Crowdfunding Tipping Points

What’s the psychological trick in getting people to donate to a crowdfunding charity?

Two professors who studied this noted:

(i) that if you feel like you are the “tipping point” in getting the charity over its target goal, you’re more likely to give, and

(ii) not wanting to let prior donors down was more important than not wanting to let the beneficiary of the charity down. The feelings of responsibility and guilt were directed towards fellow donors which appears counter-intuitive.

The researchers suggest that crowdfunders break their campaigns down into a number of small goals in order to better motivate givers and “create a chain of tipping points.”


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Facebook To Introduce Cryptocurrency

Say what you will about Mark Zuckerberg, he’s not stupid.

He’s now using OPM (Other People’s Money) to create a new cryptocurrency to be called “Libra.”


The Wall Street Journal noted today that his partners include VISA, Mastercard, PayPal and Uber, among others.

The digital coin is still under wraps; a white paper is to be introduced next week.

It will apparently be constructed as a “stable coin” that will be pegged to a basket of fiat currencies to avoid wild fluctuations in value (see Bitcoin) and will allow transactions among the partners.

With 2.4 billion Facebookers, it may catch on.

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Grisly Crowdfunding Campaign A Fake

Charity crowdfunding appeals tug at your heart.

But the problem is that there is no one that vets these appeals.

The most grisly fake  in recent memory emanated out of Chicago for Baby Xander, allegedly born prematurely and in a natal intensive care unit.


However, it turns out that the child was actually (warning: not for the squeamish) cut out of its mother’s womb by a woman and her daughter after they strangled the mother to death.

The pair, with the daughter faking a pregnancy, lured the mother to their home with a promise of free baby clothes.

They have been indicted and the baby has irrevocable brain damage.

More is needed to be done to make sure that the #crowdfunding appeals are legitimate.

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CodePink Crowdfunds 4th July Protest

If you haven’t heard, the Fourth of July celebration in Washington, DC will be a little different this year.

It will feature a rally with the President speaking from steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

The conservative Washington Examiner reports that the activist group CodePink has filed for a permit to float the Trump Baby balloon that morning.

Based Amy

CodePink is now crowdfunding for $10,000 to import the balloon.

The floating satire art piece was last seen during the President’s trip to London where a supporter stabbed and punctured the Baby.

She was arrested.

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Crypto Exchange Offering Overtake ICOs

The King is dead. Long live the King!

Initial Coin Offerings flourished in 2017 and 2018, but with the Bitcoin volatility, ICOs are vanishing rapidly.

New on the scene are Token Exchanges that are engaging, mostly off-shore, in Initial Exchange Offerings.

Touted as being “safer” than ICOs, IEO’s are where the exchanges, like Binance, OKEx or Hubi, act like investment banks, scrutinize the ICO and decide whether to list it or not.


Logically, the exchanges say that if they were about ripping off customers, they wouldn’t last long, so trust us.

The SEC is apparently not buying it.

And, unfortunately, the exchanges have also fallen victim to hacks, security problems and false trading volumes.

So, it’s still a wild frontier, even though the Wall Street Journal notes that IEOs raised over $156 million in May.

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Agents Make New Offer To Writers

For those not in the biz (show biz), Hollywood writers represented by the Writers Guild of America, have fired their talent agents en masse (about 7,000 reported) due to the on-going contract dispute.

The main bone of contention of the WGA is that they believe that the agents have a substantial conflict of interest when they are involved in getting “packaging fees” from the studios when they sell a writer’s project (although waiving their commission from the writer).


The WGA has sued the agents, claiming conflict (among other things).

Discussions paused for 8 weeks until Friday when the two resumed talks.

The agents are not willing to give up their packaging fees but are now, according to Deadline, willing to “provide revenue sharing on the backend profits agencies derive from packaged shows.”

Which may increase the writers’ take but also allows them to share the risk that producers typically take.

Will the WGA find that this resolves the “inherent conflict”?

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Crowdfunded REITS Slammed

Hoya Capital Real Estate slams crowdfunded real estate investments in their recent article. HCRE claims that non-traded “eREITs” are rife with “high fees, lack of liquidity, “dividends” coming from return of capital, conflicts of interest, and lack of transparency.”


It notes that recent studies have shown that “after adjusting for leverage, over the long-term, private market investors are not compensated for illiquidity and that the less frequent mark-to-market of private market assets is merely masking underlying volatility that is exhibited through the daily pricing of REITs.”

While REIT investments tend to help produce above market returns in a diversified portfolio, the HCRE found that, overall, the fees charged in private REIT are 7-13 times higher than a REIT exchange traded fund.

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