Crowdfunding has existed, in one form or another, long before the online phenomenon that we know and love today. One famous example is the campaign to build a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty. Newspaper owner Joseph Pulitzer asked readers to mail in donations, raising more than $102,000—over 80% of that from donations of less than a dollar.
While the Statue of Liberty is a great example of how crowdfunding builds community support, it also hints at how difficult it was to run a crowdfunding campaign before the Internet—unless, of course, you happened to own a newspaper.
Today it’s much easier for people and communities to empower themselves by raising funds for worthy causes. Communities might be geographical, such as a neighborhood or city, or built around shared interests. Often, the rallying community forms a core group, inspiring people from all over the world to chip in and help turn a dream into a reality. Altruism is real and the desire to help others is universal.
- Crowdfunding is a global phenomenon—Statista reports in 2016, people used crowdfunding to raise over 738.9 million worldwide.
- In 2016, Statista found that more than 150,000 crowdfunding campaigns were created.
- In the business world, crowdfunding is on track to becoming a larger overall source of funding than venture capital, according to Forbes.
Crowdfunding helps strengthen community bonds
Crowdfunding is about more than fundraising—it’s about people coming together around a shared cause in the same spirit that inspires neighbors to help neighbors. It’s a new tool applied to time-honored traditions.
It makes it easier than ever for people to get the most from their efforts, and to work together in new ways. With it, organizers can accomplish in hours what once took weeks. Your crowdfunding campaign page also becomes a space for your community to communicate and support each other as you work toward your shared goal.
Fundraising events can also help communities connect even more, as people talk to each other and get updates about the cause—and our platform makes it easy to accept donations at any event by using a mobile device.
Crowdfunding is a seedbed for grassroots movements
Someone might have an idea for a community improvement project. That person might set out to do it all on his or her own, or be unsure who his or her allies might be in the community. But by starting a crowdfunding campaign, they can generate a gravitational pull, drawing others in the community to their side.
Instead of trying to reach out to this or that person, launching a crowdfunding campaign is a way to begin a grassroots movement. Such movements are about harnessing and leveraging the power of individuals—growing numbers of them—to create change and serve the greater good. Crowdfunding has emerged as an important part of grassroots movements, helping them strengthen and empower communities.
Crowdfunding empowers children to make a difference
Supporting a crowdfunding campaign is an empowering experience for people of all ages. In particular, when a child sees someone in need and decides to help out, it helps him or her move from fear and despair toward empowerment and hope.
Engaging with the community through a crowdfunding campaign provides opportunities for young people to be and do their best. Kids really can bring about change and help provide support by crowdfunding community improvement projects and other worthy causes.
Inspirational examples of community support
1. Team Surfgimp-One Final Surf Trip for Jay
Jay was paralyzed at age 17. Sadly, his injuries will take a severe a toll on his health. To help him live life to the fullest Jay found a group of people to train him with special equipment so he could get back on a surfboard. Supporters from all over the world chipped in to help Jay recapture the joy and peace of surfing.
2. Hermosa Beach’s Waving Crossing Guard
When beloved Hermosa Beach crossing guard Oneil Francis found himself without his car after a hit-and-run accident, the community rallied to give him the money he needed for a new vehicle. Locals who knew Oneil as a crossing guard, and loved his signature sunny smile, chipped in. Others who’d never met Oneil read about his plight and joined the effort. Surpassing its goal of $1,500 in only eight days, the campaign was able to give a grateful Oneil $8,995 toward a new car.
3. The Shower of Hope
The Shower of Hope brings mobile shower units to the homeless. In raising over $35,000 from the public, the group was able to provide more than 1,000 showers in three cities during 2017. With communities continuing to step up and support this worthy cause, the organization looks to expand further in coming years.
4. A New Community Radio Station for Santa Cruz
Listeners came together to raise funds for a new radio station—one committed to delivering independent, ethical journalism to Santa Cruz, California. With the help of over 350 donors from Santa Cruz and around the world, the new station is on its way to becoming a reality. To date, organizers have raised more than $218,000 toward their $300,000 goal.
Empower your community
It’s easier than ever for people and communities to empower themselves and make good things happen—from supporting an individual member of the community who’s suffered a loss to providing special programs at schools and improving parks. In the aftermath of disaster, crowdfunding can also help communities remain resilient and resourceful.
As the Acquisition Marketing Lead at YouCaring, Paige Kutilek is keen on creating meaningful and thoughtful content that will have an impact. She’s a dedicated individual with a creative touch who is always eager to learn more. Lover of cats, avocados, and tea.