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What is CrowdFunding?

posted Apr 3, 2013, 4:22 PM by Andrew Manzo

CrowdFunding occurs when many ordinary people put small amounts of money (typically $10 to $200) into projects that they believe in. For example, a designer needs to raise $30,000 to place an initial order for a watch that he/she has designed. If 430 people put up an average of $70 each, then the project can be funded, and the watch can become a reality.

The foundation of the Statue of Liberty was paid for by CrowdFunding, promoted then by a New York Newspaper. They raised over $100,000, and the average person put in one dollar.

How Does It Work?

At potential projects go first to CrowdAuditionTM, where our members give feedback and advice to help improve them. The members' input also plays a key role in the selection of which projects go to fundraising. Doing it this way, if a project is rejected, the project driver will already know why, and can then decide how to improve their project before they enter it again... explore our projects

For a quick video on how the site functions, click here!

How is Different?

We have introduced many unique innovations at Here are ten of them [Tweet This];

1. InsideTrack™ [Tweet this]
Do you ever watch American Idol or The Voice and think "Boy, I’d sure like to garner as many fans for my project as these singers do for their talent"? Well, turns out now you can. With our InsideTrack program we encourage you to make your Supporters feel as closely connected with your project, as American Idol fans do with the top 10 singers. Just like on American Idol we have our Project Drivers open their kimonos and expose their emotional journeys through their setbacks and big wins. By engaging the Supporters emotionally in this way, we make a far more engaging and deep experience for Supporters, which means they come back more often and fund more projects.

2. CrowdAudition™ [Tweet This]
Do you ever wonder how a CrowdFunding website determines which projects get to move into fundraising and which ones are rejected? So do we. Sometime it seems rather arbitrary, so we decided to take the guesswork out by introducing CrowdAudition. CrowdAudition involves the community in the selection process of projects. During CrowdAudition Project Drivers get feedback from the community, so they can learn how to improve their projects. This gives the Project Driver an opportunity to rework a project (to be its very best) BEFORE it actually goes up for funding. And if their project is not getting an enthusiastic response, the Project Driver can ask our members why, and learn what to do differently. In this way, we leverage the expertise of the Crowd, and increase the involvement of our members. We put the best projects up for fundraising. And we take the mystery out of the rejection process, because when a Project Driver gets a “no” he or she knows why.

3. Mentor Program™ [Tweet This] Mentors are experienced executives and entrepreneurs who have the desire to help entrepreneurs that are just getting started. They have learned a lot, and they want to give back, to help new entreprenuers avoid the mistakes they made, or that they have observed. Because we know that raising the cash to embark on a startup is just one part of building maximum success.

4. CrowdAccelerator™ [Tweet This]
CrowdAccelerator is the next step for successful businesses that were initially funded via Once it’s clear a business is well on its way to becoming a flourishing entity the Project Driver may approach Mentors to request their dedicated involvement in the business. This program's purpose is to provide the best possible prospects for the largest possible success, by relying on the continued support of Mentors who can help guide the fledgling business.

5. STARTBusinessRewards™ [Tweet This]
Unlike regular rewards, STARTBusinessRewards are rewards that are given out to Supporters when the businesses they support reach major company milestones. This provides ongoing emotional payback to the Supporters who fund these business. For example, a STARTBusinessReward for a new business might be: “In return for your pledge of $200, when we hire our 100th employee we will send you a framed photo of the whole team with a gold sticker that says 'We could not have made it without you!' Plus, you get a paver with your name on it on the 'Walk of Fame' in front of our building. AND you're invited to the formal ball we're throwing in honor of making this momentous milestone!" Bundling rewards is key with STARTBusinessRewards, because you want your Supporters to feel emotionally connected when your business hits major milestones, making the Supporter feel like he or she directly had something to do with that piece of success!

6. NOWReward™ [Tweet This]
A NOWReward is one in which Supporters must act by a specific date and time, any time, BEFORE the actual project funding deadline takes place. This motivates Supporters by creating a genuine sense of urgency and rarity, long before a project actually reaches its funding end date. Learn how to Rock Your Rewards!

7. NOWAlert™ [Tweet This]
NOWAlert tracks funding, NOWRewards, and CrowdAudition deadlines and displays those updates on every page in the website in the form of the Alert box. So no matter where you are, you can see what’s happening with all projects. NOWAlert informs the community of events that are about to expire so everyone has the chance to "act now!" and thus not miss out on interesting opportunities.

8. PromptPayProgram™ [Tweet This]
When a Project Driver creates their project he or she selects a project deadline, at which time fundraising stops. This duration can be as short as 15 days to as long as six months. If a project is so compelling that it reaches its funding goal ahead of its deadline (which could occur in just a few days), then we pay the Project Driver the full amount of his or her funding goal at that time (about a week later) with the PromtPayProgram. We do not make the Project Driver wait until the project reaches its actual deadline to receive his or her funds. However, the project continues fundraising until its actual deadline is reached, so that project does not miss out on the extra funds raised – they are paid about a week after the deadline.

9. CrowdAltruism™ [Tweet This]
The CROWDAltruism™ Program allows Project Drivers to use their fundraising prowess to do good deeds worldwide. The program comes in three forms:
Program 1: Pay-It Forward The Project Driver can choose a 6% fee (instead of our standard 5% fee). By doing this they are choosing to pay the 1% to the PayItForward Fund. 25% of this fund is paid to the PayItForward Foundation. The remaining 75% is distributed once per quarter to good causes that members suggest, and which the members select by vote each quarter.
Program 2: Disaster Relief We encourage Project Drivers to create Disaster Relief projects, which will be fast-tracked when large scale disasters strike.
Program 3: Charitable, helping other people we encourage Project Drivers to set up altruistic and charitable projects. For charitable projects does NOT charge any project fees.

10. PromiseReview™ [Tweet This]
PromiseReview™ is a rating that lets the world know how a Project Driver and his or her team handled their project before, during, and after fundraising. This rating is provided by the Supporters of the project, and it is done four months after the project is funded. These ratings are important because a Project Driver cannot do another project until his or her previous project’s PromiseReview ratings have been publicly posted on the Project Driver’s profile page. Plus, it lets Supporters know the integrity and track record of a Project Driver...

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