Jan 11, 2013

Investing in people - literally! The rise of "me-funding"

I was going through Rohit Bhargava's presentation on 15 marketing trends in 2013, and this one caught my attention.

It's called "me-funding"

What’s the trend? Crowdfunding evolves beyond films or budding entrepreneurs to offer anyone the opportunity to seek “me-funding” to do anything from taking a life-changing trip to funding a college education. 

Wow! Imagine that!

And there are examples of such initiatives.

There's Upstart.com - allows anyone to invest in the future potential of an up and coming student. The platform not only allows for financial donations, but also encourages donors to offer mentorship as part of their support – and funds the entire process with a promise to pay back this support in real dollars when the funded youth begin to realize their potential (and make real money).

Then there's GoFundMe - You don’t need to start a business or create a monumental work of art to change your life. This site is filled with simple pleas from families and friends to do something small to help the important people in their lives. Examples include a 15 year old girl who wants to travel to Guatemala to work with underprivileged children and a daughter trying to raise money to send her mom on vacation. Together the site has built up one of the biggest collections of real people’s dreams on the web

 takeashine.org and givecollege.com - The spiraling costs of higher education are causing many to rethink the necessity of a traditional college education. For those who are still deciding to pursue a degree, the costs of college may not entirely be covered by financial aid. As a result, and host of new sites on the web allow anyone to raise money to crowdfund their own education. This ranges from costs of tuition to other college related payments.

Soon we'll see more and more of such examples - and I think large organizations should actually start funding individuals and groups who are pursuing their dreams and having a social impact, like in India we have Mahindra's Spark the Rise which is giving funding money to deserving social entrepreneurs.

What do you think?