Crowdtilt, a new crowd-funding site similar to Kickstarter, is the “flash mob” of crowd-sourced funding. It brings together a group of friends who, in choreographed fashion, raise funds for a given project. And it matters not to Crowdtilt what someone wants to raise funds for. It could be a birthday present, baby shower gift, trip to outer Mongolia, charitable effort, or whatever. Anything goes.

(Since I live in south Louisiana where crawfish is a seasonal staple in our diet, one of my favorite campaigns was the “Krewe of Cajuns and Cowboys Seventh Annual Crawfish Boil” that was held during Mardi Gras.)

Unlike other crowd-funding platforms, which advocate reaching the largest number of people possible, Crowdtilt is set up so that campaign creators only share projects with those already in their personal or professional networks. “We noticed that campaigns asking for contributions from people they don’t know have not done so well in the past,” said a Crowdtilt blog post.

How Crowdtilt Works

The site’s term for funding is “tilting.” When someone creates a campaign, a “tilt” point is set at which it is determined the campaign will meet the goal. The process is designed so that everyone involved becomes an “advocate” to ensure the total is reached.

When someone needs to raise funds he or she creates a campaign. The process is simple, takes only a few minutes and involves three steps:

  1. Provide a brief description of the project, add a photo and set the amount needed to “tilt.”
  2. Send and email, Facebook post or Twitter message to get others involved and start raising funds.
  3. If the campaign tilts – reaches its goal – the credit cards of those involved are charged and funds are made available through direct deposit, check or PayPal. However, at present Crowdtilt only works in the US.

Campaign administrators are required to connect their Crowdtilt profile to their Facebook account so that potential contributors know who they are giving their money to. And, so far, Crowdtilt is free. The company even covers credit card processing fees. I guess that’s something you can do when you’re he avidly funded by YCombinator.

Just to be clear, crowd-funding differs from “group-funding” in that many people combine to raise funds for individual’s project. Group-funding, on the other hand, is where a group raises funds that benefits everyone involved.

Brands and Crowd-Funding

Just yesterday, we talked about Target’s “Give with Friends” Facebook campaign that functions in a manner similar to Crowdtilt. Facebook friends come together to purchase a gift card for a recipient that can be used in-store on online at Target’s ecommerce site.

Target’s campaign is a model for brands that wish to harness the power of collective giving with commercial intent. This friend-to-friend sharing modality plays on an individual’s need or desire to get involved when called upon to do so.

With that said, I’m actually considering planning a trip to outer Mongolia. If I do, I’ll be sure and hit you up for a few bucks to help out!

Crowdtilt crowd-funding site

Crowdtilt campaigns

Crowdtilt baby gift campaign

Crowdtilt crawfish boil fundraising campaign