noun: the practice of soliciting financial contributions from a large number of people especially from the online community
“Facebook and Twitter, Square and Dropbox? Old news. Our series ‘The Next Big Thing You Missed’ looks at the newest ideas poised to remake tech—everything from musical crowdfunding to fresh markets that work like the Apple Store.” — Wired, February 2014
“In the age of digital storefronts like Etsy and crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, inventors and designers can go from an idea to high demand for their product in very little time.” — Zoë Schlanger, Newsweek, May 16, 2014
Did you know?
“Crowdsourcing” and “crowdfunding” are two words that have recently found their way into the crowded pool of English. “Crowdsourcing,” which typically refers to the practice of soliciting services, ideas, or content from a large group of people online, was coined by Jeff Howe in a 2006 article in Wired, and “crowdfunding” was created by entrepreneur Michael Sullivan in that same year. Both words conceptualize “the crowd” as a vast online community from which something needed may be obtained. In crowdsourcing, the crowd is called upon for needed assistance or information. A well-known use of crowdsourcing is Wikipedia, whose content is the result of various contributors. Crowdfunding, on the other hand, involves a more specific request: the crowd is solicited for financial contributions to a particular venture or cause, such as a film project or cancer research.