Raising money by 'working the crowd' has been a long-standing activity for gathering donations and funds by charities, performers, artists and entrepreneurs. According to the team behind Central Highland's Digital Enterprise project, advances in broadband technology and the advent of social media are revolutionising how this age-old custom is conducted.
Project manager Gerrie Carr-MacFie of the University of Ballarat is urging Ballarat and region to re-think the way social, creative and product development projects are financed. She advises funding social and creative initiatives through equity funding and mass marketing is not new, but social media brings a new dimension to the process.
"Online fundraising is the new means of raising venture capital. It is called crowdfunding. It is a turbo-charged capital-raising phenomenon sweeping across Australia and the globe," advises Carr-MacFie
Underpinning this point she quotes US analysts Massolution, who predict crowdfunding has generated $5.3billion globally in 2013. She also points to an increase in digital based equity and administrative firms entering the Australian fundraising market.
“A number of international players like Indiegogo and Kickstarter have recently established in Australia. Opportunities to source much needed capital to fund new ventures, activities and creative initiatives have increased due to online social media forums and payment platforms. Broadband technology has absolutely transformed capital-raising and we need our region to leverage not deny opportunity.”
The University of Ballarat is leading the charge to educate local fundraisers on crowdfunding. A free workshop is being conducted to raise awareness and build skills. Australian firm Pozible will speak at the Crowdfunding workshop scheduled for December 10th. Commenced in 2010, Pozible is internationally recognised as a successful crowdfunding platform.
“We have industry experts and local presenters sharing tips on how to successfully undertake a crowd-funded project. We want to showcase local examples that can be replicated across different activities and business models. Crowdfunding is transforming the face of giving and of investment”
The Crowdfunding MADE Pozible workshop will be held at MADE, Ballarat’s newest tourism destination. Refreshments, tour and talk on how MADE is making use of digital technology will be offered prior to the commencement of the workshop. The workshop is funded by the Australian government‘s Digital Enterprise program, with support from State and Local government partners. Businesses and community groups can register to attend the free training activities www.digibiz.net.au