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A few weeks ago, you may remember that I wrote about a young girl’s annoyance with her favorite mobile game and her determination to change it, and I cited it as a tremendous example of the positivity of action over thought.
Increasingly, I am coming across ever more powerful examples of individuals and groups using crowdfunding to invoke this mentality to affect change, or quite simply, just get on with it. The successful comedy writer David Quantick (who lists HBO’s Veep among a long list of writing credits) crowdsourced funding this week for his new book to be published as both an ebook and a hardcover. It took less than a day to achieve his target through the new publishing website Unbound which promises to give both authors and readers a greater say in which books get published – and so successful were his efforts that he managed to crash the site in the process. The campaign was announced via the writer’s Twitter feed, and points to the perfect symbiotic relationship between social media and crowdfunding. What was also striking about this example is that Quantick, with his considerable portfolio, felt that this was the preferable way to go. Crowdfunding is – or can be – universal in its appeal, both as funder and fundee.
Another example of the “get on with it” mentality to which crowdfunding lends itself so well is that of a 26-year-old blogger named Zack Crockett. You may have seen in the news that bicycling by a huge fire in the Mission district in San Francisco at that start of the year, Zack was dismayed to see more people filming the fire on their phones than figuring out a way to help. Zack was spurred to action. He went back to his apartment and set up a Gofundme campaign to help the residents of the destroyed building. Overall, Zack raised $180,000 from more than 2,200 people – making it a true community effort.
Finally, according to news reports this week, crowdfunding is set to generate millions of dollars to help fund the relief effort following the devastating earthquake in Nepal. According to a report from Sky News, there are already more than 100 global projects on crowdfunding site Indiegogo.com alone. The reason these home-grown campaigns seem to resonate so well with people, according to the Indiegogo co-founder, is that they feel more targeted and personal. For example, the Sky report suggests that donating through these might be a better option for getting much-needed funds to first responders already on the ground.
In all these examples, the common thread seems to be the ability to take a more direct course of action. Obviously, this is in no way to diminish the incredible work of NGOs and charities around the globe but indicative, perhaps, of how empowering being part of a positive and collective movement for good can be.
Crowdfunding has grown immensely in the past couple years and figures to be a force for good in the world for many more. If you are interested in how a crowdfunding campaign might benefit your cause or company, please get in touch.
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