Pondering the disruption of crowdfunding: It’s not a panacea.

On my train to work, I routinely am requested to donate money multiple times (and not just by the homeless guy outside the station). One comes in the form of a new project with a homemade advertisement up in the train station – and in the corner is a ‘find us on Kickstarter!’ logo. I’m then asked by my regular podcast to support them through Maximum Fun through either a subscription or one-time support.  The author of the article I’m reading asks for support through Patreon. By the time I get to work, where I could potentially pull out my banking information and support any of these initiatives, I’m thinking less about actually doing so and more about the new phenomenon of crowdfunding, wondering how effective this new phenomenon is. Not to mention, there’s no way I can support all the wonderful creators that solicited me during my commute. Plus, I realize I’m beginning to tune out the requests.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s a time and a place for crowdfunding. It can support a new business during its most vulnerable time and can provide small injections of funding when all you need is to test an idea. But it does best for people actually producing something and for ‘sexy’ topics of the day. Yet, indiscriminately choosing crowdfunding (or any other sort of funding) without consideration of which funding strategy is best can really hurt your cause, causing groups to shift their mission. So let’s think about the science of fundraising and how crowdfunding fits into a larger fundraising landscape. How is it changing the relationship between those who need support and the typical people who fund them? Read More

Help Support Ocean Conservation this Holiday Season and Promote your Ocean Conservation Organization!

With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, we have entered the season for charitable giving. In America alone, there are thousands of ocean conservation organization that rely on donations and grants for their continued operation. Rather than list out our favorites, which tend to get quite a bit of promotion through Southern Fried Science’s various platforms, this year, I am inviting representatives from any ocean conservation organization to promote themselves in the comment thread. So, if your NGO is doing an end of the year fund raiser, if you have an “adopt-a-critter” programs going for the holidays, or if you just want to get the word out about your organization, feel free to leave a comment and let us know a bit about you organization and its goals.

Southern Fried Science has a large, dedicated, and ocean literate audience. Let us know what you’re up to. I promise it will be worth your time.

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