Escrow Funds


The crowd funding approach has long precedents in the sphere of charity[citation needed]. It is receiving renewed attention from both commercial and social entrepreneurs now that social media, online communities and micropayment technology make it straightforward to engage and secure donations from a group of potentially interested supporters at very low cost.

One of the pioneers of crowdfunding in the music industry have been the British rock group Marillion. In 1997 American fans underwrote an entire US tour[2] to the tune of $60,000, with donations following an internet campaign – an idea conceived and managed by the fans before any involvement by the band. Marillion has later used crowdfunding with great success as a method to fund the recording and marketing of several albums, Anoraknophobia,[2]Marbles[3] and Happiness Is the Road.[4]

Crowdfunding in the film industry was pioneered by Spanner Films with the climate change documentary The Age of Stupid[5]. The Age of Stupid team, headed up by Franny Armstrong, successfully raised more than £900,000 over a period of 5 years (december 2004 to 2009, date of release) to cover both the production and promotion of the film. The film’s crew worked at very low wages but also received crowd-funding “shares”. Under the terms of the crowd-funding contract the investors and crew are paid once a year for ten years from the release of the film.[6]

They were followed by french entrepreneurs and producers Guillaume Colboc and Benjamin Pommeraud from company fr:Guyom Corp. when they launched a public internet donation campaign in August 2004 to fund their film, Demain la Veille (Waiting for Yesterday).[7]. Within 3 weeks, they managed to raise nearly $50,000, allowing them to shoot their film.

Crowdfunding’s earliest known citation[citation needed] was by Michael Sullivan, fundavlog, August 12, 2006, "Many things are important factors, but funding from the ‘crowd’ is the base of which all else depends on and is built on. So, Crowdfunding is an accurate term to help me explain this core element of fundavlog."


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