or cause.

Money raised from crowdfunding can be used in a variety of ways.

To rally around someone in need of support. Do you remember the 68 year-old bus monitor who was bullied by 7th graders? When the video of the bullying went viral, an account was set up with Indiegogo to help send the bus monitor, Karen, on a much deserved vacation. The goal was to raise $5,000. Instead, people from around the world donated over $700,000.

To help kids achieve dreams. Do you remember Caine’s dreams of a cardboard arcade? One boy’s dream of operating his own arcade turned into over $231,000 in scholarship money from over 19,000 donors.

To make movies. Zach Braff wants to make a follow-up to Garden State. Hello, I don’t need to say anything else. Everyone should just go over and fund this movie immediately. However, the big movie makers did not see it that way, and therefore, Zach used crowdfunding to raise money. Did it work? See for yourself.

To make music. A shout out to an Asheville band, The Honeycutters. This group is using crowdfunding to make their third album.

To make a difference. Krochet Kids in Peru started off using crowdfunding. The goal of Krochet Kids was to help marginalized women in the outskirts of Lima, but it has now turned into an international organization which empowers people to rise above poverty.

To make a book. Pubslush is a crowdfunding publishing platform. This one is for all of you writerly types out there who feel frustrated with traditional publishing. Authors raise funds and feel out interest of potential readers. I don’t know anyone who has ever worked with Pubslush, but Pubslush isn’t just about crowdfunding and publishing. For every book sold, Pubslush gives a book to a child in need. You know I’m liking that idea.

What do you know about crowdfunding? Have you ever supported a crowdfunding campaign? Do you love Zach Braff as much as I do (Let me help you out on that one, no!)?

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crowdfunding: what’s it all about?

by Amy L. Sullivan time to read: 2 min