Guest post from R. Stover, Co-Founder, Community Funded.
I never thought fundraising would excite me. Yet, what was generally a mundane or unpleasant activity has become an exciting cultural shift. Technology is empowering everyday people and organizations to pursue their passions, missions and visions in remarkable ways. As a result, there is a new frontier of possibilities unfolding for each and every one of us.
“Crowdfunding” has risen with all the promise of a new land, but for every headline-making success, there are plenty of disappointments. The problem has to do with the nature of crowds, and for the vast majority of people, “crowdfunding” is the wrong approach.
Notably, a “crowd” is exactly that. It’s a sprawling mass of people. Think about crowds you’ve been a part of in the real world, at places like sports events, parades or other large gatherings of people. There might be a central focus, like a sports team out on the field, but the crowd itself is noisy, disconnected and… well, crowded. It’s difficult, if not impossible to be heard, much less funded.
Despite this fact, many crowd funding projects launch assuming they are out on the field with all eyes on them, when in fact they are in the crowd or not at the game at all. This is the Crowd Fallacy, and it is public enemy #1 for those seeking to raise money through these new online funding platforms.
So we leave the crowd behind and find ourselves back in the real world, surrounded by the people we see on a daily basis, the friends and family that we talk to by phone or online, and the people that we work with…even the people who serve our morning coffee who we know by name. This is where we belong. It’s not a crowd. It’s a community.
Tapping into this series of relationships is at the heart of a successful “community funded” project, regardless of the funding platform or the project’s size. When a community is properly engaged, mountains can be moved as well as the hearts and minds of everyone involved. It is this aspect of the “new face of fundraising” that has so excited me, as it has many others.
We are entering an age where anyone can be empowered to pursue his or her passions, missions and ideas. As funding platforms continue to evolve through our growing understanding of their use and effectiveness, so too must we adapt our thinking to embrace a reality that is more profound than we first imagined.
Each one of us has the strength of our communities behind us. When we bring all of our communities together, anything is possible.
About Community Funded
Community Funded is an online fundraising platform that empowers individuals and organizations to create and share fundraising campaigns with an engaged community. For more information, visit www.communityfunded.com or be a part of the conversation at #communityfunded.