Philanthropy is something that has long been associated with the wealthy. The masses were largely excluded from being called “Philanthropists” as it was a term reserved for the “Haves” who would do their bit to support the plight of the “Have-nots”. But now, through crowd funding, philanthropy is in reach of everyone. Crowd funding enables us all to easily review and choose the causes we wish to support, to pledge our assistance (no matter how small) through the micro-finance payment gateway, and to engage with the groups we fund.
The key ingredients of crowd funding are recognised as the next iteration of social media, the ability to transfer funds quickly and at low cost through international mirco-finance, and the ability to build tribes, all against a backdrop of relatively tough economic times. These are then easily translated into the ways in which all of us can now become philanthropic and use crowd funding to “spread the love”.
Charities, community groups, and causes of all sorts are starting to realise the ability for crowd funding campaigns to help them cut through the noise and stand out from the crowd of people searching for community support. Moreso, the realisation that such a campaign is so easily communicated to a fan-base through social media makes crowd funding an effective tool for organisations that are resource poor but rich in need.
“The crowd” have become battle hardened against the invasion of door-knockers, tin-rattlers, and cold-callers who invade personal space in the most inopportune time. The crowd now can look at which causes they wish to support, to review their story of need, and pledge their assistance at a time and in a manner that best suits them. Through the ability to send money over the internet without the previously high transfer fees makes it easy for people to send small amounts, regularly, and support people and groups in need with as little as a couple of dollars. Effectively, everyone now has the ability to become a philanthropist, with the ability to pledge support with a click of their mouse.
Donating and sponsoring are feel-good activities. People love to belong, and to be seen as being part of something. Your “entry fee” to join the club or become one of the tribe of supporters is now as little as you want it to be. You can pledge a couple of dollars (or very much more) and you too become a philanthropist, and part of the movement. Pledging to crowd funding campaigns makes it easy for the project creator to publicly thank their supporters and dish out public kudos, and spread the word though social media networks. Likewise, those who pledge their support can tell their networks of what they have done and who they are now supporting. The drums start to beat and the message starts to spread, drawing more people in and soon a movement is created (if you want to see a great example of this, check out this video by clicking here).
So we now have the ability to go from mere mortals to philanthropists. Any one of us can show our humanitarian side, and extend any generosity we can afford and support a cause for as little as a couple of dollars. Through crowd funding, we can review and support any cause when it suits, in a manner that is most comfortable to us. No longer just the domain of the rich and wealthy, we all have the ability to become a patron of the causes that touch our hearts.
Crowd funding – proving to be a wonderful mechanism for everyone to support the growth and work of the greater good.