2,524 crowdsourcing and crowdfunding sites
As a new model for raising capital, money raised through crowdfunding is making an impact across all of Europe. In German-speaking countries alone, more than a quarter-million Euros have been raised through crowdsourcing platforms to finance numerous start-ups, projects and good cause initiatives. This has attracted the attention of the European policy makers. At a conference in Poland this coming November, a European declaration on crowdfunding will be released. Naturally, the question of regulation has been raised; given that both the model and rules of participation have yet to be defined and adopted in a consistent way, there remains much ambiguity.
Crowdfunding is used as a model for funding start-ups on platforms such as growvc.com, c-crowd.ch or seedmatch.com. For these type of platforms, it's much more likely that rules regarding investor protection, transparency issues and financial reporting could apply. Within the creative industry, where often funds are being raised for initiatives or to develop merchandise rather than to form legal entities, crowdfunding is much less likely to be regulated and the applicability of different rules across the European Union varies greatly from country to country. For instance, a lot of project initiators are not aware that the rewards given to the funders (for instance, when pre-selling CDs to crowdfund the production of a music album) are subject to sales tax and therefore should be incorporated in the financial planning of the crowdfunding project.
In general, there is still a lot of confusion when it comes to crowdfunding, especially when cross-border fundraising is involved. Since the European Union is trying to develop a single payment mechanism that can work across the continent of Europe, for countries that have both adopted the Euro as their currency and for others that remain with their national currencies, there is hardly any surprise that there is a need for some clarification and transparency at the European level.
Towards that goal, the Institute for Communication in Social Media and David Röthler, a consultant on digital trends and European fundraising, are conducting a study about crowdfunding schemes in the cultural and creative industries sector in Europe on behalf of the European Expert Network on Culture (EENC), a network set up by the European Commission. The study shall provide recommendations concerning the potential regulation of crowdfunding schemes. If you want to contribute to the study, please answer the survey at http://bit.ly/crowdfunding_experts. The deadline for responses is August 22nd.
The following are issues which will be addressed:
The Institute for Communication in Social Media will compile a list of crowdfunding experts in Europe using the data from the survey. If you answer the survey, please include relevant background so that you can be further contacted for the crowdfunding expert list before it is published. The data will also be entered into the crowdsourced matrix on business crowdfunding at Socialcompare.com. Information can be added there at any time. There are also similar tables on Alternative Money Schemes and Crowdfunding for Creative Purposes.