Curious what “crowd-funding” is? Let me explain…
“Crowd-Funding,” as it has been termed, is the concerted effort of a group of people typically tied together by a network of interests. Individually they give small amounts of money that end up amounting to one large donation from the group. It involves trust and supportive efforts initiated by another organization or group looking to fund a specific project / cause.
It is people coming together in their own amount and living the notion that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Here in Tampa, we’re starting with local charities and helping them get money to fuel needed community projects that are feeling the pinch of the times.
Picture an organization that is part fund-raising, part blog, part networking event, part project support system…fueled by social networking and media. Now put yourself in a position to understand today’s need for small-scale financing and “crowd-funding” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowd_funding) as a stimulus to drive new innovation in our current economy. Even the government is taking steps to change regulation to facilitate small-amount investment in order to spur new ideas, get money to those that need it, start new businesses and allow smaller players to get in the game. The concept is getting a lot of attention and is even specifically called out in the American Jobs plan (http://www.americanjobsact.com/helping-small-businesses.html).
Local Tampa organizations, leaders, entrepreneurs and technology-minded people are also coming together to support and assist charitable projects and new companies, but there seems to be a gap to fill where an online medium coupled with networking functions could facilitate funding via online donations and investments from a broader audience.
Everyone forgets that in these trying and budget-tightening times, charities have a hard time rely on donations…new business ideas can’t easily go to a bank for a loan so they look for reasonable investors….artists can’t make ends meet while they wait to be discovered… designers can’t get their fresh ideas out there without a catalyst and supportive spark…and people with sub-prime credit can’t get a loan traditionally. We want to open up the avenues of funds and make it easier to find people willing to give. Leveraging our social network and the crowd allows those funds to get where they’re needed in the community.
People are spending more of their time online socializing, buying coupons, getting their news, ordering products, etc. Why not create a marketplace where people can also donate money and invest in community projects they like?
“Cause To Fund” … An online community where supporters come together with local community projects looking for money.
Don’t stand on the side of the road holding a sign….follow us and meet others willing to give. Previously, we put money in banks and banks chose where to deploy it in the community for loans and donations. Now we have the ability to put our money directly into the community projects we want to see succeed.
As a whole, we can come together and be greater than ever known…