Crowdfunding is a form of community finance, where money for projects is gathered from a large number of stakeholders via an online crowdfunding campaign site. In most cases, the contribution is in the form of donations (of varying sizes) where there is no expected financial return. However, the donor may receive gifts or rewards in return for their contribution, eg a share of a harvest or resulting produce.
A specific funding target is set and there is generally a specific time frame for funding targets to be reached.
This document gives an overview of crowdfunding and some of the benefits and issues about running a crowdfunding campaign.