Last year, Boise Weekly reported on the exponential growth of crowdfunding, and the ways it is being used to fund art projects, as well as its potential to rev up the economy by providing small businesses a way to access capital without banks.
On Feb. 24, Talking Points Memo reported an interesting statistic that further shows the tremendous power of crowdfunding: Kickstarter.com is currently on track to distribute more money in 2012 than the annual budget of the National Endowment for the Arts.
From the article:
One of the company’s three co-founders, Yancey Strickler, said that Kickstarter is on track to distribute over $150 million dollars to its users’ projects in 2012, or more than entire fiscal year 2012 budget for the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), which was $146 million.
“It is probable Kickstarter will distribute more money this year than the NEA,” said Stricker in an exclusive phone interview with TPM. “We view that number and our relationship to it in both a good and bad way.”
Rather than seeing this as a sign of NEA's irrelevance, Strickler told TPM that the milestone is good because it doubles the amount of money going into the arts nationwide.
Kickstarter's guidelines mandate that projects that use the site are creative in nature, and SEC regulations still prohibit crowdfunding sites to be used to offer financial kickbacks instead of just gifts, but still, imagine what it mean to the economy if the amount of available small business startup capital could be expanded that broadly.