Crowd Funding (or perhaps Cause-oriented Funding)

Yesterday, I was talking/blogging about facebook eating some of my time.  Yes, its true, but fascinatingly, did you know that money exist on this site?  Opportunity, exactly, Yes it is!

You see, guys and gals, I am still a facebook newbie.  I only started using the site just recently, September of last year to be exact.  Apps are cool.  Games are so excellent. Pages and group creation are fantastic.  And as I browse facebook, the first thing that came out of my mind is “market”.  Yep yep, facebook is a huge market, not just locally but globally. And when we talk about maket, it means business, it means fund, it means money.

Last month, I presented the “how to raise our club’s fund using facebook: an alternative”.  Yes, I am a member, organizer, or perhaps a core founder of a swimming club in our place, the first one in our municipality.  No, I am not a swimmer or an athlete though, but my kids are.  Yes, they swim and they were able to make it at the district and even the provincial level.  But of course, “the parents” were the backbone of the club so to speak.

Anyhow, three things that I clearly mentioned —

1)      Crowd funding as the approach in raising of funds or capital;

2)      Facebook as a Market; and

3)      How to raise funds.

Ok, but let me start by saying that this may not be applicable to you or your organization and club.  Hahaha a disclaimer! This fund raising concept is plainly an idea that you may adopt but of course with a little tweak and out of the box thinking then conceivably you can improve the concept and processes.

First things first, I am assuming that as you read this blog the existence of an organization, club or even an ngo is already present and that the need of fund to push the organization’s projects is but a hindrance.

Crowd Funding is not new; in fact this approach has been used long long time ago.   From another context, it’s called solicitation.  Remember those days when we wanted to join an inter-basketball sports in our barangays or even at the municipal level and that we wanted to have the best uniforms. Of course we wanted that cool jacket!  We resort to finding donors and/or solicitation.  Yes, that is crowd funding.  I found this interesting site about crowd funding  myfootballclub.  This one is surely a success in the crowd funding approach: started in 2007, now with 32,000 members who contributed at least £35 each to buy the football club.

Are you still with me? Hope you are still with me.

Facebook, on the other hand as of my last query posted more than 400 million active users.  Now try googling it and see the latest numbers.  Look, this is more even interesting, 50% of active users logon to facebook in any given day.  Imagine that million figure! And this is the wow market thing, 3 million active pages of which 1.5 million are businesses.  FB, is really a big darn market place.

Asia is surprisingly moving up in terms of number of active facebook users.  As of October 2009, this is my last search and query, Philippines posted almost 6 million users. Wow!

The meat of my blogy-biz, the how, how the carabao…

Our club is a swimming club.  We started in 2008 with an original 14 swimmers. After two years, the number of athletes and swimmers grew considerably and reasonable.  We have four (4) swimmers with special cases, yes special kids and ten (10) club-sponsored-swimmers.

Currently, the club is funded by membership fees paid by the parents and some fund raising activities.  However, it is but a fact that swimming is high maintenance cost sport, we need to pay the coaches, the pool, the event fees and any league fees at any competition, transportation, etc.  The lack of funding is a big hindrance in pushing projects, programs, activities and to the extent of attaining the club’s goal.

So, I presented this funding alternative.  It’s a way of promoting our club and at the same time find a source of funds around the world wide web who believe in our objectives, goal and the cause why we, the club,  exist.  The downside of this technology however is that its a fast-moving thing.  Just like what happened to networking site friendster, so the things is, we need to act fast and join the bandwagon of internet promotion asap.  Unless, there will be another social networking site knocking-out facebook.

Our goal is to produce local swimmers for the “palarong pambansa” or even at the asian and/or international level.  We also believed that swimming should be made available to those who have not and don’t have.  We wanted to create swimming lessons for special children. And we wanted to minimize if not eliminate deaths cause by drowning, especially in our municipality where rivers are nearby.

Okay, now the final touch…

We know now what crowd funding is, and that facebook is a huge market.  I have given you our club’s cause.  Now it’s your turn to think out of the box.  Just remember users and readers are tantamount to market, potential buyers, potential partners, potential donors.  The way I see it, funds will come in the form of grants, donation, fostering, merchandise selling, partnership and paid ads.

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