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Top 8 Crowdfunding Sites You Should Know About

Top 8 Crowdfunding Sites You Should Know About

Crowdfunding is changing the way people get their projects, businesses and pretty much anything funded. There are probably thousands of sites out there, all dealing in the different aspects of crowdfunding.

You could be pretty overwhelmed with that number of sites, and not all are right for your needs. Depending on what you want to achieve in your funding campaign, you should identify what sites would fulfill that goal.

To simplify things, though think of crowdfunding sites as classified into two groups:

Donation-Based Funding Site – A website that accepts donations for creative campaigns. Usually funders are given rewards or discounts depending on the level of financing they provide.

However, no profit or equity share is given out. This is usually used whenever you want to raise money for a cause you believe in.

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Investment-Based Funding Site – A website that accepts funding in exchange for equity share or profits. In this kind of site, funders are treated as investors, and most likely need to be accredited investors.

Now that you know how they are classified, you should find useful the following list of crowdfunding sites covering both of these varieties.

1. KickStarter (kicktarter.com)

One of the very first pioneers in the crowdfunding space, KickStarter is a donation-based site that allows you to raise funds for your creative projects.

From art to technology projects, you can get funders to contribute to your idea and make it a reality. No businesses or personal funding here, though.

2. Indiegogo (indiegogo.com)

Indiegogo is one of the top competitors of KickStarter, though unlike KickStarter, it also offers crowdfunding for personal needs.

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They do it through their Indiegogo Life product, which allows you to post your personal campaigns (for things such as medical or educational needs) and raise money from the Indiegogo community.

3. GoFundMe (gofundme.com)

GoFundMe is the go-to donation-based site to raise funds from your family and friends. You can publish your campaign via Facebook, Twitter and e-mail and through your contacts there, get funding and support.

Your friends and family can also share your campaign to their networks for wider support.

4. Quirky (quirky.com)

If you have an invention that you want to get funded, you can go to Quirky.com. It’s a donation-based site that specifically caters to inventors and tinkerers with unique ideas.

5. TeeSpring (teespring.com)

Design a shirt and sell it – while keeping all the profits: that’s the premise of TeeSpring. More like a pre-selling than a crowdfunding site, TeeSpring enables you pre-sell your designed shirts to a specific number of people while the TeeSpring team does all of the rest.

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It’s a relatively simple way for t-shirt designers to make profits online. 

6. Crowdfunder (crowdfunder.com)

CrowdFunder has one of the largest networks of investors in the investment-based crowdfunding space.

For accredited investors, CrowdFunder offers the potential to profit from the next billion-dollar crowdfunded company.

7. EquityNet (equitynet.com)

EquityNet is similar to CrowdFunder, but what’s unique about it is their use of a patented business and analysis software. The company claims that this makes it easier for businesses to create solid business plans that can engage busy investors and allow them to decide on their investment quicker.

8. RocketHub (rockethub.com)

RocketHub now offers a unique twist to the donation-based crowdfunding space – it has partnered with A&E Project Startup to get chosen projects featured online, on-air and in A&E’s magazine, “The Idea Book for Educators.” 

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It could also mean that A&E could potentially fund your projects.

Bonus: Invested.in (invested.in)

Can’t find a crowdfunding site to your taste? You could start your own.

Through Invested.in, you can launch your very own crowdfunding platform in minutes.

Featured photo credit: Crowdfunding/Simon Cunningham via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 5, 2019

How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

Knowledge is essential to become successful in life, your career and your business. Without learning new concepts and becoming proficient in our craft, we cannot excel in our chosen careers or archive knowledge to pass down to the next generation.

But content comes in various forms, and because how we learn influences how much we know, we need to talk about learning styles. This article will focus on how to utilize visual learning to boost your career or business.

The Importance of Knowing Your Learning Style

Knowing your learning style enables you to process new information to the best of your ability. Not only does it reduce your learning curve, you’re able to communicate these same concepts to others effectively.

But it all starts when you’re able to first identify the best way you learn.

As a college student, I soon figured out that taking online courses without visual aids or having an instructor in front of me led to poor retention of concepts.

Sure, I got good grades and performed excellently in my online exams. However. I discovered that I couldn’t maintain this performance level because I forgot 80 percent of the course content by the end of the semester.

There are several types of learning styles known to mankind. To give an idea of how visual learning stacks up against other learning styles, here’s a brief mention of some of the different types of learning styles we have.

The four most popular types of learning styles are:

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  • Visual learning style (what this article talks about).
  • Aural or auditory learning style (learning by listening to information presented).
  • Verbal or linguistic learning style (learning that involves speech and writing).
  • Tactile learning style (learning by touching and doing)

But for the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on using visual learning to boost your career or business.

How to Know If You’re a Visual Learner?

When it comes to boosting your career, business (or education), a visual learner is one who would most definitely choose shapes, images, symbols, or reading over auditory messages.

I’m talking about preferring to read an actual map when navigating to a new place over listening to verbal directions. I’m talking about discovering that you actually have trouble remembering what your manager said at the meeting because there were no graphs or illustrations to support the points raised.

Most people who struggle with learning probably aren’t leveraging their best learning styles. The earlier you identify how your learning style can boost your success, the less struggle you will encounter with processing new information throughout your career.

However, visual learning in particular CAN 10x your career or business whether it is your preferred learning style or not. And here’s why:

Several studies have arrived at the conclusion that the brain retains more information with the help of visual aids. In other words, images are directly processed by our long-term memory which helps us store information for longer periods of time.[1]

While some lessons can be performed orally, several concepts can only make sense if you have an image with an explanation of sequences (i.e learning about the human DNA).

Visual learning does use a different part of the brain and visual cues are processed by the part of the brain known as the occipital lobe.

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By engaging more parts of the brain during learning, you’re able to have a fuller understanding of concepts and facilitate better interaction with your immediate environment.

How to Use Visual Learning for Success

Here’re 4 ways to use visual learning to boost your career or business:

1. Bring back the to-do list. Then add shapes and colors to boost productivity.

We live in an age where computers have taken over virtually every aspect of productivity and most human functions. But written lists are making a comeback, and with an endless number of important tasks to complete, having a to-do list of tasks in order of importance can improve your productivity.

While coming up with a list is initially challenging, adding colors and shapes to written lists that you personally write and manage gives you an extra layer of assurance and boosts aids recall so that you actually get stuff done.

I have tried this technique in my work as a registered nurse and discovered that adding shapes and colors to to-do lists helps me delegate tasks, recognize where more work is needed, and makes it easy to cross off completed tasks at the end of the day.

2. Add graphs, charts and symbols to your reports.

Yes, it seems like more work cut out for you. However, graphs enable you monitor the heartbeat of your business.

Graphs and charts help you trend your finances, budget, and pretty much any data overtime. With the help of free and premium software available on the market, it has become easier to take plain data and in a matter of seconds, have relevant information displayed in different shapes and images.

As an entrepreneur, you can make predictions and allocate funds wisely when you’re able to see whether your efforts are rewarded. You can use colors and charts to delegate actions to members of your team and track performance at the same time.

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And when broken down into monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual goals, graphs and charts communicate what ordinary text cannot.

3. Effectively brainstorm with mind-mapping.

Mind-mapping is not new but I don’t think it’s been talked about as often as we do to-do lists.

With mind mapping, you’re organizing information accurately and drawing relationships between concepts and pieces from a whole.

Think of a mind map as a tree with several branches. For example, the tree can symbolize healthcare while each branch stands for nursing, medicine, laboratory science, and so on. When you look at nursing, you can further branch out into types of nursing; pediatric, women’s health, critical care, and so on.

It’s an interesting relationship; the more ideas you’re able to come up with for your chosen subject, the deeper you get and the stronger the association.

Mind maps really show you relationships between subjects and topics, and simplifies processes that might seem complicated at first glance. In a way, it is like a graphical representation of facts presented in a simple, visual format.

Mind mapping isn’t only limited to career professionals; business owners can benefit from mind mapping by organizing their online learning activities and breaking down complex tasks into simple actions so that you can accurately measure productivity.

4. Add video streaming to meetings.

What if you could double the productivity of your team members by video streaming your meetings or adding flash animation to your presentation at the same time?

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When you offer video as an alternative method of processing information to colleagues, there is a greater chance of retaining information because we recreate these stories into images in our minds.

For organizations that hold virtual meetings, it can also be an effective way to enhance performance during if people can see their colleagues in addition to flash animation or whatever form of video is provided during the meeting.

Is Visual Learning Better Than Other Learning Styles?

No, that is not the point. The goal here is to supplement your existing dominant learning style with visual learning so that you can experience a significant boost in how you process and use everyday information.

You might discover that understanding scientific concepts are much easier after incorporating visual learning or that you’re able to understand your organization’s value when projected on a visual screen with charts and graphs.

The overall goal is to always be learning and to continue to leverage visual learning style in your career and business.

More About Learning Styles

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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