crowd·​fund·​ing | \ ˈkrau̇d-ˌfən-diŋ How to pronounce crowdfunding (audio) \

Definition of crowdfunding

: the practice of obtaining needed funding (as for a new business) by soliciting contributions from a large number of people especially from the online community

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Did You Know?

Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding are two words that have recently found their way into the crowded pool of English. Crowdsourcing, which typically refers to the practice of soliciting services, ideas, or content from a large group of people online, was coined by Jeff Howe in a 2006 article in Wired, and crowdfunding was created by entrepreneur Michael Sullivan in that same year. Both words conceptualize "the crowd" as a vast online community from which something needed may be obtained. In crowdsourcing, the crowd is called upon for needed assistance or information. A well-known use of crowdsourcing is Wikipedia, whose content is the result of various contributors. Crowdfunding, on the other hand, involves a more specific request: the crowd is solicited for financial contributions to a particular venture or cause, such as a film project or cancer research.

Examples of crowdfunding in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Twenty-four hours after his interview … thanks to a crowdfunding website … Mr. Caputo had raised more than twice that amount. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: A poll commissioned by Bush and Biden shows Americans losing confidence in democracy," 26 June 2018 Avenatti and Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, set up a crowdfunding website for her lawsuit and legal fees in March. Brooke Singman, Fox News, "Stormy Daniels' legal fund could be targeted in case against attorney Avenatti," 13 June 2018 But a funeral director starting his own crowdfunding website is not the answer, either, said Mr. Slocum of the Funeral Consumer Alliance. New York Times, "As Funeral Crowdfunding Grows, So Do the Risks," 5 June 2018 After the 2016 Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, more than 430 fundraisers were posted on GoFundMe, the crowdfunding website. Lisa J. Huriash,, "Fake accounts impersonate Parkland shooting victims and their families," 20 Apr. 2018 The ban will be a particular blow for Benjamin, who was earning more than $12,000 a month from the crowdfunding site. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How Kevin Hart tweeted himself out of a job hosting the Oscars," 8 Dec. 2018 And while the crowdfunding effort mostly seems like a way to troll people, the Internet was not pleased. Temi Adebowale, Harper's BAZAAR, "Someone Actually Started a GoFundMe to Make Kylie Jenner a Billionaire," 12 July 2018 While some Trump supporters are criticizing him, others are taking matters into their own hands by way of a crowdfunding campaign. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Donald Trump would like to stop talking about the wall now," 20 Dec. 2018 Investors can buy tokens in initial coin offerings, deals that borrow practices from both initial public offerings and crowdfunding. Dave Michaels, WSJ, "SEC Warns Investors on Cryptocurrency Exchanges," 7 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crowdfunding.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of crowdfunding

2006, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

16 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for crowdfunding

The first known use of crowdfunding was in 2006

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Comments on crowdfunding

What made you want to look up crowdfunding? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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