Is crowdfunding the kickstart that Australian culture needs?

26 Sep 2013

Australians love crowdfunding. We’re among the most enthusiastic in the world and the most generous per capita, argues Rick Chen, CEO of Australian-based crowdfunding platform Pozible. While US backers typically pledge US$25 for projects on Kickstarter, says Chen, on Pozible Australians' most popular donation is AU$50. 

That generosity is about to be tested. Kickstarter – which dominates in the US, UK and Canada – recently announced they would be opening up to Australian and New Zealand-based projects in early October. It will be taking on Pozible, which since its launch in May 2010 has raised $13m for more than 4,000 creative arts projects. While Australia has other platforms including iPledg, Indiegogo and the local version of social entrepreneur site StartSomeGood, Pozible is king.

Both Chen and StartSomeGood CEO Tom Dawkins say they are excited about Kickstarter’s arrival, arguing it will help develop the industry. And cultural organisations will also be watching the launch closely: in the US, Kickstarter funds more arts-related projects than the National Endowment for the Arts. Could a similar thing happen in Australia? Could crowdfunding make up the shortfall in artistic budgets or help more emerging artists? Or will even more demands for spare dollars just weary arts supporters?

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Photo Credit: crsan via Compfight cc

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