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What Is Crowdfunding? The Clear and Simple Answer
What Is Crowdfunding? The Clear and Simple Answer
Updated over a week ago

Crowdfunding harnesses the power of social networks and the internet to give people the means to raise funds, help others overcome hardship, and meet aspirational goals. The core principle behind the crowdfunding definition is that you can help a friend or help an entire community. You can do everything from pay for your own surgery to fulfill a student’s dream of attending college—and so much more.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering, “What is crowdfunding?” “What does crowdfunding mean?” or, “What are the benefits of crowdfunding?” then keep reading. We’ll answer your questions about crowdfunding and give you top tips on how to bring in donations.

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What are the advantages of crowdfunding?

When funding from the government and nonprofits falls short, many people turn to crowdfunding, meaning that they will rely on the kindness of their community. Online fundraising removes the traditional barriers that typically exist when asking for support, making it simple to overcome financial obstacles quickly or raise money for a worthy cause. For those looking for crowdfunding basics, here are some of the main advantages of crowdfunding:

  • There is no application process.

  • There are no long wait periods to receive your funds.

  • Crowdfunding takes the fear out of asking for financial help. It’s simple to share your fundraiser with your network of friends and family members on social media.

  • Crowdfunding makes it easy to reach people outside of your network.

Below, we answer the questions people most often have about crowdfunding when they’re trying to decide if they want to start an online fundraiser.

Four of the most common questions about crowdfunding

  • The best way to have crowdfunding explained is to understand that it can work for anybody, and there is no cause too big or too small for crowdfunding. Because of this, it can be hard to define crowdfunding. Some people might worry that their fundraiser isn’t as worthy as others—but the beauty of crowdfunding is that it exists to help an array of people and needs.

    While most people think crowdfunding services are only for individuals who need emergency financial assistance, businesses looking to fund a new project or raise capital can also fundraise online. Entrepreneurs can even use crowdfunding to finance projects or a new creative idea.

    How do I know if crowdfunding is right for me?

  • Donation-based crowdfunding: This type of crowdfunding is one of the most common when looking up “what is a crowdfunding campaign.” In donation-based crowdfunding, people search for and support a cause by donating to it without receiving anything in return. The person running the fundraiser isn’t obligated to pay back donors or give them anything else in return for their contributions. GoFundMe is one of the major crowdfunding sites that uses donation-based crowdfunding.

    Equity-based crowdfunding: In equity-based fundraising, the fundraiser organizer accepts money from people looking to invest, typically to help launch a business. In return, investors will receive a small piece of equity in the business or company.

    Rewards-based: Through rewards-based crowdfunding on platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, the organizer of the fundraiser provides a reward or products to donors, usually a service or physical item, in exchange for a contribution.

    What are the different types of crowdfunding?

  • Absolutely. Thousands of people start online fundraisers every day to raise money for themselves. It’s understandable that you might be nervous about asking for money. But it’s important to remember that nearly everyone has experienced financial hardship at one point or another. You might be surprised by the number of people who want to support you when you need it most.

    Is it okay to raise money for myself?

  • While there’s no magic formula for receiving donations, there are definitely steps you can take to set yourself up for success. The most important thing you can do is create a compelling fundraiser and build a community that empathizes with your cause. Investing the time into your fundraiser story will inspire your network of friends and family to take action. For specific tips on how you can create an engaging fundraiser and share it far and wide, read on.

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