One of the great things about the internet is its ability to connect millions of people from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds to each other. When this connective power is used for good, then amazing things can happen.
If these disconnected people are aligned to a common project, which they are willing to donate a small amount of money towards it, the term ‘crowdfunding’ is used. And, obviously, when you are talking about a pool of millions of internet users, the potential for serious investment is huge – provided you can harness that collective capital.
A number of sites have emerged in recent years to fill that role of facilitation of funds collection and distribution. One example that has received mainstream coverage is Kickstarter. In essence, anyone can start a Kickstarter fund for a project they are trying to complete – be that a book, movie, piece of music, piece of art etc. – and then they seek funding from the community. If someone believes in the project, they can pledge money towards the project goal and, if the goal is reached, they give the money to the project owner.
How successful can this model be? The Pebble watch project sought US$100,000 to build an e-paper (like the technology used in the Kindle) wristwatch that connects to your smartphone. What they received was over US$10,000,000! The watch is shipping this year. This was a project that struggled to get investment from Silicon Valley investment firms, yet raised 100,000 times the amount of money they needed from total strangers.
There are already a number of successfully funded Catholic projects on Kickstarter, and more seeking support. Why not check them out, or start your own, and see if other people are willing to chip in on your project to help spread the Good News!