With Kickstarter.com for example, a musician has raised $500k+ for her new album. Now my problem with this site is it appears that investors never get paid back or maybe I'm wrong and it's an "interest-free loan," but there's no profit sharing and you don't get a share of stock you can sell, rather the investors get other intangible rewards:
At this very second, thousands of people are checking out projects on Kickstarter. They're rallying around their friends' ideas, backing projects from people they've long admired, and discovering things that make them laugh and smile.
Every project is independently crafted, put to all-or-nothing funding,
and supported by friends, fans, and the public in return for rewards.
Rewards are things like a copy of what’s being made, a limited edition, or a custom experience related to the project. This isn’t Best Buy – rewards aren’t shrink-wrapped and ready to ship. Once the project is funded, the journey to bring them to life begins.
While opening up venture capitalism to the little guy sounds interesting, people should be getting a share in what they're investing in rather than "a custom experience." If a musician makes a profit from their album, shouldn't investors see some profit on their investment?
Anyhow.. if you're artistically-minded or made a board game or video game or whatever, apparently you can use this site and people will just give you money for it.
(if I got anything wrong I apologize I just tried to figure this thing out)
As for crowdfunding -- it's sure interesting, but I think with the looser regulations a lot of small investors are going to get taken.