Crowdfunding has, rather unfortunately, become plagued by the same issue that has befallen such noble ventures as the cloud and sustainability.


It has officially become a buzzword.


A buzzword, for those not in ‘in the loop’, is a word or phrase that is bandied around wantonly in an attempt to sound knowledgeable by simply spouting meaningless drivel. If you’ve ever heard someone talk about ‘outside the box thinking’, ‘touching base’ or ‘moving forward’ towards a ‘common goal’ then you’re likely to be sick of these buzzwords.


The real shame is that crowdfunding seems to have lost some of its real meaning thanks to these superfluous encounters around the watercooler. Everyone thinks they know exactly what it is, or worse pretends to, because it’s seen as an ‘innovative’ and ‘fresh’ approach that could, heaven forbid, lead to some ‘blue sky thinking’.


In the first written post on this blog, we want to remind everyone exactly what crowdfunding really is, and more importantly why we should care. So, please, take a second and hear us out while we ‘run something up the flagpole to see who salutes’.


Crowdfunding is people coming together to financially support an idea. It’s that simple. What’s interesting about crowdfunding though is that it supports ideas which may have struggled to find traditional methods of financial support.


Crowdfunding is nothing new. Without it our friends over the pond wouldn’t be able to adorn t-shirts, mugs and other various tat with that tourist favourite, the Statue of Liberty. Joseph Pulitzer, of Pulitzer Prize fame, started a drive for donations to complete the project, which had stalled. Pulitzer’s crowdfunding brought in donations from over 120,000 supporters, the majority of which actually gave less than a dollar.


Crowdfunding has grown massively in popularity thanks to the rise of the internet. An abundance of platforms are making it possible to sponsor charitable adventures, buy products before they’re made, and purchase shares or debt of a company.


Read founder Henry Jinman’s thoughts from nearly two years ago, which are as true today as they were then, to find out more about crowdfunding.


The vision he presents in his blog is clear and has not changed, but now university crowdfunding is here, and we are doing it.


No clichés. No gimmicks. No buzzwords.


So why should we care? See our next piece here.

Photo credit: A. Strakey