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Grants and Related Resources: Crowdfunding

A compilation of resources for grant and financial aid seekers.

Crowdfunding Defined

Crowdfunding is a way to raise funds for a specific cause or project by asking a large number of people to donate money, usually in small amounts, and usually during a relatively short period of time, such as a few months. Crowdfunding is done online, often with social networks, which make easy for supporters to share a cause or project cause with their social networks. Organizations, businesses, and individuals alike can use crowdfunding for any type of project, for example: charitable cause; creative project; business startup; school tuition; or personal expenses. For more information about crowdfunding, visit What is Crowdfunding via the Foundation Center's Grantspace Portal.

Books, articles, and blog postings

A Beginner's Guide to Crowdfunding. Chronicle of Philanthropy, November 12, 2015.

Crowdfunding: A Guide to Raising Capital on the Internet.  Wiley, 2014. E-book.  Examines crowdfunding, discussing its history, compliance issues, and rules and regulations.

Crowdfunding for Filmmakers. Stephen Follows. Creative Essentials, 2018. E-book.

Fundable's Crowdfunding GuideWritten for those new to crowdfunding or those trying to decide whether it’s the right funding approach for their business.

"Raising Money for Scientific Research through Crowdfunding".  Wheat, Rachel E., Wang, Yiwei, Byrnes, Jarrett E., and Ranganathan, Jai.   Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 2013, 28(2): 71-72.  Discusses the utility of crowdfunding from the perspective of individual scientists or laboratory groups looking to fund research and address some of the main factors determining the success of crowdfunding campaigns, comparing this approach with the use of traditional funding sources.

Videos and Webinars

Crowdfunding in the Arts Webinar : How To Add This Essential Tool To Your Fundraising Mix. Presented by Dana Ostomel,  founder and Chief Gifting Officer of Deposit a Gift.com, October 21, 2014. Free webinar designed to give participants an overview of crowdfunding, help them determine if  crowdfunding is the right approach, and provide best practices to prep, create, launch and market a campaign successfully.

Crowdfunding Tips for Nonprofits : Raising Funds and Relationships, March 13, 2013.  Jed Cohen, the Founder and Chief Operating Officer of RocketHub, one of the world's largest and most successful crowdfunding platforms, explains how nonprofit crowdfunding campaigns can go viral, how to determine the benefits and risks of these campaigns, and how to navigate a crowdfunding platform. With Jed are representatives from EastWillyB, an organization that successfully raised $50,000 in 50 days.

MSU Libraries Use Crowdpower to Raise Money for Rare Book Repairs

Save the Faerie Queene at MSU Libraries

Support the Adopt-a-Book project, and help us ensure that future generations can draw inspiration from The Faerie Queene for many years to come.

MSU Libraries exceeded its goal of raising $3,500 to conserve a rare, three-volume set of The Faerie Queene! For more information about MSU Library Development, contact Seth Martin (884-6446) or Emily Pohl (432-0708). 

Crowdfunding Players

CauseVox.com . No monthly fees until you raise $5,000 online.

CrowdPower : The Crowdfunding Solution for Spartans (Michigan State University)

Crowdrise.com : The Crowdrise site is a unique blend of online fundraising, crowdsourcing, social networking, contests, and other ways to challenge donors. It is useful for all types of projects, including filmmaking, however, you must be a 501(c)(3) or affiliated with one.

DepositaGift.com : Deposit a Gift is the easy way to raise money online for anything that matters to you, from organizational fundraising for schools and nonprofits, to personal donation sites for medical bills, personal crises, group gifts and more.

DonorsChoose.org :   A crowdfunding site for teachers.

Experiment.com : Help fund the next wave of scientific research.

FundRazr : This website is dedicated to raising money for anything from personal causes to nonprofits to entrepreneurial projects.

GlobalGiving.og : the world's first and largest online crowdfunding community for nonprofits.

GoFundMe.com : Billed as the "crowd-funding site for the rest of us." Started in 2008, the site is geared toward community fund-raising and personal fund-raising. 

IndieGoGo : Billed as the world's leading international funding platform, IndieGoGo is for all types of funding needs, including filmmaking. On IndieGoGo you can create a funding campaign to raise money quickly and securely. Their platform has "helped to raise millions of dollars for over 65,000 campaigns, across 211 countries.

Kickstarter.com : Kickstarter is a funding platform focused on a broad spectrum of creative projects. The Kickstarter economy is based on the offering of rewards – copies of the work, limited editions, fun experiences. Offering financial incentives, such as ownership, financial returns (for example, a share of profits), or repayment (loans) is prohibited. Having a focused and well-defined project with a clear beginning and end is vital in order to receive funding support from the kickstarter community.

LaunchGood : Crowdfunding Incredible Muslims Worldwide

Patronicity.com : Let's build a better Michigan.  Projects you can help fund.

RocketHub : An international, open community that has helped thousands of artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, and social leaders raise millions of dollars. : An international, open community that has helped thousands of artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, and social leaders raise millions of dollars.

StartSomeGood : Crowdfunding for social entrepreneurs, as well as nonprofits and other individuals committed to making change.

Crowdfunding for Students

Financial aid possibilities:

Michigan State University