Raising money online, or crowdfunding, is the new model for everything from music albums to video game consoles.
Last year, crowdfunding platforms helped artists, entrepreneurs and companies raise about $1.5 billion. For example, OUYA, an Android-powered gaming console, raised $8.6 million on Kickstarter.
If only your kids' soccer team could raise money like that instead of having to wash cars!
Well, it can thanks to crowdfunding sites tailor-made for sports teams and regular folks who need help funding mission trips or covering medical and tuition expenses.
At GoFundMe, you can easily create a free personal donation website. You can raise funds for just about anything - a creative project, a small business startup or a honeymoon trip.
It's a great place to bring in money for sports teams, schools, charities and volunteers. The site even raised $46,000 to provide shoes for America's tallest man!
Many people use GoFundMe to help friends and family members cover the cost of medical, veterinary and funeral expenses. One woman, for example, raised more than $134,000 for her brother's cancer treatment. The donation page for a wounded survivor of the Aurora, CO, shooting reached $140,000 in a day and is now approaching $200,000.
So how do you get started? First, you create a free donation page. This is an opportunity to tell your story.
Put some thought into explaining why you need the money and how much it means to you. You can easily share this page through email and social media to quickly spread the word.