crowd·​fund·​ing ˈkrau̇d-ˌfən-diŋ How to pronounce crowdfunding (audio)
: 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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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 To raise funds, Weston-Roy kicked off a 30-day online fundraising campaign last month on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. La Risa R. Lynch, Journal Sentinel, 7 May 2024 Her Hollywood star was secured following a $50,000 crowdfunding campaign that drew international attention and donations in 2023. Brian McCollum, Detroit Free Press, 21 Mar. 2024 The most ambitious crowdfunding campaigns have raised enough money to buy not just small items like gloves but heavy battlefield equipment as well. Daria Mitiuk, New York Times, 7 Mar. 2024 Perhaps the most damning aspect of this is that paying for expensive care with crowdfunding is no longer seen as unusual; instead, it is being normalized as part of the health system, like getting bloodwork done or waiting on hold for an appointment. Elisabeth Rosenthal, Fortune Well, 13 Feb. 2024 But, for those who discover brands early on; whose consistent purchases, crowdfunding contributions, and word-of-mouth endorsements contribute to a growing buzz, the resulting sense of pride and ownership is, perhaps, fair. Ebony Flake, Essence, 29 Mar. 2024 In every crowdfunding case, Palestinians will rely on contacts abroad to help set up the campaign and receive donations on their behalf. TIME, 25 Mar. 2024 The Ukrainian government said in September that crowdfunding had accounted for 3 percent of Ukraine’s total military spending since the war began. Daria Mitiuk, New York Times, 7 Mar. 2024 Mack, the human rights lawyer, said crowdfunding has significantly bolstered the settler outposts. Julia Frankel, Quartz, 22 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'crowdfunding.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from gerund of crowdfund

First Known Use

2007, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of crowdfunding was in 2007


Dictionary Entries Near crowdfunding

Cite this Entry

“Crowdfunding.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: the practice of obtaining funding (as for a new business) by seeking contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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