Did you know that one of the most known and visited monuments in the world was created through the crowdfuding?
It’s the Statue of Liberty!
In 1883 the French people donated to the United States of America, as a sign of friendship and for the centenary commemoration of the Declaration of Independence (1776), a monument called ‘The Statue of Liberty’, which was created by the engineer Gustave Eiffel.
The American people were only supposed to build the base on which the statue would rest. The costs to be incurred were excessive, around 300,000 dollars, which compared to the standard of living at the time was a disproportionate sum the government could not bear.
A Committee was set up for this purpose, but it failed, and for this reason an authoritative journalist and publisher, Joseph Pulitzer (to whom the prize of the same name was later named) decided to publish a notice in his journal in support of the cause. Pulitzer offered the possibility to anyone who had donated any amount of money to be quoted in the editorial and the response to the announcement was immediate!
In five months, 102,000 dollars were collected, donated by about 120,000 donors, so the publisher decided not only to publish the names of the donors, but also to include notes, curiosities, such as the age of the donors (children who decided to donate their savings…).
The technique conceived by Pulizter went down in history as the first experience of civic crowdfunding, a type of financing through which the realization of works of public interest is made by the donations of individual citizens.
The concept of ‘Crowdfunding’ derives from the two words crowd and funding. It is not so recent, nor revolutionary, but still capable of producing value, not only economically, but also socially. When the individual citizen contributes to the realisation of a project or the support of a cause, in addition to economically supporting an activity, he or she contributes to the creation of a social network!
What are you waiting for? Support a good cause too! Because, as Thomas Edison said, « The value of an idea lies in the using of it”