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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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

The company’s latest launch was funded in part through crowdfunding, which according to the Japan Times raised slightly over $250,000, a substantial portion of the estimated cost of roughly $450,000 for each Interstellar Technologies launch. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Japan's Latest Attempt at Private Spaceflight Fails on Liftoff," 1 July 2018 Some clinics encourage patients to use crowdfunding, and crowdfunding sites recommend sharing pleas on social media to help raise funds, said study lead author Jeremy Snyder, a bioethicist at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. Fox News, "Duped patients crowdfund for bogus medical care, study says," 8 May 2018 The documentary, three years in the making and partly underwritten with crowdfunding, is the first feature-length film for Tall Tale Productions. Marie Mccullough,, "With a documentary on medical errors, a son carries on his physician father's legacy," 1 May 2018 Initial coin offerings, a form of crowdfunding, carry on apace. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "A Sidelined Wall Street Legend Bets on Bitcoin," 10 Apr. 2018 Organizations like Dianey’s and Erik’s have turned to crowdfunding, using various websites in order to fulfill the needs of countless people. Araceli Cruz, Teen Vogue, "Immigrant Advocacy Groups Raise Millions for DACA Forms and Legal Fees," 6 Apr. 2018 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

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

25 May 2019

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The first known use of crowdfunding was in 2006

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