Crowdfunding, using the Internet to raise money from large groups of people from across the country or the world, is a relatively new but very useful tool in generating capital. Companies often use it to generate investment from customers, and creative types use it to get the money to make films and other products. But crowdfunding can be used for charitable work as well.
Most crowdfunding takes place on websites specifically for that purpose, allowing people to make their information readily available to potential supporters, and which makes collecting money easy. In most cases, people who support your campaign get rewards for doing so, like copies of the product being funded, usually offered at different tiers of support.
Kickstarter: Probably the leader of the pack, and easily the most recognizable, Kickstarter has been a huge boon for companies and creators that want to produce products without having to find traditional investors. Kickstarter requires that campaigns have both a deadline, and that they reach a particular dollar goal before any money is collected (or any fees are charged).
IndieGoGo: Not as well known as Kickstarter, IndieGoGo has certain advantages despite its smaller share of the market. Namely, you don’t have to meet a goal before you get money from your supporters, meaning that even if you don’t hit your target, you still get the money people pledged. This is a double-edged sword though, as it means you might not make enough to actually cover the costs of sending items to your supporters.
GoFundMe: An up-and-coming site, GoFundMe allows people to set up personal fundraising to, for example, make rent one month or to raise money for an operation. They don’t require that campaigns set specific dollar goals or deadlines, meaning that you can raise as much as you need, and receive those donations.
If you’re interested in crowdfunding, do some research to find the site that works best for you. There are tons of articles about how best to raise money through crowdfunding sites, and there are even companies who specialize in this kind of business.