Accounting firms should be leading their clients who are looking for capital into the world of online funding campaigns, according to Xcentric vice president of marketing Roy Keely.

Donation-based modules like Indiegogo, Kickstarter and are just a few fundraising Web sites that have quickly gained traction in the world of crowdfunding, and Keely believes firms should be paying close attention. "This is something I think CPAs should bring to their clients," he said during his "IT Trends & Their Relevance in Your Firm" workshop at the Thomson Reuters Synergy Users Conference.

Clients who may not have access to equity financing can easily launch an online fundraising campaign to get the capital they need. "All you need is [to have] a good write-up, offer rewards, and create a good video," advised Keely.

In October, the SEC stated that it would consider letting companies use crowdfunding sites to sell equity stakes (see SEC Proposes Rues for Crowdfunding for Financing Business Startups). And some accounting firms are already getting inquires from their clients on how to take advantage of online fundraising. Roger Thad Porch, founder of Albuquerque-based Porch & Associates, told Albuquerque Business First that he is getting a lot of inquires from clients on the matter, noting, "It's going to be a growing" area for his firm.

Online fundraising campaigns conducted by individuals and businesses can conceivably pull in donations in the millions of dollars.

Nonprofit organizations can also benefit. According to a 2013 study conducted by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, online gift-giving rose 14 percent in 2012 to $2.1 billion. The American Lung Association stated that 30 percent of its gifts were made online. Christian charity Young Life, which was also part of the study, showed a 37 percent increase in its online giving over the years and was able to raise more than $24 million through online fundraising campaigns.


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