Interestingly, the first ever successful crowdfunding campaign was started by a rock band in 1997. Since then it has become a revolutionary way to pull funds for various campaigns—from financing musical tours to putting smiles on cleft-lipped children. Here is an in depth look on how crowdfunding evolved as well as crowdfunding tips for getting your first funding campaign going.
Even before the rock band’s funding success in the 19th century, the origin of crowdfunding goes way back to the 1700. The Irish were the first people to birth the concept through what they called the Irish Loan Fund. These funds were availed to the low income families living in rural areas to help in business ventures and upkeep. It was an author, Jonathan Swift, who pioneered this funding campaign which sparked a series of other campaigns (300 to be exact) that so over 20% of Irish households benefiting.
From the Irish, another country picked up the concept. It wasn’t America or the UK but the evergreen Asian country of Bangladesh. This was in 1976 when one Dr. Mohammad Yunus introduced microfinancing into the country that financed female entrepreneurial ventures in rural villages. His idea became successful and by 1983, morphed into what is present day Grameen Bank. The financial institution boasts of over 8million members with 97% of them being female beneficiaries.
Finally, the USA caught up with the trend, and it was through the British rock band’s Marillion that was sourcing funds to finance their America tour. The result was astounding as the band managed to raise a cool $60,000 through their online fan base. Several other artists saw the advantage, and a website (Artist Share) ensured whose sole purpose was to help artists reach out to their fans for monetary assistance to finance their musical ventures.
Even though it took USA a while to get going, it is the country that has made crowdfunding popular to the entire world. In fact, America has the largest pool of crowdfunding organizations like Kiva, Prosper, Indiegogo, Peerbackers, Kickstarter, Startup America Partnership and the two popular ones: Fundable and GoFundMe. The ‘Fund me’ concept is now globally accepted and comes with a host of advantages.
Originally, to get your project funded meant you first had to come up with a killer proposal that would woo a potential investor from the limited supply. But today, a ‘Go fund Me’ campaign can reach millions of internet users and all you have to do is sell your passion. The traditional funding methods meant convincing investors why they should give you the full $70,000 to start your business. However, a crowdfunding online campaigns only asks as little as $5 from one individual, and if 100,000 people get to donate, that is a cool $500,000. A ‘Fund Me’ campaign gives you more reach, makes it easier to sell your story and there are billions of people around the world ready to help.
Crowdfunding Tips to Get You Started
The secret is simple; first start an awareness page on social media and tell your inspiring story. Hashtags sell these days, so come up with one that will sound catchy on Facebook or Twitter. Additionally, come up with a great video about your project that will move the audience. Narrow down your target audience, make your story as personal as possible then live the ‘GoFundMe’ link at the end of it all. You don’t even have to say ‘Donate’ when you know the crowd is convinced! What’s more, most crowdfunding websites offer great crowdfunding tips tat you can take advantage of.
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