Today, crowdfunding is a globally-popular means of fundraising for a project or start-up, offering an alternative to the more traditional funding channels such as bank loans or angel investors.
By appealing directly to the intended audience of the project or idea, crowdfunding works by receiving many small donations from interested backers with the aim of reaching a target amount. Crowdfunding’s growing popularity is not only down to its alternative method of raising funds, however; it also offers a complete package in which you can build, showcase, pitch and present your idea all in one place – usually via a digital platform that increases the project’s reach even further.
By offering fledgling projects such an attractive all-round business proposition, crowdfunding has become increasingly applicable to ideas stemming from many diverse sectors, ranging from technological projects and innovative ideas, through to creative works and community projects.
Here are six different sectors that most commonly fit the crowdfunding arena, and regularly achieve success in their campaigns.
As an industry, fashion is as diverse as it gets. Projects pitched via crowdfunding campaigns can range from men and women’s clothing to apparel and accessories, and some have even launched pet fashion lines.
Crowdfunding is particularly helpful for a fashion-related project due to its capacity to quickly connect you with your target audience. This is useful should you be launching your own fashion brand, or are seeking to launch and validate new designs, as you can access customer input and perhaps even get noticed by other fashion mentors. Furthermore, crowdfunding frequently forms an early customer base, creating demand via pre-sales for your clothing line or product.
Crowdfunding campaigns have historically been launched for practically all genres of music from classical to rock, folk to R-n-B.
The campaign also presents an opportunity for a musician to promote their music, creating a platform for new music and concepts, and opening the doors for potential collaborations with other artists. This is also a unique chance to engage with, or build, your fan base, and giving them rewards for their support such as albums, concert tickets or exclusive releases.
If there was ever a sector that literally required an audience, theatre is it – and that’s why crowdfunding has taken off particularly well within this sector. Campaigns have been launched to support productions across a variety of theatrical genres including comedy, immersive or musical, and have been used to enhance the growth of the theatre community via funding new productions, exporting shows abroad or creating performance spaces.
Crowdfunding thrives in the theatre world since it can be used as a booster to other state-funded programmes, while lessening the risks associated with other funding methods and the risk for producers who can avoid extra charges should the campaign or show be unsuccessful. Likewise, crowdfunding helps any backers in the audience to feel part of the production, and a part of its success.
In the education sector, crowdfunding represents a quick, simple and economical way to promote and improve the quality of learning, through funding extracurricular activities, educational programmes nationwide, and educational infrastructure.
It is also an effective method of reaching a larger pool of people who may be interested in helping educational projects that are geared towards greater student empowerment.
In the fast-moving and rapidly-changing world of video gaming, crowdfunding allows developers to quickly validate a gaming idea or garner specific feedback from the crowd.
As one of the most successful areas in the crowdfunding arena, video game-related campaigns tend to offer pre-sales of games where backers are rewarded with the game itself or expansion packs, or may help smaller video game setups inexpensively put their game on the market.
Crowdfunding has gained momentum as a proven way to collectively raise funds towards environmentally-friendly projects designed to protect and sustain the planet.
These campaigns tend to support a specific environmental cause, conservation or environmentally conscious product, or help an existing environmental project become viable and sustainable. They are also an opportunity to connect with like-minded environment advocates.
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