Review of Indiegogo

The Internet can be a wonderful interactive tool. It provides a continuous stream of new information and helps us share our stories in ways that were never possible in past eras. Essentially, for anyone with a computer, the “Inter Webs” keeps us connected.

Obviously this is great for many online businesses. There is less overhead and a potential global market awaits the savvy —although one needs to gain know-how at Internet marketing, search engine optimization and a few other essentials — if you really want to make it online. Nevertheless, online successes abound, everything from small e-shops selling T-shirts to huge e-commerce sites selling cars. Then there is affiliate marketing, Twitter, Facebook, E-bay, Clickbank, Amazon, AdSense, viral videos, and much, much more. Just as reknowned media critic Noam Chomsky once predicted with dire resignation, the Internet has become the world’s biggest shopping mall.

Indeed it has. But the web — for all its corporate and commercial dominance — has also proven to be a valuable tool for social change. From tweeting the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement to the emergence of Wikileaks as a digital fourth estate, social media has been a decisive factor.

So what about actually making a difference in the lives of others as opposed to just buying or selling goods and services or leveraging information and traffic for profit?

The Changing Face of Fundraising

It turns out that the digital age is also turning traditional fundraising on its head. While it’s been possible to make charitable donations online for years, with the rise of social media, the idea of “crowdfunding” has taken it to a whole new level.

Simply put, crowdfunding or “crowdsourcing,” is when an online group or crowd of people get together to pay for a certain event or item or project and use their collective spending power to fund raise for a cause.

Enter Indiegogo: Crowd Funding for the Greater Good

One of the best known crowd funding websites is Indiegogo.com. While there are hundreds of similar sites out there, Indiegogo has become one of the main go-to sites to raise money for music, charity, small business, film, education and pretty much any cause you can imagine. Founded by Danae Ringelmann, Slava Rubin, and Eric Schell, the platform helps thousands of people around the globe to crowd fund their projects. John Kennedy of Silicon Republic recently interviewed Ringelmann on the phenomenal success of Indiegogo. According to Ringelmann...

When I teamed up with my co-founders in 2008 to launch Indiegogo we launched with a mission to democratize fundraising. And we've kept to that mission...Indigoggo is now the leading global crowd funding platform where anyone, anywhere in the world can create a campaign for absolutely anything and we're in almost 200 countries now, we have campaign owners across the world and we are distributing millions of dollars every week to campaign owners across the world.

More on what makes Indiegogo unique and revolutionary can be found in this video here.

The small mountain of success stories you can find on Indiegogo is amazing and they serve as a testament to just how successful crowd funding can be if managed properly. Many involve people who are ill and cannot afford the necessary medical treatment.

It’s not only music and charitable events which are the focus of crowd funding, but also films, businesses looking for start-up capital, and people who need to pay for their education. For example, due to new regulations, Bonnie Adam of Acupuncture Guelph requires funding to go back to school to obtain more hours in Traditional Chinese Medicine. She’s launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise money in order to continue to run her community acupuncture clinic and Keep Affordable Acupuncture Alive as she upgrades her education.

Is Indiegogo for you?

If you are looking to gain exposure for your creative project, event or cause and need the resources to get the ball rolling, then Indiegogo can certainly be your answer.

It is important for Indiegogo campaigns to offer perks to their donors. You should also promote your campaign via social networking websites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Indiegogo has two funding options: flexible funding versus fixed funding. With flexible funding (by far the more popular model), if you reach your goal, you keep all funds raised, minus a 4% platform fee. If you don't reach your goal, you still keep all funds raised, but instead pay a 9% fee. With fixed funding, if you reach your target, you keep all funds raised, minus 4 %, but if you don't reach it, then all funds are returned to your donors. Fixed funding exists for projects that can only continue if a specific amount of money is raised, (e.g. renting studio time); in such cases it is unfair to expect donors to give money if you are unable to allocate it for its stated purpose.

Keep in mind that crowdfunding relies on charitable donations and people don’t easily part with their hard earned dollars. So if you are looking to buy yourself a new car for no reason other than material want, don’t expect people to be forthcoming with their money.

On the other hand if you need to raise money to promote your band or film and are willing to give something back such as lifetime backstage passes or credits on your film, then you will find that crowdfunding can be a very good route to take.

And if you are serious about starting to crowd fund a project then Indiegogo.com should be your place to start. It is one of the best and most established sites for creating such campaigns.

Finally, if you simply want to even-up the playing field slightly in a world of great economic disparity, then go now to Indiegogo —and give!

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