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Financing for Your Business or Nonprofit

Crowdfunding is growing in popularity in both the small business and nonprofit communities. But what exactly is crowdfunding and how does the process work?

For starters, here’s the definition from

The use of small amounts of capital from a large number of individuals to finance a new business venture. Crowdfunding makes use of the easy accessibility of vast networks of friends, family and colleagues through social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to get the word out about a new business and attract investors. Crowdfunding has the potential to increase entrepreneurship by expanding the pool of investors from whom funds can be raised beyond the traditional circle of owners, relatives and venture capitalists.

There are 2 main models or types of crowdfunding:

The first is what’s called donation-based funding. The birth of crowdfunding has come through this model, where funders donate via a collaborative goal based process in return for products, perks or rewards.

The second and more recent model is investment crowdfunding, where businesses seeking capital sell ownership stakes online in the form of equity or debt. In this model, individuals who fund become owners or shareholders and have a potential for financial return, unlike in the donation model.

According to, The JOBS Act that was passed in April of 2012 paved the way to investment crowdfunding.

The Crowdfunding Industry Report by Massolution indicated that the crowdfunding industry raised $2.7 billion in 2012 alone!


So, how do SC state and local businesses and nonprofits learn more about possible resources?

One website to consider is the SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce's Crowdfunding portal,

The site offers businesses and nonprofits access to capital through crowd funding from their immediate geographic communities. Launched in late 2013, the project is a partnership between the S.C. Small Business Chamber of Commerce, The American Sustainable Business Council and Mission Markets Inc., a New York-based securities firm.

According to Frank Knapp, President and CEO - SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce, “The difference with SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce crowdfunding portal is that it encourages communities to take control and support their own local economies more directly. We’re really serving a great need for small businesses and nonprofits that are trying to raise capital but cannot get it through traditional markets. This is an alternative for them.”

On Sunday, June 29 @ 3:00 p.m., 42 Business and Job Center customers visited the library and listened to Frank Knapp's presentation to learn more about this innovative way to secure business capital.

Diane L. Says: Learn what crowdfunding is, and the benefits and possible shortcomings of this innovate type of funding.
Amazon Says: Harness the power of the crowd to turn your dreams into reality! Crowdfunding is the newest way to fund projects and start businesses. You don't need to hit up family more...
Amazon Says: Harness the power of the crowd to turn your dreams into reality! Crowdfunding is the newest way to fund projects and start businesses. You don't need to hit up family and friends, max out your credit cards, or get a second mortgage--there are perfect strangers out there who will help you fund your idea. You just have to know how to find them. The Everything Guide to Crowdfunding is a step-by-step handbook to harnessing the power of social media to raise funds. Inside, you'll find real-life case studies and techniques for creating a successful campaign, including: Gaining an online presenceTapping into the crowdUnderstanding the different crowdfunding platformsDesigning a successful campaign planPromoting your campaign with social media, search engine optimization, and affiliate marketingDealing with donors after your campaign ends Almost 50 percent of crowdfunding ventures fail to get funded. With this guide, you will learn how to be in the 50 percent that succeed. Whatever your dream or business idea, there is no reason it can't become a reality with the power of crowdfunding. less...

Diane L. Says: This book is a guide to bring entrepreneurs and angels investors together for their mutual benefit and for the benefit of their community.
Amazon Says: WHAT IF YOU HAD AN ANGEL ON YOUR SIDE? "Terrific advice from a master of the angel investing game. Brian Cohen reveals the art and craft of raising angel money. An investment more...
Amazon Says: WHAT IF YOU HAD AN ANGEL ON YOUR SIDE? "Terrific advice from a master of the angel investing game. Brian Cohen reveals the art and craft of raising angel money. An investment in this book will pay off a thousandfold." -- DR. HOWARD MORGAN, founder and partner at First Round Capital When you connect with the right angel investor, it's like finding a new best friend--you just have to know what makes him or her happy. Smart funding is waiting for smart founders. Raising funds is all about connecting with the investor who's right for you--and What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know shows you exactly how to succeed. Veteran early-stage investor Brian Cohen knows how to spot a great company destined for success, and in this groundbreaking book he offers soup-to-nuts guidance for any entrepreneur seeking to launch an invention, a product, or a great new idea into a receptive marketplace. As chairman of the board of directors of the New York Angels, Cohen is one of the most engaged angel investors out there today. The first investor in Pinterest, he describes exactly what angels want to see, hear, and feel before they take out their checkbooks: A clear exit strategy before the startup even launches Facts that turn "due" diligence into "do" diligence Authenticity--"save your spinning for the fitness center" Proof that you "live inside the customer's head" Cohen gives invaluable insight into how the most successful angels view due diligence, friends and family money, crowdfunding, team building, scalability, iteration, exit strategies--and much more. This one-of-a-kind book provides a rare look inside the minds of people who are in the business of funding businesses just like yours. Read What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know to get your best shot at funding for your product after your very first pitch. PRAISE FOR WHAT EVERY ANGEL INVESTOR WANTS YOU TO KNOW: "Brian Cohen is truly the entrepreneur's best friend. Cohen and Kador haven distilled their first-hand experiences into an intensely personal, highly readable journey into the mind of angels that should be kept at the bedside of every startup CEO." -- DAVID S. ROSE, founder, New York Angels, and CEO, Gust "Meet one of the fundamental building blocks of the entrepreneurial scene. In one easy-to-read package, readers now have the wisdom of Brian Cohen, perhaps the most well-connected investor/entrepreneur in New York." -- MURAT AKTIHANOGLU, founder and managing director, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator "What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know gives you an actionable checklist for success in fund-raising and entrepreneurship. Cohen and Kador provide an exhilarating ride for those who want to pilot their own business." -- REED HOLDEN, serial entrepreneur and author of Negotiating with Backbone "Personal insights from a seasoned angel investor. An important addition to the reading list for today's entrepreneurs." -- SCOTT CASE, CEO, Startup America Partnership "What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know is a must-read for entrepreneurs and investors who want to fi nance startup dreams--an accessible, jargon-free, practical primer." -- WHITNEY JOHNSON, author of Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream and cofounder, Rose Park Advisors “While [this] book is anecdotal, [the authors] discuss in depth how angels view a potential investment as well as how they evaluate its prospects. This is the book’s strength. Recommended. All levels of students, entrepreneurs, practitioners.” -- CHOICE less...
  • SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce - Crowdfunding
    Site serves as an online marketplace for small businesses, entrepreneurs and nonprofits seeking capital to solicit donations and investments for their business projects.
  • Indiegogo
    Access to fundraising campaigns a broad range of projects.
    Invest for as little as $1,000 - 61,327 Investors, 10,646 Companies!
  • RocketHub
    FuelPad and LaunchPad programs help campaign owners connect with potentail promotion and marketing partners.
  • Crowdrise
    Place for campaigns that focus on charitable causes and needs.
  • SoMoLend
    Site for lending for small businesses in the U.S., providing debt-based investment funding. The site's founder was a leading participants in the JOBS Act legislation.
  • Appbackr
    Niche site for mobile app development.
  • AngelList
    Accredited investors and institutions have been responsible for funding a growing number of top tech start-ups.
  • Investedin
    Interested in creating your own crowdfunding community to support donation-based fundraising for a specific group or market? Check out this site!
  • Quirky
    Site focuses on bringing an invention or product to life, with community participation.
  • Kickstarter
    Looking for funding for a creative project and need donation-based funding? Begin your search with Kickstarter!