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More Sites Offer Free Money from the Public
By Christine Durst & Michael Haaren
June 7, 2012
when you thought the Web couldn’t bring you any more surprises,
here comes another. More and more sites are enabling individuals to get
“free money” from the public, for a growing variety of
Here’s the backstory.
THE GROWTH OF “THE CROWD” (US)
In the 1990s, AOL famously tried to bring the Internet inside its gated
community, to make AOL synonymous with “being online.” And
it almost worked. As the company flooded the public with CDs offering
free hours of online access, millions signed up. Thus “the
crowd” began to migrate online, and, equally important, to hang
We slowly began to feel that the online world was real. Experts began
to wonder if the “World Wide Web” might actually have
commercial potential. Would people trust it enough to buy things there?
Fast forward to now. “Internet users” is an obsolete
phrase, because now it simply means everybody. And for millions, the
online world has replaced “meatspace” as the dominant
reality. (Just look at sites like SecondLife.com, or massively-popular
online games.) And almost every transaction that occurs offline can
occur online – including giving strangers money.
WHERE TO GET THE DOUGH
Crowdfunding means getting money from the public in the form of a
donation or, with the passing of new laws, an investment. But today
we’re talking about donations. Here are three websites where you
can get donations for everything from medical expenses to your new
-- Indiegogo.com: “People all over the world use our
industry-leading platform to raise millions of dollars for all types of
campaigns,” the site says. “No matter what you are raising
money for, you can start right now with no fee or application
As we write, requests include a young man who needs money to study in
Japan (he’s raised $4,417); a cancer victim who needs medical
expenses (he’s raised $11,762); and a singer’s first solo
album (she’s raised $2,341).
Like other crowdfunding sites, Indiegogo subtracts a commission based on the amount the campaign receives.
-- Crowdtilt.com: Crowdtilt calls itself a “groupfunding”
site, and lets you pitch your project to a group of friends. To help
accomplish this, it requires you to connect your campaign to your
Facebook page. Campaign examples include wedding presents, an alumni
tailgate fund, and a PHISH party bus going to Washington, DC.
-- Kickstarter.com: Kickstarter specializes in the funding of creative
projects. But these are defined fairly broadly, and include clothing
lines, dance, books, albums, entertainment films, documentaries,
photography collections, etc.
Most Kickstarter projects are funded for less than $5,000, but some have been funded in the millions.
Christine Durst and Michael Haaren are leaders in the work-at-home
movement and advocates of de-rat-raced living. Their latest book
is Work at Home Now,
a guide to finding home-based jobs. They offer additional guidance on
finding home-based work at www.RatRaceRebellion.com. To read features
by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators
Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2012 BY STAFFCENTRIX, DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM