Crowdfunding has become the newest tool for entrepreneurs, start-ups and individuals with unique ideas to gain seed money to launch their business and grow a new concept. There have been tens of thousands of campaigns established on various websites, such as GoFundMe, Kickstarter andIndiegogo, where users help fund the development of products they think are new, interesting and exciting.
This form of financing has also crossed over into philanthropic endeavors. Numerous charities attempt to seek out contributions from concerned citizens for a wide variety of feel-good endeavors for people, animals, the environment, families hurt by catastrophes and businesses affected riots.
Heck, crowdfunding is now traveling to the stars.
Although crowdfunding has indeed become a successful form of soliciting funds to support the entrepreneurial spirit, other people have utilized these platforms to raise money for their very own personal causes and projects that really don’t benefit anyone else except themselves.
Media outlets have profiled an array of crusades to garner funds for weddings, home renovations, parties and much more. Indeed, users are allowed to donate to whatever causes they wish, but some have referred to this as "cyber begging" or "Internet panhandling." Instead of sitting on a street corner asking people for change, people are asking people for money online.
With Giving Tuesday now becoming a permanent fixture in our lexicon, it has now been described as "Begging Tuesday." Ostensibly, many people are upset over the amount of charities pleading for donations.
Don’t think crowdfunding is just online begging? Here are four examples why critics say crowdfunding is online begging, and something that may very well change your mind:
’We’re crowdfunding our wedding’
This past summer, CNN Money ran a story about a gay couple that decided to ask people to contribute money to their wedding. Since weddings have become very expensive and elaborate celebrations, the couple doesn’t have the necessary funds to pay for their spring $28,000 wedding.
The article later went onto cite other couples crowdfunding their weddings from strangers.
A bathroom renovation
A married couple was displeased with their "ugly" bathroom and they needed $500 to renovate it. Instead of setting aside the required money to pay for a bathroom remodeling project, the couple took part in a crowdfunding venture to gain the funds. They used a website called FeatherTheNest.com, a crowdfunding platform dedicated to home renovations, down payments and closing costs.
Celebrity millionaire crowdfunds
Last week, it was reported that Creed frontman Scott Stapp has become broke and homeless. Although he made an enormous sum of money with his rock band, he is now looking to raise $480,000 from the general public. Some people may resent this considering many will never become millionaires in their lifetime.
Star Trek star beams up crowdfunding
William Shatner, who has made tens of millions of dollars from "Star Trek," his books and appearing in Priceline commercials, is crowdfunding for a new book he is working on that attempts to explain modern technology. Shatner alone made $600 million in Priceline stock.
Crowdfunding is another important advancement made in the world of technology and the Internet. This has become a useful service for those who initially didn’t have the means to receive funding from angel investors, venture capitalists and financial institutions. However, when a household or a millionaire looks to common folk to pay for renovations or their lavish lifestyles then it must be questioned.