2,909 crowdsourcing and crowdfunding sites
If you spent more than 5 minutes on Crowdsourcing.org in 2012, you probably already know what a big year it was for crowdfunding, both worldwide and here in the United States.
Earlier this month we took a look at the top 5 highest-grossing crowdfunding campaigns of 2012, highlighting the most successful multi-million dollar projects that raised amounts that would have seemed like pure science fiction at the end of 2011.
But mountains of dollars don't paint the full picture of what crowdfunding is today. Not every project needs more than a million -- or even 5,000 -- dollars to be a success. The crowdfunding platforms not only brought in bucks in 2012, they were also platforms for innovation in fields as diverse as marketing, film distribution and citizen science.
The past few weeks my colleague Anton Root has been reviewing the entire year in crowdfunding projects and he's come up with 5 of the most unique and noteworthy campaigns of 2012, regardless of dollar amount raised.
American Gut / uBiome (Health research)
Total raised: Over $140,000 combined so far
These two projects look learn more about our microbiome, also known as all the bacteria that live in our guts. By combining a citizen science approach with a crowdfunding campaign, they hope to learn more about what's going on inside all of us. (Read our full project profile.)
Amanda Palmer's New Record
Total raised: almost $1.2 million
Amanda Palmer tapped her big fan base and offered some unique perks to fund her new record, tour and art book. (Read our full project profile.)
Dare to Share (Overly Attached Girlfriend)
Total raised: over $22,000 so far
In a rare case of using internet fame for good, Laina Morris is harnessing her successful meme to raise money for charity. Weird perks like flash mobbing an Apple store surely help as well. (Read our full project profile.)
Vacation for Karen Klein
Total raised: over $700,000
It started with a video that was painful to watch, it ended with $700,000 raised to send abused bus monitor Karen Klein on an epic vacation. Along the way it brought heaps of attention to Indiegogo and others. (Read our full project profile.)
Total raised: $3,240
It raised less than one percent of its stated goal, but this campaign that sought to turn Indiegogo into not only a funding, but also a film distribution platform, was ingenious nontheless. (Read our full project profile.)