As strange as it may seem, raising money online is still in its infancy. The legal ramifications of crowdfunding have just recently been faced squarely by regulators and governments and the next steps in both capital formation and non-profit and charitable giving are right around the corner. With the steady stream of news articles about online funding scams, it’s no surprise that people are still so hesitant to use this medium. From stories of funerals and hospital bills to tales of woe, there’s currently no regulation in place to protect prospective donors. The companies with the biggest stakes in the fundraising future are obviously the social media platforms, which are in a headlong race to deploy front-ends for all manner of crowdfunding features.
The success of non-profit organizations is entirely dependent on budgeting and efficiency. For donors, patrons, and the companies they support, things have to become more practical. Since non-profits and technology go together so well, there are some new concepts you should consider looking into if you plan to raise money in the near future.
Commercial companies are bound to discover that equity will be the killer feature in any crowdfunding project going forward. Capital markets discovered the wealth-building power of equity sharing decades ago, and while governments can’t and won’t allow future online capital markets to become a free-for-all, the tools now exist to not only realize the dream of buying a share of your dream project but also to automate and regulate such projects. This is not only for the benefit of shareholders but also for the overall growth of electronic commerce.
Non-profits and charity fundraising efforts are very likely to become early adopters of digital currencies for a number of reasons. One of the primary motivators will be the robust and unalterable record-keeping of the blockchain, which will lead to a more exact record-keeping of tax deductions, as well as disclosures on people’s charitable giving. A cottage industry is likely to spring up around this feature of the blockchain, alongside several companies that will work with non-profits to invest or spend the digital coins they have collected.
Advertising, marketing and customer service are among the numerous obligations that smaller non-profit players would love to either outsource or automate. With the emphasis on chatbots and virtualized customer care platforms now underway in technology circles, online services will soon combine with listening applications like Alexa, Google Assistant and Cortana to produce a “reassurance engine” that will not only prevent ejections by nervous contributors but turn them into repeat and upsold contributors instead.