What Role Does The 'Crowd' Play In Crowdfunding? | Milaap

What Role Does The 'Crowd' Play In Crowdfunding?

When discussing crowdfunding, people usually tend to fixate on the latter part of the word, mostly because they see it in terms of its monetary function. But, if you’re able to raise funds through crowdfunding, there should be a source where the money you receive is coming from. It is the ‘crowd’ that gives you the money, and that is why it takes precedence over the ‘funding’ part. Quite frankly, you wouldn’t have funding if it wasn't for the crowd, whether it be a virtual (internet users) or a real crowd (immediate family, relatives, friends and acquaintances).

‘Crowdfunding’ refers to the use of the internet to harness the power of the ‘crowd’ to gather funds for various purposes. Crowdfunding was predominantly a source for funding start-ups and other business ventures, at first. But, it eventually branched out to funding personal, social, medical, emergency and several other causes - in a way, acting as an additional pillar for the financial sector.

What exactly is the crowd’s role in crowdfunding and how important is it?

Crowdfunding is a process that involves two parties, the campaign organisers (those who request funds) and the donors (those who give money). Here, the donor’s role is paramount, as it is the donor’s response that triggers and influences the crowd’s actions and overall outcome of the campaign.

It is a mutually satisfactory relationship, where the campaign organiser is dependent on the donor/crowd for monetary support, while the donor/crowd only expect for their participation to be valued, because the crowdfunding efforts wouldn’t be successful without their support.

A donor can also fuel the process of crowdfunding by motivating others to support fundraising campaigns that they believe in.Such motivation can only be derived from the sense of being involved in the success of others’ initiatives, a desire to be part of a philanthropic project, a desire to be altruistic through social participation, and seeking a reward in return for their donations.

Social networks matter, define your community

Over the last 10 or so years, the internet has become a catalyst in the evolution of communication. Social media or social networking, through platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instargram and more, are a rapidly growing form of internet communication that billions of people around the world use regularly. However, these virtual platforms cannot cause a direct impact outside of the cyberspace.

Crowdfunding, on the other hand, allows such online communities to make things happen in the real world (Mollick, E). It is when a group of people or a community come together to support a cause - something that matters to them. A community is the essence of crowdfunding, and so, the first step to creating a successful crowdfunding campaign is to identify your community, or the people you would essentially be raising from.

Building a large network of online and offline connections is key

Starting with your own community is bound to produce some positive results, as you have a pre-existing relationship with them and also a pre-established reputation. If you were to observe the donors of any crowdfunding campaign, you will see that most of the money is primarily raised from family, friends, and secondarily from online communities. So the larger your network, the better.

Another important aspect to consider when you’re building virtual and real networks is that there is an emotional element to raising money, especially if the said money is coming from family, friends and communities (Mollick, E). When you know people that you care about are providing you with financial backing, you feel a tremendous sense of pressure and responsibility to deliver to them. This also means that it is up to you to set appropriate expectations, and how you will deliver to them so they can feel like their contribution has indeed made a difference.

The true power of the crowd lies in its ability to encourage donors and inspire donations. That said, fundraising is only possible because of the ‘crowd’, which is what makes crowdfunding so unique and successful. 

You can easily set up a fundraiser of your own on Milaap and raise funds for a cause you care about, within minutes. Start your fundraiser on Milaap, today. It is quick, easy, and FREE.