Crowdfunding and crowdsourcing: philanthropy 2.0?

Crowdfunding and crowdsourcing have in common the “crowd” prefix but not only. They are simply complementary and will be more and more inseparable because responding to the same philosophy, that of the collaborative engagement of the “crowd”. This phenomenon, which has grown strongly with the emergence of dedicated Internet platforms, remains an important marker of a delicate economy towards innovative projects and / or perceived as unprofitable.

Crowdfunding, contrary to reductive ideas, is not limited to the financial support of the general public. Of course, the latter contributes financially to a project, often in the form of “gifts”, but it does so in a disinterested manner, thus becoming a “patron of modern times” in a way. Indeed, the attraction is not the gain in return since most of the time the counterparts are symbolic: a smile, his name mentioned on a document or on the website, a postcard … In short, it is not that which counts but the participation in a project, or even a community, which will allow the project to succeed one day.

“The financing of solidarity projects does not weaken

Questioned, Hortense Garand, co-founder of Babeldoor, an historical crowdfunding player in France, confirms this enthusiasm: “We created Babeldoor in 2010 when legislation on this type of financing did not yet exist. Babeldoor is a participatory platform of mutual aid and solidarity financing, mixing crowdfunding and crowdsourcing. It is celebrating its seventh anniversary this year. Our site allows mobilizing funds or skills to realize solidarity, committed, cultural projects, having a proven social utility. It is mainly aimed at associations, volunteers, and permits everyone to participate in the realization of projects that make sense. After seven years of existence, we feel that the commitment of citizens to the financing of solidarity projects does not weaken. “

Participatory financing has thus become, for many structures, whatever their fields of intervention, a new source of financing, altruistic and far removed from the harsh banking realities. However, while the phenomenon of crowdfunding has led to the emergence of new artists (especially in the field of song), it is increasingly taking on new forms, such as “crowdlending” (to which we shall come back in another article), or “crowdequity”.

From crowdsourcing to “open innovation” there is only one step…

Concerning crowdsourcing the principle is the same to the detail that it is no longer the funds that are collected but the ideas or skills of the participants, thus contributing to enrich a project so that it become a reality. Major French groups, particularly in public transport, have recently launched “calls for ideas” to imagine new services. Others have solicited their clients to solve problems, and others have set up “open innovation” programs to contribute to the development of their “research and development” program: a kind of “ outsourcing “ program somehow…

So many initiatives that solicit the crowd to reintegrate it into the production of goods and/or services from which it was discarded with the advent of industrialization and standardization in the mid-nineteenth century. A fair return of things…

Pascale Strubel

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French version

Previous articles:

Why create a Corporate Foundation?

Mobilizing employees: a key issue!

Is crowdsourcing the new “business Eldorado”?

Articles to come:

Sponsorship or volunteer skills: how to choose?

What kind of sponsorship for a company?

Corporate values, why?