One of the latest uses of technology that is gaining a lot of attention is crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is really nothing new – just a new twist on old ideas.
The idea is simple: a group of people (a crowd) financially supports the efforts of an artist, business, or other organization. They make donations of various levels to support the given cause.
Many of these campaigns are run on various websites built specifically for crowdfunding. Companies like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and GoFundMe give anyone who needs financial support a fun, easy-to-use platform to raise money for their project.
Common features on many of these sites are rewards and perks. For a certain contribution amount, something is given in return. For instance, give $25 and get an autographed copy of a book. Or give $10 to get an exclusive MP3. The rewards usually fit whatever the campaign is funding.
Within the Catholic world, there are many opportunities to capitalize on this technology. While there are a number of large publishers for books, music, and movies, many Catholic artists work more independently. Developing these materials requires capital, but as an independent artist, this can be difficult. Crowdfunding is the perfect solution.
Crowdfunding can also be used to raise money in other ways, as well. For instance, nonprofit organizations can use a crowdfunding site to raise money for special events. Even traditional businesses can use this model to raise money for their favorite cause.
A number of Catholic artists and organizations have already capitalized on this concept. CatholicMom.com recently raised funds on IndieGoGo to give Sarah Reinhard’s A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy to pregnancy centers around the country (it’s a book my currently pregnant wife is loving right now). Audrey Assad recently raised a large amount of money on Kickstarter to publish her first independent album. And yours truly is currently raising money at AssisiMedia.com to publish a book under my new, independent publishing house.
Crowdfunding, as I have found out firsthand, is not easy. With only days left, I am pushing hard to reach my goal. Whether I reach that goal or not, the funds I have already received will help me to continue sharing the Gospel with many people, and every dollar counts.
I expect that in the next couple of years, more Catholic artists will look to fund their projects using this new technology. May we continue to support them in their efforts, and in turn, continue to support the work of the Church.
Christ has called each of us to share the Gospel with the world, and with the help of crowdfunding, more Catholics artists and organizations can do exactly that.
Copyright 2013 Chad R. Torgerson