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The human love for invention began when our ancestors first created tools millions of years ago. Since then, we've invented ways to control fire and, in the last few thousand years, we've upped our game by inventing the wheel, the lever, and the computer.
Modern inventions involve more than rubbing two sticks together. New gadgets require manufacturing processes and machines; new video games require 3D assets, developers, and designers; new movies require cast, crew, and special effects.
Fortunately, inventors can now turn to the Internet for crowdfunding the costs of creation. When thousands of supporters each invest a small amount of money, that money can add up into enough capital to bring a new product into the world.
Why are supporters willing to part with their money? For crowdfunded gadgets, supporters can be the first ones to own the gadget, and often at a discounted price. For crowdfunded movies and games, the rewards could be anything from autographed prints to an opportunity to meet the creators. Crowdfunding campaigns may offer larger rewards for higher levels of pledged money, so that they can both bring in a long tail of small pledges and also benefit from a few supporters with more cash to give.
Crowdfunded projects on IndieGoGo with a range of funding goals.
Crowdfunding is also a way to raise funds for charitable causes, where the reward for donors is simply the joy of giving back. For example, DonorsChoose.org is a crowdfunding platform that empowers K-12 teachers to raise funds for classroom needs. The teachers need much less funds than inventors, but for their students, a few hundred or thousand dollars from strangers can make a big difference.
A DonorsChoose.org campaign for multicultural books.
🔍 In May of 2019, the US Federal Trade Commission issued a warning for consumers to avoid crowdfunding scams, campaigns that take money from supporters but don't deliver on their promise.1 Research some crowdfunding scams and reflect on how you might avoid sinking your own money into a scam.
🙋🏽🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏿‍♂️Do you have any questions about this topic? We'd love to answer—just ask in the questions area below!

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  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user Phero
    If someone were to put up a fake crowdfunding post and a fake project to go with it. if they got donations and did not work on the project would there be any way to get your money back?
    (4 votes)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user