The Smithsonian launched their first major crowdfunding campaign to support it’s first-ever exhibition on the yogic art. Crowdfunding is in many ways simply a way of pre-selling an offering. You can gauge interest before bring a product or service to market. You can go direct to the consumer and avoid being handicapped by lack of distribution.
Moving forward I expect we’ll see more campaigns from the likes of museums and other public works organizations like PBS. We’ve already seen crowdfunding used to fund movies. Because special exhibits often have niche but enthusiastic audiences or require altruism crowdfinancing is the perfect fit for museums to not only raise necessary funds but also to determine if planned exhibits or other programs will have the anticipated draw.
Today most of these are unidirectional – museums create the campaign. But I could also see a future where like-minded consumers join together to raise funds necessary to support programs and exhibits they are interested in – and thereby influencing museums and other organizations. Creation and curation can steadily become bidirectional because crowdfunding can easily facilitate the creation of campaigns from either the producers or the consumers.