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curtis73 GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/9/15 7:48 p.m.

I agree that crowdfunding is used where the giver gets a benefit; charitable cause making them feel warm and fuzzy, free gift of the first products that roll off the line, etc.

But crowdfunding for no benefit will (or should) net you zero dollars.

I thought about using crowdfunding for my tractor-trailer/RV idea, but the only benefit I could offer to people was a free night's stay or their name on a donor list on the side of the rig. If I were making it a business and I offered them 10% the purchase of a new Curtis Kraft Coach, then I would be limiting my crowd to just the tiny percentage of people who would buy a tractor trailer RV.

If (when) I move forward on the project, I will likely ask for products from companies like Frigidaire, Ikea, Serta, Pergo, GE, Home Depot, etc in return for their donor names on the side of the rig as advertisement along with some free adspace on a blog website. That would help defer the materials and appliance costs by a large margin.

If I did a crowdfunding drive for my own personal RV, I would likely get little individual donations except maybe $10 from a few friends who love me and like the idea.

SilverFleet UltraDork
11/9/15 9:27 p.m.

Here's my take on the whole thing.

I see crowdfunding as a useful tool when used correctly. If you or someone you know has health problems, or is in dire straits due so some sort of calamity unjustly burdening them or their family, it's a great way to raise money to get people back on their feet. If you guys remember, last December, my cousin and his family lost their home and everything they owned to a devastating fire. It was no BS, they lost everything but the clothes on their backs. Someone started a GoFundMe on their behalf without even asking them (and they never asked for one either!), and they raised a ton of money in a very short time. I posted it here, and if you donated, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. They are still dealing with the insurance company and haven't broken ground on a rebuild. That's real life, and that money that got donated has helped them over the past year rent a house and get what they need in the interim of waiting for insurance to come through.

Getting a bunch of people to essentially hand you money because you want to buy a dream car that you want, or something else that you want, is asinine. It's an insult to those who use crowdfunding for what it should be used for, and that's to help needy people out or support a business venture. You don't NEED a cool car or some doodad. Those are novelties.

Using it to fund a real, existing race team to cover travel costs and consumables? That's touchy in my book, but if you set one up and give some sort of recognition to the people who donated in a gift or perk(a-la Kickstarter campaigns), a "Thank You" sticker on the car with their name, etc, that's totally acceptable! I've thought about setting something like that up myself. Racing at an amateur level, with all the support parts, consumables, travel costs, food, etc. adds up REAL quick. But I'm hesitant because it's such a fine line between panhandling and legit public sponsorship.

I saw that thread we are all talking about, and it sickened me. Another forum I frequent straight up shames people that try that crap on there and bans them after they are done. They call these people "Useless Milennials". It's straight-up panhandling by people that have a false sense of entitlement, and it's insulting to anyone who works hard to get where they are.

tuna55 MegaDork
11/10/15 7:51 a.m.

Curtis, GE no longer sells its own appliances.

If you all recall, this very message board pulled together and crowdfunded my springs for the Tunatruck. I didn't ask, and it was awesome.

I think it would be cheapened if I had asked, though.

Rufledt UltraDork
11/10/15 12:41 p.m.

Much of what i think has already been said. If you ask for money, it should be in exchange for some benefits. Charity is a bit different, though in that case the donors are kind of buying a good feeling.

Tuna, you are right. It might have cheapened it if you had asked, but you fall into a different category since you aren't just some guy who showed up and asked strangers for money. We know you're a contributing member of the community, as corny as that may sound. You also offer internet content in the form of your build thread which people read and get entertainment from, so you are actually offering something. It's like watching a TV show, except better because it's real and you're building (not buying) something, which aligns with the general ideology of the people here. You also offered up that build-thread based content for free, and the 'donations' went to benefit everybody, not just you or the 'donors'. Nobody here will send someone money to BUY something simply because they want it, but I bet you'll find a lot of people willing to help you build something with your own hands.

Buying some random idiot kid an overpriced skyline because he wants it, and wasn't smart enough to not wreck his last car, is wayyy different.

I think crowd funding a car project entirely would be extremely risky. About the only way i could see it working out without people hating you would be something like a build followed by a car auction, all auction profits/additional donations going to charity. Or funding a race season for some charitable goal, as advertised all over the car. There definitely has to be some greater cause beyond "I wanna go racing".

trigun7469 Dork
11/10/15 1:44 p.m.

Adam ruins everything is a show on trutv dispel widespread misconceptions about everything we take for granted. I watched the episode where explained why you should stop giving food pantries your leftover canned goods. One thing that I find unique is on the website and during the show they site the sources(maybe the media can start doing this) The model could dispel the gofundme help such and such go to disneyland or get a lifting chair. If you look locally there are probably 50 or so non-profits in a 5 mile radius that fund such projects, but do so efficiently, because they deal in higher volume. Their example was a soup kitchen, that it was better for them to receive money because they buy in bulk rather then having someone spending the time sorting through expired or unwanted soup cans. Gofundme charges fee's for each donation which is another loss. I don't mind making charitable donations, but Gofundme comes as a scam to me.

logdog GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/10/15 6:56 p.m.

Would you guys be willing to pay into a fund so I can buy another piece of the amazing carrot cake I had for dessert tonight. I will put the name of each sponsor on the side of my bathroom scale.

Type Q
Type Q Dork
11/10/15 7:30 p.m.

Like every new platform, crowdfunding is going to take unexpected directions and perhaps stray from its original intent.

Some of the Silicon Valley venture capital firms have started watching Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites looking for people with interesting ideas along with smarts and determination to invest in. I am sure there are budding entrepreneurs looking at these sites as place to attract investors as well as capital.

DirtyBird222 UltraDork
11/10/15 8:50 p.m.

I hate them for the self-serving shiny happy people who just want someone else to pay for their wants instead of trying to bust their ass and work hard for it. I love it to help those in actual need, those looking to gain some investment funds for a potentially great business idea with the notion I'll receive something on the back end, and that's about it.

I.e. a civilian co-worker from a prior duty station had a child not long ago. She was born with a cyst in the lower part of her spine and while it is benign (as in not a cancerous lump) it is still causing issues. No doctors in the local area are versed enough to perform a procedure to remove it, he's a civil servant and doesn't have the means to get his daughter to a location to perform the procedure. We started a gofundme and we raised enough pay for the families travel there and home for the procedure.

These things have their pros; but, like always there are dingleberries who make the cons and almost ruin the thing.

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