Have you ever been watching an amazing nature special on PBS when suddenly they cut to a shot of a room full of people answering ringing telephones? Then a presenter tells you how much he or she loves this type of programming, but your local PBS station can’t provide this kind of programming without the support of viewers like you. For only a $100 pledge, you will receive a copy of the DVD of the program you’re watching and a tote bag. If you’ve seen this, then you know what crowdfunding is.
However, the quick answer, in terms of this website, is that crowdfunding is asking people to donate to your project or cause and in return you offer some kind of reward or recognition.
What crowdfunding is not
Crowdfunding isn’t free money or a get rich quick scheme. People who donate to your project expect you to live up to what you’ve promised. Your integrity is on the line.
What crowdfunding will be
If you live in the United States, then crowdfunding has a very bright future. The JOBS act will allow project creators to offer a share of future profits in return for a small investment. The details of this program are still in flux. Stay tuned.
Here is a more in depth Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowdfunding
And a few YouTube Videos: