Traditional methods of collecting for charities are getting tired. It is not due so much to the economic pressures people are subject to (although they are a contributor), but due to the traditional methods beating a well worn and dusty track. Charitable organisations are not resource rich, and with such a large market to tap, time seems to constantly be against them. This may all be changing as crowd funding continues to establish itself as a time effective and efficient mechanism for organisations and individuals to raise funds for charitable pursuits.
Until recently, fund raising activities were led by raffles, sausage sizzles, door-to-door collections, and a whole host of events organised by a passionate few. The reach of such campaigns was largely limited by the amount of shoe leather they had to expend (that is how far they could walk to meet and greet potential supporters), by the amount of people who they could engage to give up their time to assist, and by how much “cut through” they could achieve to be heard above the other people collecting from the same audience for other well meaning causes.
Then crowd funding came along and it has proven to be a game changer. The power, speed and reach of the internet have shown that one person, on their own, can get the word out to a broad audience, touching hundreds if not thousands of people in an hour and without even leaving their home. Better still, the reach is now no longer limited to networks of the project creator, but the breadth of reach is multiplied as those who share the passion start to engage their networks and so on. An example of this is the recently successful campaign “Choice for Maia” (http://ipledg.com/l/choice-for-maia ). Rebecca from Northern NSW started a campaign to raise $6,000 for her daughter who required a genostics test to deal with her cancer. The campaign was fully funded in less than 24 hours, but the passion for Maia’s plight was shared, communicated, and echoed far beyond Rebecca’s networks, with much of the funding coming from people she didn’t know or had never met. Such a personal campaign had now become part of a far wider community who all wanted to help.
The introduction of the “Tipping Point” concept has allowed for charitable and philanthropic initiatives to achieve greater success. The bare minimum requirement of the organisation or individual can be set as a tipping point, making it easier for the project to become “live” and for the project creator to at least receive some funding. The full target then becomes much easier to reach as well, as once the project has momentum and a guarantee of some form of success, the “crowd” tend to take more note, assess the project as being more credible, and are more likely to support the campaign to the full goal.
And should the campaign touch the hearts of broader networks, and engage those who are as equally supportive of or passionate about the cause, there is the chance that the campaign will be over funded. As was the case with Maia’s campaign above, the tipping point can be hit quite quickly, engaging a broader audience to continue pledging, which does not stop once the ultimate target is reached. Her tipping point was 75% of the full target. This amount and the target amount were reached in the first 24 hours, and with 89 days to go, the pledges keep rolling in. The opportunity is there for the campaign to fund multiples of the original campaign target, offering greater care and treatment for Maia. Seldom would any other form of fund raising raise more than the targeted amount, let alone far exceed the desired amount. It truly is a form of democratised funding, with the extent of success being driven by the crowd.