Crowdfunding is a method of funding a project or organisation by pooling the money of individual investors. It can provide a number of benefits beyond the financial aspect including marketing, audience engagement, and feedback. Crowdfunding allows good companies which don't fit the pattern required by conventional financiers, to break through and attract cash. There are a number of types of crowdfunding but the 3 main categories are:
If you want to know more, please visit the UK Crowdfunding Association – ShareIn is one of the founding members.
NESTA has written a comprehensive introduction to crowdfunding. You can read it here.