As I speak to various groups and talk to people about crowdfunding, there are always a few in the audience who aretrollers. These are folks who go to crowdfunding sites and search projects to find things they like, so they can give money to support their campaign.
Sounds crazy, huh? But, consider this. These people are actively finding ways to support the things they believe in. They’re not waiting for someone to knock on their proverbial door or send them a letter or invite them to an Angel investment group. They’ve made the decision to go find entrepreneurs and businesses and making a pledge on money to their crowdfunding projects.
Now, maybe they look for the coolest rewards or the niftiest gadgets to support. They know there’s a risk of the project not reaching full funding, thus they won’t get the reward. Or maybe they’re grateful for their own success and want to pay it forward or give back. Either way you say it, it’s pretty wonderful.
That people actively seek out crowdfunding projects to support, knowing they won’t usually get anything other than a thank you, speaks directly to my subject here today.
Why do people give to crowdfunding projects?
Why do people give at all? The need to help others is pretty ingrained into our culture, into the human condition. Is it innate from birth or learned? That’s a bigger conversation than I want to have here today. However, I do think we humans, have a sense that we all must work together to achieve higher purposes and bigger results. Non-profits, causes, religious groups and politicians have long known how to use a “crowd” to raise awareness, money and support by going to the masses. There is strength in numbers.
Knowing how to reach the masses is a bit difficult for some older people, but if you want to reach people today, social media is the most immediate and effective way to go. My 86 year old Aunt Nancy uses email and sends me pictures that way. My friends in their 70s and 80s know how to post pictures and tidbits of thought, inspiration, humor and gossip on Facebook. Those who steadfastly refuse to use the Internet are rapidly being left out of the conversation. You’ll still have to send them a letter.
There is no magic to reaching the masses; you just need a good plan and execution. This isn’t a case of ”build it and they will come”. This is more in line with “did you hear about this great new product” that you might hear from a friend. You are the friend, sharing the information with your “crowd” and asking for their help.
Today we have, more than any time in our history, the means to personally talk to hundreds or millions of people. It takes time and some planning and effort, but amongst those many people you reach, are the ones who want to give. Your project or product, if compelling, could be the recipient of their generosity. You just have to let them know you’re there.
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