The Power of Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding isthe collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money together. This strategy has been applied in several fields.

Here are some examples of initiatives that trying to leverage the potential of crowdfunding to support scientific research.

Cancer Research UK – MyProjects

Launched in October 2008, MyProjects allows Cancer Research UK donors to search projects by type of cancer and location to find a specific research project to donate money.


SciFlies is a new model for funding scientific research that allows the general public to get involved in scientific research by making small donations resulting in financing research for projects just waiting to prove new ideas that work, but just lack the funding to get started. SciFlies is a qualified non-profit and all donations are tax-deductible.

The Open Source Science Project

The Open Source Science Project is an organization wholly dedicated to rendering transparent the ‘black-box’ of contemporary scientific research and increasing its accessibility by affording all individuals – irrespective of geographic, cultural, socio-economic, academic, or personal background; the opportunity to participate directly in the scientific research process.


FundScience is an online charitable organization, which aims to create an open platform for funding the research of promising young scientists. Its mission is to generate start-up funding for pilot projects while raising public awareness of basic research. 

Other crowdfunding examples

Sell a Band

On SellaBand you can support your favorite artists by buying a part and helping them to raise the funds for a new music project (a new album, tour or the promotion of their music).

Launched in August 2006, SellaBand has managed record recordings for 42 acts, whose records were funded by fans.


Kiva helps fund entrepreneurs across the globe via “Field Partners”. Ordinary people can lend money to a specific entrepreneur on, which is then distributed out by the field partner and repaid over time back to the partner and the lenders. When the loan is repaid, lenders can relend again and again (or withdraw their funds).


Crowdrise is using crowdfundingto fund charitable projects. Edward Norton, Shauna Robertson, and the founders of Moosejaw, Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe founded Crowdrise.

Crowdrise users can create a profile and project pages, which link to their favorite charities& not-for-profit organizations. Users can share their pages to get friends to donate as well. Volunteers and non-profit organizations themselves can make a page for specific projects that need fundraising.

Spot.Us is a non-profit organization designed to bring citizens, journalists, and news publishers together in an online marketplace based on crowdsourcing and crowdfunding methods and principles. It was founded by David Cohn, who received a $340,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to pursue his idea.

Spot.Us currently focuses primarily on projects in and near the San Francisco Bay area, where it is headquartered. It plans to expand its scope to a national or international level.

Stories begin as either tips or pitches. A tip is an idea from a citizen – often a sentence or two describing an issue they would like to see covered. A pitch is an offer by a journalist to write a story, including the amount of money he or she needs. Visitors to the website can then donate to fund the pitch. Smaller stories cost a couple hundred dollars to fund, while the largest cost about one thousand dollars. Completed stories are available under a Creative Commons license. They can be viewed for free on the website and used free of charge by news organizations. News organizations that wish to gain temporary copyright of articles may do so by contributing over 50 percent of the funding.

President Obama used crowdfunding to finance his political campaign in 2008.