Will Crowdfunding Work in the CRC?

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Perhaps you saw yesterday's news story, CRC Launches Two Crowdfunding Campaigns. And here's a link to the campaigns.

As I've asked people what they think of this approach, most are quite positive. But some have pointed out that, in most churches, the decision-making process is S-L-O-W. And so, for example, compared to most Kickstarter campaigns that appeal to individuals, crowdfunding for churches may be trickier. In churches, sometimes purchasing decisions are made by committee. Not that it's a bad thing, it's just slower and successful crowdfunding requires momentum, word-of-mouth, etc

If that hurdle can be overcome, crowdfunding does offer some real benefits to churches and denominations:

  1. Participation - Churches determine if something is published. No more guesswork about what churches want/need.
  2. Stewardship - No more waste from over-printing. Or under-printing, and having to do an expensive second run right away.
  3. Great Prices - Because it eliminates so much guess work, prices can be lower than traditional publishing methods.

What do you think - could a crowdfunding approach help do denominational publishing better, smarter, cheaper?

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When I went to the site, it was an advertisement to purchase material to reserve a spot on the assembly line. This way the CRC can find out how much interest there is in a specific product before publishing. If one is not interested in purchasing a specific product, the looker is expected to exit the site. I hope it works for them, but don't call it crowdfunding!

Crowdfunding is to me something different. In crowdfunding the internet community is asked to fund a project, in return sometimes getting an interest in it or tickets should there be sufficient $$ returned. There are many crowdfunding sites that organizations can use.  For instance if the CRC needs a new building for publishing, crowdfunding could be used to raise the capital. 

August Guillaume

 

 

Admin

Thanks for checking it out, August. Crowdfunding is used for both product launches and for pure fundraising. Or even both at the same time, as we're doing with the God Loves Me storybooks. You can pre-order it, or just donate to the cause. It's exciting to see people doing both!

Community Builder

Here what I wrote when I first saw the announcement.

 

This is a novel idea. What safe guards are in place to prevent this idea from spreading throughout the denomination and or individual churches? Is there an element of risk involved to the churches' reputation? Are there legal issues involved or tax issues of Canada vs USA. I noticed receipts can be provided.

My guess is that the hymnal is more a pre-order system, and the story book is true crowd sourcing. Since CRC NA has officies in US and Canada I am assuming that there could be receipts done in both countries. However, the note mentioned that the charges are in US $ with the exchange provided for with the credit card. That is a good way of doing it since the credit card produces competitive rates.  However the tax receipt would be in US $$ which is a problem for Canada's tax system which operates in Canadian $$. For the CRC, donations from Canada are usually done in Canadian $$, with receipts so indicated, and the US organizations get the US $$ from it, depending on the exchange rate. 

Crowd sourcing for the CRC should actually have two sites, one for Canada and the other for US citizens.

The Canadian site should then have prices in Canadian $$ with the risk of exchange being with the CRC, not the individual making the donation.

August Guillaume

Community Builder

Exactly my point. How wide will this spread inside the CRCNA hierarchy/churches? Does each ministry/church start its own?

Admin

August - We've been unable to find a crowdfunding system that accepts two currencies at once. If this experiment goes well, we'll keep searching. In the meantime, donations from Canadian members will be processed in such a way that they can receive a receipt that satisfies Revenue Canada requirements.