Crowdfunding projects online have multiple pledge levels. That's the whole idea right? You participate in whatever way you can. Even the little guy can get involved.
Little guy participation is the most important innovation that Internet crowdfunding brings to the table.
Previously, fundraising campaigns whether charitable, political, or even financial, were for the "big guys". The reason was obvious. The logistics of finding 10,000 people to pledge $10 were overwhelming when compared with finding two participants at $50,000 or even 10 people at $5,000.
Along came the Internet though, and with it we got rid of that barrier.
All of a sudden volume wasn't an issue because the platform could allow for it. No field has shown that more clearly than the evolution of political fundraising. Once reserved for high earners, political contributions now come from across the spectrum.
In 2008, Barrack Obama raised $250m from donors giving $200 or less (1/3 of his total). And crowdfunding campaigns across the world followed suit. Many campaigns open up their pledges at the $1.
It does beg the question though: are these amounts largely symbolic, or are we really moving large amounts of money with micro-donations? In essence, have we made the mega-donor obsolete?
We'd like to think so in our industry, wouldn't we?
That's the awesome part of what we do. We get to change the balance of power and make fundraising more accessible to, well, everyone.
In truth though, the big guys are still around and we still need them. Yes, Barrack Obama raised $250m from funders of $200 or less, but he still raised $500m from everyone else. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.
What crowdfunding has done is bring the little guys to the table. It doesn't mean we need to shut out the large participants. The more the merrier I say (as long as the goal is just). And who knows, maybe one day we will raise $10million, one dollar at a time.
What do you think of the role of the little guy & the big guy? Let us know in the comments.