Spacesuits, Salads, School and Stories: Crowdfunding research from Tech Forward

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These days, crowdfunding is a first-choice option for an entire range of projects and causes that include everything from the Smithsonian’s effort to protect American astronaut Neil Armstrong’s 1969 moonwalk spacesuit to the infamous potato salad caper of Ohio’s Zach “Danger” Brown – the project that netted more than $55,000 and now has morphed into a potato salad cookbook venture.

In between there are more startups, nonprofits and product launches than ever, and there are plenty of headlines. The new crowdfunding site Fig launched with a focus on game development, British tennis star Andy Murray just announced his investments in crowdfunding platforms. Students work to fund their educations on crowdfunding sites, and even independent journalists now fund themselves online, or use their own global crowdfunding site for startups, documentaries and photogs!

But what’s really happening in the worlds of equity and philanthropic crowdfunding? We’ve been watching at Tech Forward, with survey results each year from 2012 forward – and we offer you our 2014 market research report on how people are using crowdfunding to launch their projects. The report includes short profiles from entrepreneurs and social activists in countries as diverse as China, Germany, Estonia and Slovenia.

We’re working on our 2015 update now, and taking a look at how Regulation A+ (Title IV of the JOBS Act of 2012) will affect crowdfunding in the United States. In the meantime, the 2014 report is available for download here. You’ll see the different priorities our survey respondents have for their crowdfunding projects, what other resources they have available – and the surprising mistakes they’re making in terms of fully developing a business plan, communicating that plan well and mastering the art of marketing.

There is a lot to learn about crowdfunding and how that’s being used by celebrities and citizens alike. Keep an eye out for more information from Tech Forward and our sources in the crowdfunding community.

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