Asking for help - Crowdfunding and Community Development

Have you heard of the TED talks? Wonderful educational opportunities from various people on thoughtful subjects, each about 10-15 minutes long.

Take a moment to listen to this amazing story - stick with it, it's not what you think.

You all know I support independent artists, from hosting them at House Concerts or the NRoute Entertainment music series to contributing to their Kickstarter campaigns. I fully believe that the new paradigm of independent music makes US, the listeners, the "labels" within the industry. We invest in the music as it's being made, and we are the marketing department promoting our favorite artists and the new music they make.

However, watching Amanda Palmer talk about her experiences has led me to think of the wider implications of social media and of the crowd funding phenomenon. My small community of Sutherland Nebraska recently failed spectacularly (about 3-1) to create a local option sales tax to promote community development.

What if, through social media, we could fully engage residents and expats who truly care about our communities - those who don't want our downtowns to deteriorate into rubble, those who want to see entrepreneurs start new businesses employing their friends and neighbors, those who care about local school students succeeding in education and bringing their skills back home. Then, through a Crowd Funding platform, offer them a way to contribute.

It would be the very give and take Amanda describes in her TED talk - they give money, and we (the local community) give them successful projects that they know they were a part of.



  1. Could we rephrase this to ask if the patron system (people interested in a project funding that project, arts or otherwise) should be reborn in lieu of taxes, which are more or less universally despised?

  2. I agree that we need more patrons to do the job that government can't and shouldn't do because it's not the mission of the government to do certain things. Speaking of music and artists, back in the day bards were welcome in homes and earned their keep by playing music, or patrons sponsored writers and visual artists so they were free to create. Who better to make things happen than those who really want it to happen? However, when it's a community development project that will benefit the entire community whether they support it or not, I do think there is a place for taxes. If that isn't an option, then a patron system should be a viable option.


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