I have backed a number of crowdfunding projects. I find it particular interesting to participate in music projects. This way, by backing their projects, I may follow their studio recording sessions, listen to samples and give feedback. For artists composing music, it enables a complete new way of involving the listener (or fans if you like).
Most crowdfunding projects work like this: Bob has an idea for a music project, business plan, product or something of the likes. Bob needs cash to make it happen. Bob makes a prototype, some sample songs and signs up at a crowdfunding site. Bob does a huge amount of social networking to get the word spread. People like me gain interest, and backs his project with cash, in the hopes of getting the perks when his project is finished.
Some might say that crowdfunding is «so 2012» or the hype of last year, but i think it might be the future for small businesses and entrepreneurs with an exiting idea.
If you think this is something for you, i would recommend an article «the basics of crowdfunding», or the shorter and more tabloid version «five tips for running a successful crowdfunding campaign».
There is also a Norwegian version of the last one.