In the business world, “charity” is no longer a dirty word. With bank loans becoming harder to secure, and investor groups looking for guaranteed return on investment, entrepreneurs and small-business visionaries must now seek better, non-traditional ways to fund their dreams.
Still feeling the sting of the recent recession, more and more small and medium-sized businesses are turning towards crowdfunding to stir up capital for their ventures. According to Massolution, a funding solutions company for global enterprises, crowdfunding raised more than $2.7 billion internationally last year for more than 1 million different projects, worldwide. As the movement gains traction and credibility through positive results, businesses, and potential investors, have begun to see crowdfunding in a new light.
Patrons see there is great value in helping to build a dream, and tangible rewards too! Some art projects promise mention of donors’ names in the credits for a higher dollar amount. Tech startups put contributors’ names right on the logo. Inventors and retailers, like Salman Sajid, promise exclusive, pre-release merchandise to their donors that no one else has. Whatever the tier of their donations, $5, $10, $50, $100+, there is always something satisfying in it for the common investor for their efforts.
Meanwhile, as people smile over their small slice of the pie, companies have the real, accessible funding they need to bring their vision to life (and sometimes much more) and a unique opportunity to interact with customers and improve their PR. The whole effort becomes an effective, low-cost way to build positive press coverage about their business, create a market demand right out of the gate, and find out more about their investors.
Companies like Kickstarter.com, GoFundme.com, and others have become grand facilitators of these personal and business campaigns, while other companies – various marketing firms, for instance – are beginning to incorporate it into their overall strategies.
Even the government thinks it’s great idea!
With a little forward thinking and some modern-day ingenuity, businesses can now harness the power of this new source of revenue to take hold of a collaborative cash flow to help fund their futures.
Remember, a little, in abundance, is a lot.