For those of you who may not be familiar with the concept of “crowdfunding” here’s a quick overview:
Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale
Welcome back. This week I could begin with a trip I took to Pawnee, Oklahoma this past week. Pawnee is not only the home of the famous Pawnee Bill but also of the creator of the world renowned Dick Tracy character. American history is alive and well in Pawnee and it is well worth the short 85 minute drive to visit.Or I could begin with a Garth Brooks story from Saturday night’s show or a report on the ORU Men’s Basketball team and my encounter with the legendary basketball coach Eddie Sutton also on Saturday night at the Mabee Center.
With so much going on I’ll start with my book project. I have been traveling with Will Roger’s niece who was Will’s own traveling compansion Doris “Coke” Meyer. Coke has written a fascinating book of her own about her famous uncle, I Called Him Uncle Will, which was recently published and she has been helping me promote my project.
A few weeks ago I started a campaign of my own on kickstarter.com to raise funds for the publication of my book Footprints in the Dew and since then I have discovered that many people are not familiar with kickstarter or the many other so called “crowdfunding” websites which have been established to generate funds for a wide assortment of projects. I think these sites have a lot of potential to help local organizations and entrepreneurs so I thought I would give some information about how they work. My research into the history of this concept came up with a great article on forbes.com under the title “Top Ten Crowdfunding Sites for Fundraising.”
Crowdfunding is collaborative funding whereby groups of people pool funds to bring a given project into existence. These projects can be books, films, performances, new technology and even businesses. The amounts of money raised can range from in the hundreds to in the millions depending on the scope and size of the project and the amount it generates.
On sites like Kickstarter the money that people put towards a project can generate rewards at different levels but the money is not a donation or an investment. On strictly fund raising sites the money can sometimes be considered a donation. All of these sites are accessed only through the internet and money is transferred online.
That said, a few of the top sites are:
Kickstarter.com which focuses on creative projects and reviews each project before it is posted on their website
Indiegogo which promotes every type of project except investments and has a large international presence
Crowdfunder, an investment oriented site which helps establish new companies, some of which have grown out of kickstarter or Indiegogo projects
AngelList, a site which links “angel” investors with tech startups
Crowdrise, the top crowdfunding site for causes and charity.
There are lots of other sites but this should give you an ideas of how varied they can be.
According to the Forbes article in 2012 alone crowdfunding sites raised $2.7 billion for new projects and was expected to reach $5.1 billion in 2013. The success of these sites is dramatically changing many businesses, including publishing.
I’ve found that crowdfunding sites are also an exciting way to learn about all kinds of new and creative ideas even if you do not want to get involved financially. I have backed a few projects myself, including a new manufacturer of bison wool socks and I’ve had a lot of fun watching the projects grow. If you go to my website www.originalbuffalodale.com you can learn more.
Till next week I’ll see ya down the road………………………..