Thought on Crowdfunding

I am waiting for my follow number to go down, because of my response to crowdfunding. Normally I just read and watch, waiting to see how this works. I find it interesting. When a fellow writer asked for crowdfunding, because a real job interfered with his writing, I got a little snarky, probably because I don’t feel well to begin with. I read a long time ago that if your goal was to write, the first thing you should do is get a real job.

Get a real job, because writing is so solitary, it takes so much time to get something published, plus you need to be involved in all of life to become a writer, and that means being out in the world interacting with people on a regular basis. Some of the worlds greatest books were written by people while they were employed, for example Melville’s Moby Dick.

After doing a little reading on what Forbs, Ernst and Young, and Money says about crowdfunding I understand it is a legitimate way of raising money for a project. Your return on investment can range from a public acknowledgement of some kind, thank you merchandise, or simply a warm feeling that you have done something good.

I looked into self publishing a book about a year ago. An Alphabet book, and publisher would provide illustrations. I figured out how many books I would need to sell to just break even. The value of having an illustrated tangible book is very appealing, but I decided to write a blog and see what kind of response I got from people. I think about introducing my alphabet book here in the hopes that an illustrator might take notice. Together, we could maybe do a nice little book.

I would certainly be willing to take a little money from people to get the job done. You would get a thank you, and if you donated enough I could arrange for an autographed book. Either way, think of the warm feeling you would be left with by helping this writer get her book published.

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14 thoughts on “Thought on Crowdfunding

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      1. In order for me to express my feelings one needs to know – what is crowdfunding?

        Crowdfunding is a way of raising finance by asking a large number of people each for a small amount of money. Until recently, financing a business, project or venture involved asking a few people for large sums of money. Crowdfunding switches this idea around, using the internet to talk to thousands – if not millions – of potential funders.

        Typically, those seeking funds will set up a profile of their project on a website such as those run by our members. They can then use social media, alongside traditional networks of friends, family and work acquaintances, to raise money. There are three different types of crowdfunding: donation, debt and equity.

        Donation/Reward crowdfunding

        People invest simply because they believe in the cause. Rewards can be offered (often called reward crowdfunding), such as acknowledgements on an album cover, tickets to an event, regular news updates, free gifts and so on. Returns are considered intangible. Donors have a social or personal motivation for putting their money in and expect nothing back, except perhaps to feel good about helping the project.

        Okay, I am all about cutting out the middle man and I don’t see any reason to borrow money from a lender and then be expected to pay the loan back within a predetermined amount of time and with interest. That’s what crowd funding allows to happen. Crowd funding becomes a win win for everyone. No one is out of a lot of money because so many chipped in a little bit and by doing so you helped someone out of a jam.

        This gives us an overview as to what and how crowdfunding works. However within this definition one will not find the moral obligations of ones own values. I was raised to earn the money that you need for the things that you want. If you can’t pay for it yourself than you don’t need it. If you were to ask my father, he would say that crowd funding sounds like a scam and in a way he is kind of right.

        I’ll try to explain, Crowd funding is basically a fancy way of pan handling and not to far away from sitting on a corner with a sign – I’m Hungry or whatever the case may be. Now this thought process may come from how I was raised knowing that one doesn’t need anything from anybody if they can get it on their own. I personally beat myself up each time that someone contributes to my campaign although I am out of work without an income and doing what I have to do. It still feels like charity and it is. This is where the inner turmoil comes from for me.

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      2. Something However that I was reminded of here https://fundinghelp.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/what-is-crowfunding-and-how-does-it-work/ is accountability! “It’s an interesting question to think about – I went to a seminar on Kickstarter that featured a panel of their current and former employees/contributors and the first thing they said was “This isn’t charity. You are being funded for a physical thing.” (which is a particular requirement of Kickstarter – you have to be making/producing something). But even they admitted that it sometimes frivolous projects get funded (like the guy who Kickstart funded his potato salad for a BBQ) and really worthy ones don’t…But one critical component of crowdfunding they pointed out (and I would argue is one difference between crowd funding and giving someone a dollar who is begging outside the subway) is that the people who give to your campaign do expect something in return – they expect to be updated and told if the project goes forward and they expect the “thank you gifts” if you offered them. I guess I think of it more akin to the “investment giving” that public radio and public television engage in.” by Marcy Erb http://illustratedpoetry.wordpress.com/

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      3. It reminds me of a conversation I heard in a restaurant. A “minister” was requesting funds so he could continue speaking to others on an issue of mutual concern. They would be his sponsors. Ideally the funding should be an investment of some type for the investor. I guess if you get a warm feeling by helping someone with their potato salad, sometimes that is enough. Not for me, but for some people. Public radio is closer to the mark, and has broad appeal. Your Bikes have a more limited appeal, but very strong appeal for a special segment of the population. Maybe you could make a bike, and auction it. Just a thought.

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      4. Last June when I stepped into that low spot in the ground and permanently damaged three discs in my lower back causing me to lose my job and income as a heavy equipment mechanic along with zero hope of ever continuing in that career.

        I made the choice to attempt to do something different that will/could potentially allow me to work with this disability as opposed to applying for and receiving a disability check from the government for the rest of my life.

        I have 35 years of experiance in the Aerospace, Automotive and Heavy equipment industries and a lifelong love for tooling around on a bicycle with my kids. The idea of starting a small, independant, hand-crafted bicycle fabrication shop would give me the flexibility to work with my disability and a potential income.

        The funding I am seeking is necessary to attend a bicycle frame building business course along with how to build bicycles and reducing the learning curve. Sure I could probably teach myself how to fabricate bicycles and that might be the direction I am forced to take if I can’t reach my target goal.

        So, at this point making a bike and offering it for auction isn’t possible. However, If I were to ever attempt crowdfunding again and had the skills to make or fabricate bicycles, offering bikes as reward would certainly be the way to go.

        Educational crowdfunding is exhausting and extremely difficult. I have nothing to lose by trying to keep from collecting disability in an attempt to create a new future, except for a little bit of pride and I everything to gain if successful.

        I personally feel by contributing five bucks or more to help an individual or family to improve their live is far more important than making sure that I have the opportunity to watch public television or listen to public radio and if all I get for five bucks or more is a warm fuzzy feeling from knowing that I was just a small part of making a difference in a families future. I’m good with that!

        Please don’t get me wrong here April and don’t take this as an attack in any way. We are all individuals and have our own ways of looking at the world and I am grateful for that – the world would suck if we all thought in the same way! 🙂

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