Crowdfunding is a fairly new business term for raising money over the internet. Yet, crowdfunding is not new to the church. Every week a minister stands before a crowd to raise funds for the church budget, the poor, widows, orphans, and the infamous building fund! Crowd funding is an ancient practice dating back to Abraham giving funds a from a battle to the ministry of Melchizedek, the “priest of God Most High.” Crowdfunding in the twenty-first century has multiple benefits. There is a far larger crowd outside of the church with funds than the crowd inside of the church. Crowdfunding is NOT new to the church.
Crowdfunding is a method of funding ministry, charity, construction of a building, and a new business venture by raising funds from a large number of people over the internet. Crowdfunding begins by signing up on a crowdfunding website. According to the traffic data from Alexa.com and Complete.com the top crowdfunding sites are GoFundMe.com that raised $470 million dollars in 2014, Kickstarter.com raised $444 million dollars, and Indiegogo.com raised millions of dollars for various charities, causes, and companies. GoFundMe.com has over six million people giving online. There was growth rate of 268% over last year’s giving. According to their website, “GoFundMe has announced that in the fourth quarter of 2014, over $156M was raised on their trusted, easy-to-use fundraising platform. This record-breaking quarter brings the total funds raised by GoFundMe in 2014 to $470M, making the company the world’s largest crowdfunding platform. Most of these crowdfunding platforms charge a small fee of 5%. Please research each site thoroughly before signing a contract.
Radio and video streaming is another method of crowdfunding. Radio and video requires a church to purchase a video camera, microphone, access to internet, and someone to manage the equipment and program. It’s just this simple. The cost of radio and video streaming is very inexpensive. When streaming services were first introduced to churches the costs were outrageous! There were some companies charging churches thousands of dollars a week to video stream. They promised large crowds of people would watch. This simply was not true. Radio and video streaming costs now range from one hundred to five hundred a month. The benefits of radio and video streaming are crowds watch and give online, but you have to build a crowd.
Crowdfunding depends on a crowd of people willing to fund your project. There are millions of people all over the world looking for worthy projects. They are as close as a computer button. Social media is still the best platform to meet a new crowd of people. A crowd of people are motivated to meet other crowds of people. This may soon change because of government intervention, but until then use email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Linkin, and Pinterest are free services with large crowds willing to hear your story. Social media works if we work social media.
Christ Our Redeemer AME Church consistently receives funds from a crowd of people online. Crowds give to our PayPal account and through the US mail. We have never met most of the crowd. We believe a crowd of people are listening to the COR Church's radio and television streaming and look at COR's Social Media sites. Crowdfunding is working for COR. Remember: There are more people outside willing to bring money inside the church! The Bible says in Malachi 3:10 "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.