Kickstarter and the Democratization Of Asking For Money

Several friends of mine have created Kickstarter to raise funds for their projects, and I have support them either by spreading the word and/or donating money. I have also consulted an artist who needed help with promotion for their Kickstarter. Recently celebrities like Zach Braff and Spike Lee have done so in order to fund films they want to make. They look to their fan base instead studios for support.

I am not sure if it is good for people who have the means and wealth to do a  Kickstarter. People may judge, but it has led to the democratization of crowdfunding.  Before Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo, raising money used to relegated to charitable nonprofits or for companies going public seeking capital.

The current rise in crowdfunding for business has yielded concerns about the accounting treatment of those funds. Is it a gift? Is it income?  It is unearned revenue?! Kickstarter used a reward based model of crowdfunding, where  the backer receives a form of reward which may be of little value, and can even be akin to a donation. However, the backers cannot deduct the donation unless the Kickstarter is created by a nonprofit with a (501)c3 status.

Recently I moved from Brooklyn to Atlanta, and I updated my setting on Kickstarter.  Curious about the local Atlantans who have projects on Kickstarters, I found five of interest. I love perusing the projects so now I know about some of the creative people who live near me.

Two Cents: LearnVest and Square

Square has just launched, and it may cause a revolution for online payments.  One of the founders of Square is Jack Dorsey who you may have heard of because he is one the guys who started Twitter. Square allows for you to use your iPhone for online payments, email receipts, donate money to charity and enable reward programs for frequent customers.  I can wait to see how Square could work with online retailers and make mobile payments super easy.

On Wednesday, LearnVest had a fun Launch+Holiday Party at The Limited’s at their Soho Pop-up store.  What is LearnVest? LearnVest is a personal finance site for women that provides interactive content that walks women step-by-step through key financial decisions.

Shoeboxed In

The other day I got an email from Julian at Shoeboxed is a Web 2.0 site where you can organize receipts for purchases. You can scan receipts and upload them into a Free account. Since other personal finance sites don’t really have functionality for entering cash receipts, this site is pretty helpful.

The other cool thing is you can give online stores you “shoebox email” instead of your personal email address when sending receipts for purchases. A lot of my clients have envelopes full of cash receipts so this may be a solution.

Mint : Personal Finance Application

While Geezeo and Wesabe have been buzzing around the past few months, another personal finance application has won over the Tech Crunch crowd winning for best presenting company at the Tech Crunch 40.I have yet to check out Mint, but I will and let you know in a full out review.

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Mint is a personal finance application that lets users track and monitor their financials in one place without the need of routine maintenance or accounting knowledge. Their application tracks bank, credit union and credit card transactions and alerts users to upcoming bills, low balances or unusual spending. Mint’s patent-pending technology automatically categorizes transactions, so users know with precision where they are spending money, what their bank and credit balances are, and how much interest they have earned.

Their application also helps people find ways to save money by constantly searching for deals on credit cards, bank accounts, etc. Mint’s technology also analyzes your finances and makes suggestions all while using the same security systems as top banks.