A New Breed of Funding
Until about a year ago, I had heard the terms “crowdfunding” and “crowdsourcing” several times without fully understanding what they meant. When my wife made a small donation toward a musician’s efforts to raise enough money to release her first album, I started to get an idea of what this was all about. The musician had posted a project description on a crowdfunding website called Kickstarter and invited people to make donations online. Word then spread through social media. The campaign was successful, and the musician reached her goal.
Soon thereafter, I was listening to NPR while driving to work one morning. The station was broadcasting a feature about scientists using crowdfunding to raise funding for their research. The concept was the same as for the musician, but instead of an album the final product would be a funded research project. The key to success was still effective communication by means of social media. I immediately thought this would be worth trying.
Through the years I have been studying equine parasitology, I have always enjoyed how horse owners appreciate science. The Horse’s magazine, website, and newsletters serve as an excellent illustration of this; people genuinely like science and they want updated information. I figured this would provide a good foundation for a crowdfunding project. Furthermore, I felt my research topic, parasitology, would be a common denominator across various horse breeds, uses, and geographic locations. No matter what, horses will always have worms, and owners will always have opinions about and experiences with controlling
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