What is it? Crowdfunding is an innovative way of drawing on the collective interest in supporting new ideas that need investment. While it is often done to raise capital to start a business venture, it can also serve a vital role in helping to fund community projects. When an individual or group comes up with an idea for helping the community, they often need money to make their idea a reality. A crowdfunding campaign allows individuals across the community to each contribute as they desire and are able. Collectively these donations can accomplish much more than an individual could on their own. These funds go directly into programs that the crowd finds to be worthwhile.
How has it been used? Students at Sheldon High School in Eugene, OR were having trouble finding a good place to keep their bikes at school. While some good bike racks existed, they quickly filled and students had to use old racks that left their bikes open to theft and damage. A group of students working with the school system decided to take on this project of installing new racks. However, the school system did not have the money to fund it. Therefore, the group set up a crowdfunding request on Citizinvestor to ask for help with this project. They have been through two successful fundraising campaigns and have gathered the funding to install 35 new racks. (Source: Citizinvestor.com)