Crowdfunding (Fund Raising)

Crowdfunding (Fund Raising)

Crowdfunding is an online tool used to raise money. It requires developing and posting a profile that includes a brief description of what funding is being requested for, the funding goal, and a deadline for funders to commit their support. If viewers are convinced the project is worth investing in, they will pledge money to help reach the specified funding goal. In most cases, pledged funds will be provided to the fisherman only if the funding goal is reached or surpassed by the deadline.

Fees & Costs

When funds are provided, the crowdfunding source often assesses a small commission (e.g., 5%) and sometimes a payment-processing fee (e.g., 2-5%) on the total amount raised. These fees should be included when setting a funding goal. Typically, some type of ‘reward’ is provided to those who pledge money. These rewards vary widely among projects and in cost, and have included t-shirts, tickets to local events, the product, and other items. 

Keys to Success

Successful crowdfunding often depends not only on promoting and getting the word out during the time your profile is posted and pledges are being accepted, but also before you even post your profile. As part of this pre-launch effort, it's especially helpful to have friends that are already online and connected through social media share announcements about the upcoming launch of your profile. This will help raise awareness and build interest in your product and/or business before you post your profile to request funds. It isn’t just about having a great product/idea; it's also about using your connections to reach out to numerous others and help expand your network of (and for) support.


There are many resources to assist one with crowdfunding. A variety of websites provide tips for successful crowdfunding, including how to develop a project profile and successful campaign. Also, you can view past and present project profiles for various businesses on the crowdfunding sites (e.g., Indigogo, Kickstarter, GoFundMe) . The following are examples of fishing-related projects that were successful at reaching or exceeding their fund-raising goal: 


Additional permits and other documentation usually are needed to establish an alternative market. Be sure to consult with resource management, public health and business authorities before selling your seafood.

Information provided on this page was synthesized from interviews with fishermen and buyers, and from the Fishermen’s Direct Marketing Manual, the Small Farm and Direct Marketing Handbook, ATTRA publications, and other resources (see About this Website and Resources).