think it’s any different or less valid than when PBS or
NPR ask people to donate for a free tote bag, or the Kickstartercampaign in Detroit to build a life-
size statue of RoboCop,” said
Mr. Hillis, who has thus far raised about $7,000 (with two weeksto
go on a $50,000 campaign) on Indiegogo. “As long as you’retransparent about where the money is going, you’re putting
together something that people want to be a part of.
Although it might seem counterintuitive
supposed to get their money by selling things?
crowdfunding hasbecome increasingly popular among entrepreneurs. Using onlineplatforms like Indiegogo, Smallknot and Lucky Ant, businesseshave raised money to cover everything from startup costs andspecial projects to operating expenses. For the business owner, theappeal is obvious: loans are hard to come by, while onlinefundraising provides access to what is essentially interest-free (andsometimes entirely free) capital, depending on the perks and in-kind services they offer in exchange
which run the gamut frombeing worth as much as the contribution to a thank you card.In a place like New York, where hyper-gentrification has driven
many popular businesses from neighborhoods, it’s clear that mom
pop’s, even popular ones, som
etimes require more thanpatronage to stay afloat. And rather than bemoaning their demise,many people are willing to pay for the luxury of keeping them.
“I think that more and more people are recognizing that small
businesses are integral to community ide
ntity and they’re also anendangered species in many places,” said Jonathan Bowles, thedirector of the Center for an Urban Future. “I do think that many
people are going to be increasingly putting money up to ensure thattheir favorite small businesses st