Crowdfunding 411

In the past few years, crowdfunding has evolved from an oddball Internet fad to a legitimate tool to attract money for your cause.

In the time since it made its first curiosity-inspiring appearance on the scene, crowdfunding has been behind successful fundraising campaigns for a wide range of projects, from Sundance movie premieres to bicycle accidents that deprived the cyclist of an income to weddings with pricetags the happy couple weren’t married to.

Just the same, it remains a fairly out-there idea for lots of folks, an enduringly mystifying means of raising money that sometimes inspires more confusion than confidence.

Time to demystify.

Its relative novelty notwithstanding, crowdfunding is an entirely valid and increasingly effective method of attracting financial support for a goal.

Here’s how it typically works: a professional crowdfunding platform like FundAid FundAid oversees a campaign on clients’ behalf. That means it manages their digital requests for money and also its collection.

Since FundAid is owned by Glacier Media, it is also able to tap into the vast resources of its newspapers and online platforms to help bring attention to campaigns. In the Lower Mainland, that includes the Bowen Island Undercurrent, Burnaby Now, Business in Vancouver, Delta Optimist, Langley Advance, Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times, North Shore News, Richmond News, Royal City Record, South Delta Leader, Surrey Now, Tri-Cities Now, Vancouver Courier, WE Vancouver, Vitamin Daily and Social Shopper.

Social media is the force with which the crowdfunding phenomenon can credit much of its success, thanks to its inherent utility as a vehicle of social connection. By exploiting its best feature, people in need can make contact with contacts who want to help. 

Starting a crowdfunding campaign is a breeze: create, share with your personal community over social media and collect secure payments in aid of your cause. Take Aprons for Gloves, for one.

Founded in 2012, Aprons for Gloves Boxing Association is a Vancouver-based non-profit focused on helping the down-at-heel members of its community through the sport of boxing. With a half a month still left in its crusade, 1,095 contributors had raised $96,193.

Out-there idea? Hardly.

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