Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Maine Grains launched a Kickstarter fundraising campaign today. We are very excited.
I find Kickstarter fascinating. For those who haven’t checked it out yet, Kickstarter is an online platform where everyday citizens with creative projects can raise money. Kickstarter has helped people make films, teach animal husbandry and butchery, design and build new iPhone docs, record albums, start bakeries, and much more.
Here’s the way it works: project organizers define a specific “project” and a target fundraising goal using a short video; modest contributions are pledged by online “backers” (usually around $25) to support a specific project; if the funding goal is met with enough citizen pledges by a certain deadline, backers receive a reward and the organizer receives the money to proceed with the project.
Since its creation a couple of years ago, Kickstarter has moved millions of dollars to creative entrepreneurs, artists, farmers, musicians, designers, and film makers.
It has spawned a new form of raising capital, called “crowd-funding”, an alternative to large bank loans and foundation grants.
Here’s what seems so interesting: these are not loans, or investments. There is no collateral. If Kickstarter projects are fully funded, backers will never see their money again. And, there is no guarantee that the projects will even succeed.
So, why do people give money to friends, peers, fans and ordinary people they don’t even know?
Maybe it is for the rewards; a t-shirt, a CD, one of the first items off the production line. Maybe people give to play a small part in making a dream come true; to not just buy something, but be a part of creating it. And maybe, giving is just a way to fuel a community of hopeful change-makers in dark economic times.
Whatever the reason for the rise in ‘crowd-funding’, it’s a heartwarming look at how technology can bring us all closer together while at the same time building better businesses and a better world.
Posted by Amber Lambke, Michael Scholz at 9:03 PM