BY Richard Swart, PhD Director of Research Program for Innovation in Entrepreneurial and Social Finance University of California, Berkeley with Mary Eileen Milner Global Solution Networks Fellow
Crowdfunding asks innumerable individuals to contribute small amounts of money in support of a goal, project or new organization—even if the ”funding applicants” are unincorporated, experimental or shortterm. Crowdfunding decreases the time required to identify and vet solutions, helps mobilize donors and project backers outside the network of the initiating organization, generates richer sources of data from stakeholders, and allows for incremental program building while funds are being collected. Crowdfunding augments the annual donor campaign model and facilitates deeper engagement between financial backers, the network, and the targets of the program. While the concept of crowdfunding may give securities and tax regulators pause, it presents a considerable opportunity for global solution networks to overcome the limitations and challenges of obtaining funding through traditional channels.
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