In this blog, the top 5 most special crowdfunding campaigns are aligned to show how crowdfunding can realize various projects. Crowdfunding is a popular and worldly known phenomenon. It shows that great things can be achieved with a bit of help and kindness from others. For example, in 2020, a number of 6.455.080 crowdfunding campaigns launched worldwide, one even more special than the other.
In 2015, 9.477 people contributed to the crowdfunding campaign ‘Reboot the Suit’. This campaign aimed to collect $500.000 to restore the spacesuit that Neil Armstrong wore when he walked on the moon. The crowdfunding campaign aired on Kickstarter and was created by The Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian is the largest museum and research complex located in Washington, the United States.
The crowdfunding action surpassed its strive amount by raising $719.779. This meant that the Smithsonian had money to spare and preserve a second spacesuit. This spacesuit was used by Alan Shepherd, the first American in space.
The project of the restoration of the spacesuit was the first time the Smithsonian turned to crowdfunding. The institution needed help to cover the costs of preserving its most valuable artefacts from history. A fun fact about this crowdfunding campaign is that the campaign went live on the 20th of July, which is the 46th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 lunar landing, and the campaign closed on the 19th of August, which is National Aviation Day.
A huge Kickstarter success was the crowdfunding campaign ‘Eat Your Spoon’ created on the 27th of April in 2016. Indian citizen Sarah Munir created the campaign. Sarah wanted to raise money to create edible cutlery to reduce plastic waste. It is estimated that 120 million pieces of disposable plastic cutlery are thrown away each year in India alone. The goal was to raise $20.000 to create biodegradable cutlery. However, after 30 days almost $300.000 was raised by 10.000 backers.
The first product that was created with the help of the campaign was an edible spoon called ‘Bakey’. The spoon is available to eat for everyone as the cutlery is entirely vegan, preservative-free, trans-fat-free, and dairy-free. Furthermore, the creators of ‘Bakey’ operate on principles of fair trade. The ingredients of the spoon are sorghum flour, rice flour, and wheat flour. The spoon does not dissolve when eating liquids because of sorghum flour. The extra amount of money that was raised through the crowdfunding campaign is used to create more types of biodegradable cutlery.
One of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns that aired in the United States is the BauBax travel jacket. The jacket is often referred to as the world’s best travel jacket. The innovative jacket features everything from a built-in phone charger to a neck pillow, gloves, and an eye mask. No matter the weather conditions or the place you are at, this jacket will make you feel comfortable and at ease. BauBax raised over $9 million invested by 44.949 backers from 81 different countries.
The idea for the travel jacket came from Ms. Shah. Her husband is a student who was traveling a lot and was annoyed by the fact that his clothes did not have designated pockets for his various gadgets. Ms. Shah, who worked at a computer networking company, decided to create a travel jacket that could solve her husband’s problem.
Until today, the travel jacket remains one of the most successful innovations funded via crowdfunding. It is the most funded piece of clothing and the fourth most funded campaign ever.
Glenwyvis Distillery, Community Benefit Society, has realized its long-held ambition to create Scotland’s first community-owned craft whisky distillery. In 2016, the Glenwyvis Distillery Community, together with Community Shares Scotland (CSS), launched a crowdfunding campaign. Their goal was to raise £1.5 million of investment to help put whisky distilling back at the heart of Dingwall.
John McKenzie initiated the GlenWyvis Distillery project in 2015 with the support of other key people in the broader community who gained funding for feasibility studies to find the most suitable site for a community-owned distillery in the Dingwall area. The crowdfunding campaign offered local investors investment opportunities for as little as £250. This was done to ensure high local ownership of the distillery. The distillery used a form of crowdfunding called equity crowdfunding. Inequity crowdfunding, the company offers the investors equity in return for their investment. The Share Offer was also open to whisky lovers worldwide, with investment opportunities rising to a maximum of £100,000.
However, the 100% community-owned distillery is more than just a distillery. It is an opportunity for all social investors to help reinvigorate the historic town of Dingwall. On July 8, 2016, the Glenwyvis Distillery Community Society successfully raised £2.544.210 with 2.456 investors in 77 days. Nowadays, the distillery produces high-quality, craft Scottish whisky and craft gin. Together with a proposed visitor centre, it benefits the local community by developing Dingwall into the leading Craft Distillery Town of Scotland.
A heart-warming crowdfunding story is a story about Andrew Emery, a nine-year-old boy from South Carolina. Andrew opened a lemonade stand in his hometown to help fund the care of his six months old brother. His brother had been diagnosed with an incurable genetic disease named Krabbe disease. With his lemonade stand, Andrew raised over $6.000 in two hours. Furthermore, the story about this medical problem quickly gained interest among American citizens.
Andrew and his lemonade stand also gained popularity on social media. Andrew posted a message on Facebook reaching out to people to come to buy lemonade at his stand. Eventually, Andrew, his family created a GoFundMe page with a goal of $40.000. This amount of money could help cover the medical bills for Andrew his little brother. Additionally, a Facebook page was created to update their followers about the situation of Andrew his little brother. and to inform people and raise awareness about this incurable disease.
Crowdfunding is accessible for everyone. In the crowdfunding sector, a lot of different types are present. Most of the crowdfunding actions relate to raising money for a good cause or creating an invention. That’s also the case of the five crowdfunding campaigns mentioned above. However, crowdfunding as a form of investing is becoming more popular these last few years. For example, if someone is looking for a steady return on their money. Investing in real estate via a crowdfunding platform could be a great option.
Max Crowdfund is a real estate crowdfunding platform located in Rotterdam. Max Crowdfund allows people to invest from €100. This makes crowdfunding accessible to investors with different wallets. Furthermore, the investor can easily spread their investment over several projects due to the low investment amounts, reducing the risk in the investor’s portfolio.
Written by: Donna de Vries