Crowdsourcing vs. Crowdfunding: What’s the Difference?

Two innovative new developments – crowdsourcing and crowdfunding – both use mass collaboration to accomplish goals. Tapping into a crowd rich with talent or capital can fuel growth, increase efficiency and make previously insurmountable tasks possible.

Whether you’re a trendsetting enterprise manager, a digital content creation manager, the developer of the next big social media site or iPhone app – or even the leader of a non-profit organization – capitalizing on the vast stores of knowledge and skills available through the crowd can revolutionize productivity.

Although they are similar, there are key differences between crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. The following definitions should help you discern which tools you need to supercharge your efforts with the power of the crowd.

Crowdsourcing is the tool you need if you’re looking to divide and conquer.

At its core, crowdsourcing is distributed problem solving. Business projects are drilled down to microtasks, which are then distributed to workers with the exact skills to complete them efficiently. With crowdsourcing, an on-demand workforce tackles projects of any scale to deliver high-value output.

Crowdsourcing can provide businesses with access to skilled copywriters who create digital SEO content, thereby helping build relationships and ultimately boosting sales. Other enterprises rely on programmers, web developers and scientists to solve complex problems or make unprecedented breakthroughs in research and development. According to CNN, crowdsourcing was even recently used in efforts to locate an aircraft that disappeared mid-flight; Digital Globe posted satellite images of 1,235 square miles of ocean and requested users to comb them for minute areas of debris.

With the power of hundreds to thousands of creative minds throughout the world, microtasks can be performed simultaneously, and projects can be completed more quickly and cost effectively.

Beyond moving the unthinkable into the realm of the possible, crowdsourcing offers the following significant benefits:

  • Broad access to a flexible and creative workforce
  • Increased cost-effectiveness
  • Improved business capabilities
  • Reduced time to market and faster project delivery

If you’re in need of capital to start or further your efforts, crowdfunding is the tool for you.

Like crowdsourcing, crowdfunding taps into the power of the crowd. Instead of tackling microtasks, however, crowdfunding tackles a type of microfunding.

Crowdfunding platforms bring together an individual or entity in need of funding with community members willing to contribute cash. Although pessimists find it inexplicable, it has been consistently demonstrated that people worldwide have a philanthropic nature when it comes to causes in which they believe – whether that’s an entrepreneurial product or service, disaster relief, an artist’s vision or something else entirely.

According to Massolution’s 2015CF – Crowdfunding Industry Report, global crowdfunding in 2014 expanded by 167 percent, reaching $16.2 billion in contributions, up from $6.1 billion in 2013. Insiders expect that number to reach $34.4 billion by the end of 2015.

Through crowdfunding, new technologies are developed. Artists create films, music and art. Developers design new games. Disaster relief is empowered with an influx of cash.
Regardless of the project being funded, crowdfunding offers a host of benefits:

  • Access to capital with hedged risk
  • Built-in marketing
  • An easier source of funding than traditional channels
  • Introduction to potential loyal customers
  • Free or low-cost publicity and an opportunity for advance sales

Although the sheer number of crowdfunding sites can be overwhelming, Crowdfunding Website Reviews and other reviewers can assist by providing information on such popular crowdfunding sites as Indiegogo and Kickstarter. Criteria analyzed include ease of use, traffic, front page exposure, payment type accepted and value.

Through crowdfunding or crowdsourcing, businesses, entrepreneurs, leaders of humanitarian efforts and all individuals with a cause or a vision can harness the power of mass collaboration to build future success.

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