Our blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

August 28, 2009

Creative Funding Models Let You Be Part of the Story

We all like to be part of the story. Interestingly, many creative funding alternatives are removing some of the typical barriers (large sums of investable money, personal relationships, specific business or industry expertise) that exist in sponsoring projects and initiatives that we find compelling, and creative ways to contribute that work for busy schedules, and cash-strapped budgets.

A recent entry to the peer-to-peer funding space is Brooklyn-based Kickstarter, who has gotten a lot of press this week, including mentions in
Springwise, the New York Times, and the NYT BITS Blog. With a ‘choose-your-own’ project model (similar to that of Kiva, Rosa Loves, or Small Can Be Big), donors get to contribute to the funding needs of a creative or enterprising person/project. (Wedding Chapel image represents an early project submission).

The difference with Kickstarter is that the contribution is neither an investment (donors don’t get equity) nor is it a loan (donor’s don’t get paid back) nor is it a charity donation (donor’s don’t get a tax deduction). What they do get is some part of the product and to be part of the story, be it a copy of the book, CD, or t-shirt, a lesson, or some experiential benefit - i.e. wedding ceremony. According to the Times article by Jenna Wortham, one donor participant calls says he sees Kickstarter as micro-patronage, - a great way to describe it because it really does appeal to our desire to be connected and involved with the progress of something we like or believe it.

Similarly, Drue Kataoka and Svetlozar Kazanjiev took a slightly different creative funding angle. The created the first “Start-Up Wedding Registry” for their wedding guests…that’s right…instead of traditional fare you can visit their PayPal linked list of Start Up needs and decide what you would like to contribute to the couple’s new start up Aboomba. Maybe you’d like to pay for an hour of legal counsel or buy their team pizza for a week or buy them MS Office or fund a day of Google ads @$.15/click. How creative. And what a meaningful way to really make their guests part of the story. See their video here


While it is really interesting to note that there are a growing number of creative funding platforms and sources, it also worthwhile to really think about the importance of patronage.

* How/when/where/ and why do you take patronage seriously as a patron?

* What businesses do you have a relationship with?

* How do you get to be part fo their story?

* How, as a business owner, do you allow and encourage your clients be patrons?

* In what ways are they able to participate as part of your story?

No comments: