It is that time of year for predictions. Usually they are good read and of course no one remembers them 12 months later unless you happen to get one right and then you remind everyone. Regardless, we love them as do the readers. So this time around we have received some perspective from Dreamfund CMO Peter Crosby. Dreamfund is a donations based platform operating in Massachusetts. The platform is described as the circle-giving platform for important dreams. Peter believes that there are certain groups and causes that are beginning to find their way online rather than using traditional door to door or word of mouth fundraising. We would concur. 2014 was a big year for crowdfunding as its various incarnations begin to mature and take root in popular society. So below, Peter has shared his thoughts on 2014 and what to expect for the coming year.
Top Crowdfunding Trends in 2014:
- Non-rewards crowdfunding: While there were certainly some big ticket rewards based projects (potato salad anyone?) I see more people give to support the people and causes in their community with little or nothing in return. Just the “warm glow of giving.”
- Crowdfunding for social issues: It’s now commonplace for a crowdfunding based donation campaign to be set up whenever tragedy strikes or a major event happens. From helping store owners in Ferguson, MO rebuild to supporting disaster relief efforts after the big floods in Colorado – people are instantly looking for a way to raise money online to help.
- Offline fundraisers moved online: The days of walking desk to desk to collect for the office birthday gift, bothering every parent to contribute to class trips and painfully urging friends to pay for a shared party expense are coming to an end. In 2014 crowdfunding sites began taking over as a way to efficiently manage the collection of money from groups.
- Fraud concerns = fewer “random” donors: Given the number of fraudulent crowdfunding projects, backers seem to be asking more questions leading to a larger majority of funding coming from the people a project creator already knows, or their circles. In fact, close to 90% of funding for crowdfunded projects comes from a project owner’s friends and family and extended community.
Looking ahead to 2015:
- Teens join the game: No group is asked to raise money for things more often and also wants to do more with less in their bank accounts than teenagers.. Entrepreneurial and philanthropic teens will look to crowdfunding as a way to make their mark on the world this year.’
- Peer to peer fundraising gets more formal: Charitable organizations have already been getting the financial benefits of crowdfunding and peer to peer fundraising, but more non profits will take back brand control by empowering their supporters to raise on their behalf with templates provided by the non profit themselves.
- Wider array of campaigns: When Kickstarter first launched onto the scene crowdfunding seemed like it was only for people raising tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Today, there are more crowdfunding campaigns with smaller dollar amounts. People are more comfortable with asking and giving, so a wider array of individuals and organizations will begin crowdfunding.
- Fewer “All or nothing” campaigns: As more people use crowdfunding as one of many sources of financial support, I expect fewer projects to end in an all or nothing goal that leaves both project owners and project backers feeling empty.