Harnessing the power of the crowd

By Patricia Campbell, content manager, The Guardian |

In the years since Barack Obama’s crowdfunded presidential campaign put this alternative form of fundraising on the map, crowdfunding has diversified dramatically. In the UK, digital innovation, particularly across social platforms and the financial tech (fintech) industry, has engendered a flourishing sharing economy, disrupting the natural ebb and flow of traditional finance streams. Peer-to-peer models are thriving, with the crowdfunding sector showing substantial growth.

Crowdfunding can neatly be described as the practice of financing a project or venture via small amounts of money from a large number of people. It’s most commonly understood as a means to fund grassroots businesses, with “backers” recouping financial rewards. But, driven by uncertain economic times, a new crop of donation-based crowdfunding sites for personal causes is booming.

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