A while ago a local blog mentioned a graduate student who was trying to raise a thousand dollars so he could try to make a go of creating and selling homemade organic chocolate bars from scratch (roasting the cocoa nibs, etc.).
He actually ended up raising the money through a site called Kickstarter, and I was proud to contribute a little bit. The fun thing that he is doing, which i think is really important in terms of making the whole crowd-funding idea work, is that he is blogging
about his experiences making the chocolate, etc.
I want to encourage more people who read this, who have a small dream project they need a little funding for to go for it, and maybe try a site like Kickstarter to raise the money you need (as the excerpt below states, the money raised is not investment money, it's a donation to you).
If you do try it, I really do think that the key is to blog about how that money is spent and how you do with the project -- if you do that, everyone can feel like they are part of the experience and if it doesn't succeed as you hoped, everyone will still feel like it was well worth the try and the learning experience.
What is Kickstarter?
Kickstarter is a new way to fund ideas and endeavors...
A good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide.
A large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement.
Is Kickstarter an investment mechanism?
No. People who use Kickstarter to fund their projects ("project creators") keep 100% ownership and control.
What's in it for the people who pledge?
Project creators can offer products, services or other benefits ("rewards") to inspire people to support their project.
Why is the money given called a "pledge"?
They're pledges because money is collected only if a project reaches or exceeds its funding goal before time expires.
Let's see if we can't get some DC regulars to give Kickstarter a try -- and maybe we can try to support each other's projects.