How Science Crowdfunding Does More Than Raise Funds for Research

By: Alicia Rades 09/14/2016 10:35PM
Category: Citizen Science

When starting a physics crowdfunding campaign, it’s easy to focus on the money you’ll get out of it. However, science crowdfunding does a lot more than raise funds for research. It’s important to recognize these secondary benefits so you can make the most out of your campaign. Keep the following three benefits of science crowdfunding in mind when raising research funds.

It Raises Awareness for Your Cause

Physics crowdfunding is largely a marketing activity rather than a financial activity. Crowdfunding sites for science give you the platform to market your cause on, and due to the very nature of it, the public is very involved in the process.

Publicity comes in many forms throughout your campaign. Donors might share your cause on social media, or you might do an interview to raise awareness. In turn, people become more familiar with your cause even if they don’t donate.

Taking your science public can lead to many great things down the road. For example, public support of your work could open up future avenues for partnerships and funding. If the government is choosing who to give money to, they have to think about which research the public cares about. If certain areas of science have public support, there’s a greater incentive to give funding to those researchers. The same principle applies with other funding options, such as corporate sponsors or individual philanthropists.

It Builds a Supportive Following

By taking your science public, it amplifies your ability to gather supporters. Crowdfunding is all about building a community because you need support in order for your research to take off. You’re not just taking donors’ money and doing your own thing. With the way crowdfunding works, researchers who have accumulated a loyal follower base will see more success in their science fundraising campaigns.

This leads to better opportunities. For example, building a community during your first physics fundraising campaign means that you already have a group of interested individuals at your fingertips to turn to for the next stage of your research. Keeping your followers informed and engaged will make it easier to secure future donations.

It’s not just about the money, though. A supportive following could also lead to successful crowdsourcing projects. So instead of rallying your community members to donate money, they could improve your research by literally contributing to it.

Take the example of Galaxy Zoo. This is a website where individuals can help classify galaxies. In their first 24 hours, Galaxy Zoo classified 70,000 galaxies per hour. By the end of the project’s first year, Galaxy Zoo received 50 million classifications contributed by over 150,000 people. As scientist Chris Lintott says in his TED talk, “And the even better news is that taken together, those classifications are more accurate than those supplied by professional astronomers. The crowd does not make mistakes, and it has endless enthusiasm for this task of sorting through pictures of the universe.”

It Allows for Market Testing

Aside from raising public awareness and, in turn, building a community through crowdfunding sites for science, physics crowdfunding serves as a testing ground for ideas. You can use your campaigns to get a feel for the public’s response, especially in areas like developing technologies. Based on how the public responds to your campaign, you can answer questions like:

  • Do people want this thing?
  • How much are they willing to pay for it?
  • Could improvements be made before officially launching?

If you don’t reach your funding goal, this may be an indication that your idea isn’t valid or that it needs to be modified before the product launch. And since many crowdfunding sites for science offer an all-or-nothing funding option, where you only receive funds if you hit your goal, you have nothing to lose but time by pursuing crowdfunding to test and validate your ideas. Plus, even if you don’t meet your goal, you’ll walk away with valuable insight about how to improve your product or marketing angle.

With these benefits in mind, you can look at the big picture of your physics crowdfunding campaign to see which other avenues it can take you down aside from funding. Start your science crowdfunding campaign on Fiat Physica to begin raising awareness, building a community, and testing your ideas.

Posted on: 09/14/16 10:35PM
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Alicia Rades View profile

Alicia Rades is a professional blog writer who specializes in writing about content marketing topics.

#MakePhysicsHappen @fiatphysica

“Fiat Physica shall hand the steering wheel of scientific innovation to the public, allowing them to contribute to science, communication, and discovery directly.”

Szabolcs Marka

Chair of the Education and Public Outreach Committee, LIGO and Associate Professor of Physics, Columbia University
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