While crowdfunding sites were created to give the underdog a chance and essentially foster free enterprise where start-ups are concerned, it never occurred to me to use these platforms as an opportunity to raise funds for personal pursuits. Especially something as personal as adopting a baby. But does that make it wrong, unethical or crass, even? What do you think? If you had a friend or family member crowdfunding an adoption, would you contribute?
I love crowdfunding, because it's like watching money have a wrestling match with ideas. It's capitalism in microcosm. It's important to not lose sight of the lesson here: Crowdfunding websites are not responsible for anything that happens once you've contributed. You are leaving your money on the table, walking away, and hoping for the best.
Two political satirists, in the spotlight for their ongoing spoofery of the Alberta tar sands project, had the Indiegogo fundraising promotional video for their upcoming "vacation" to the Alberta tar sands ordered removed from YouTube after Alberta's tourism bureau alleged a copyright violation. Is Big Oil to blame?
This is how the entire situation boils down: You are giving your money to a website so they can give your money to a member of a gang which wreaks violence on your city so that they, the website, can make money for themselves. Does this make any sense to you whatsoever? If you don't like Rob Ford, fine, don't vote for him. Smear him all you want. Insult him at every party. Call him a fascist Michelin Man. Frankly, I don't give a damn. But for the love of God, please don't give money to drug dealers.
While it took a few years after the financial crisis for financial services start-ups to get their business models refined to the point where they can come to market they are here now, and these alternative financial services technology companies are becoming viable and increasingly common sources of financing for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
It's always been a big question to me where my comfort lies in the area of revealing my body. Am I am doing the world any good when I show off my frame? Am I building self-confidence or feeding the machine that tells us women should be seen, not heard. And better yet, women should be nearly naked, and perpetually on display in 2012?
Charities today are actively looking for innovative ways to connect people to their causes. What is interesting is how much innovation is coming from outside the traditional charitable sector. We are learning that if a cause or a project matters to people, they want to be a part of it even if it is not connected to a known charity.