Preface: I love philanthropy and supporting causes and this is not my first time GIVING! However, this is my first time falling for the “crowdfunding” trick.
And in general I’ve always been wary of Kickstarter and Indie Go Go because of the fees associated with their services and a little skepticism behind who and what causes can put a project up on the site.
Working for Building Tomorrow we see crowdfunding happen every day. Every on-campus event our chapters host has some sort of crowd funding. Millennials love giving this way. They know that their $1 donation will be paired with hundreds of other $1 donations that will in turn make an impact.
This on-campus crowd funding works on one level. The chapter raises funds and each donor feels significant when they give.
Kickstarter and the likes however, work on another level. They show you exactly who else is giving and therefore how your $1 or $10 donation has already been paired up with a $100 and a $250 donation to make that $1000 goal actually attainable.
My best friend from high school is writing the lyrics for a musical that’s showing off Broadway in New York. Her team used Kickstarter to raise $1000 to help cover the costs of putting the show together, rehearsing and all that entails. Check out her project here!
A little more background, I’m not a glamorous giver or even an impulse giver. All of my donations are monthly direct deposits – I know living on the edge. But I gave to my friend’s project. One of my few impulse donations of the year.
Here is why:
Despite not always loving Kickstarter and other crowd funding tools they DO do a good job of creating accountability and demonstrating the need. After the project was funded we received an email from my friend outlining the budget for the project and where money would be spent.
2. Guaranteed impact.
My fear usually in donating to a friend’s cause or project is that the impact won’t matter. It won’t be significant enough or the project overall won’t receive enough funding to “make it.” With Kickstarter, I saw very clearly that they would reach their goal. They already had larger supporters – $250 or $500. I knew that my donation would be part of the total impact. Something that I’m usually not fooled by but in seeing how many other “Backers” were already on board. It actually did make me feel more confident that my donation would be impactful.
3. It was my friend.
Might be obvious but this is a HUGE reason that millennials give and that crowdfunding can work. I had every confidence in her and I could actually see her personality in the project – in the description, the picture, her name was on it, everything. It was excited to join with her in this project because she owned it. I gave not only because I cared about the project but I cared about her and could see her in the project.
Bottom Line: Crowdfunding is the future. There is no question about it. Millennial donors are leading the way in this. They give knowing that their gift will be made significant by the many others giving. They give knowing that the funds will be used for a specific project. And they give because of personal reasons – they listen to their peers and will give $1, $10, $25 to a cause that their friend has taken up as their own.