Are non-profits getting serious about crowdfunding?

8661000014A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . . we used to do a special themed blog post to start every week and it was called “Mondays with Marissa“. We haven’t run that series in a while because Marissa moved on to bigger and better things (and I should add that by bigger and better I mean “things that pay”). She got snatched up by one of the local Girl Scout councils to manage their online communities. However, in the spirit of “Mondays with Marissa,” I thought we would look back today at a previous post by Marissa, provide a little update, and spur additional conversation.

Crowdfunding is defined by Wikipedia as “… the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.”

Crowdfunding is a spinoff of crowdsourcing, and this YouTube video by does a really good job of explaining it:

In the last year or so, both Marissa and I wrote about crowdfunding in the following posts:

In spite of my confession that I was a doubting Thomas and suddenly “saw the light” when it came to crowdfunding, I have another admission to make today. I was still a little skeptical after writing that post a year ago.

However, just last week and almost a year after proclaiming Marissa “right,” I read in the Fundraising Digest Weekly published by that the Smithsonian plans on running its first crowdfunding campaign. Click here to read more about the Smithsonian’s efforts at

After reading this, I must admit that it is impossible to be a doubting Thomas about this ePhilanthropy tool.

The Smithsonian is no slouch when it comes to resource development and fundraising. Their decision to turn to crowdfunding validates this online fundraising strategy as something that is here to stay.

  • Are you still a doubting Thomas? If so, why?
  • Has you non-profit organization experimented with crowdsourcing or crowdfunding? What did you do? What did you learn?
  • Have you seen other heavy hitting non-profit groups use a crowdfunding campaign successfully? Who? What?
  • Have you looked into other crowdsourcing applications other than crowdfunding such as crowdengineering, cloud labor, or crowdcreativity? Please explain.

Please use the comment box below to share your thoughts and experiences. Why? Because we can all learn from each other.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC!/eanderson847


About DonorDreams

Erik got his start working in the non-profit field immediately upon graduation with his masters degree in 1994. His non-profit management and fundraising experience numbers nearly 20 years. His teachable point of view around resource development is influenced by the work of Penelope Burk and those professionals subscribing to a "donor centered" paradigm. Donors have dreams and it is our responsibility to be dream-makers because donors are not ATMs.

Posted on June 10, 2013, in Fundraising, nonprofit, resource development, technology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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