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Archive for August, 2012

11 August
Comments Off on FUNDING: Sales tax collections rebounding

FUNDING: Sales tax collections rebounding

FUNDING: Sales tax collections rebounding

Posted on | August 1, 2012 | Comments

Sales tax collections is one of the drier aspects of transportation policy in the Inland area, but hugely important. The Measure A half-cent sales tax in Riverside County and Measure I in San Bernardino County bring in about a quarter-billion dollars annually for road widening, transit service and even paving your local streets and roads.

So the specifics of how well they do compared to budget is a big deal. And the good news is that both exceeded the expectations of transportation officials in fiscal 2011-12. Receipts trail collections by a quarter, so

For the fiscal year that ended June 30, sales tax receipts were up 9.5 percent in Riverside County, to $132.9 million, and up 13.1 percent to $130.8 million in San Bernardino County. Transportation planners in both counties had conservative budget projections that the receipts easily bested.

09 August
Comments Off on Funding cuts to shelter unacceptable

Funding cuts to shelter unacceptable

One of the more troublesome pieces of news lately has been a report that the only emergency shelter for domestic violence victims on the Eastern Shore of Virginia is in danger of closing because of a state funding cut. It would be hard to find a more important $20,000 on the Eastern Shore today, and losing it would be disastrous.

An article by Carol Vaughn in Saturdays News showed the Eastern Shore Coalition Against Domestic Violence was notified in June it will not receive $20,000 from the Department of Housing and Community Development this year.

The organization counts on the money to cover most of the cost to operate the shelter, including mortgage and utility bills. Until now it had received the money every year since the shelter opened in 1996.

Those who work with victims say closing the shelter could lead to more violent crime because people in dangerous situations will have no place to go to escape escalating violence.

The shelter, which houses up to 16 and averages around a dozen residents each month, last year provided 2,360 bed nights to domestic violence victims.

Local domestic violence victims will have to go to Virginia Beach or Maryland to find emergency shelter if the coalition shelter closes.

This is unacceptable for our area. If local officials cant get the state to replace this funding loss, it might be time for the Boards of Supervisors of Accomack and Northampton counties to find local ways of funding this shortfall.

Both counties have so-called rainy day funds in cases of emergency, and the possibility of having the areas only shelter for domestic violence victims close is definitely an emergency. If state funding is indeed permanently gone, this should be an immediate priority for both counties.

Perhaps a longer-term goal would be having a collection of funding sources — everything from public money to church donations — compiled and earmarked to keep the shelters financial obligations met.

Domestic violence is a problem on the Eastern Shore. Keeping the shelter open and solvent should be a priority. And if state money is no longer available to fund it, area governments should step in and meet this obligation.

07 August
Comments Off on Greece may issue more T-bills to cover funding gap: official

Greece may issue more T-bills to cover funding gap: official

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece is considering issuing more treasury bills in August as one of the options to cover a funding squeeze this month, a senior finance ministry official told Reuters on Wednesday.

Cash-strapped Greece is due to run out of cash within weeks if it does not get the next aid installment from its international lenders. It also needs to repay a 3.2 billion euro bond maturing on August 20.

The European Union and International Monetary have promised the country will be funded through August but the details of the funding have yet to be disclosed.

One of the alternatives being considered is the higher T-bills, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. We are discussing the issue with our partners. A final decision has not been made.

Greece has fallen behind targets agreed as conditions of its 130 billion euro bailout deal, mainly due to three months of political uncertainty as it struggled to form a government after two inconclusive elections in May and June.

Another option for seeing it through until crunch meetings with other EU leaders in September would be a bridge loan from its lenders, a finance ministry source told Reuters last month.

Deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras sounded alarm bells on Tuesday on how Athens would pay public service wages, pensions and other every day expenses, telling state TV that Greeces cash reserves are almost empty.

The daily Kathimerini said Greeces PDMA debt agency has decided to issue 6 billion euros in T-bills in August, up from about 3-4 billion euros Athens auctions every month.

Monthly T-bill sales are Greeces sole source of market funding but Greeces second EU/IMF bailout plan approved in March hopes to reduce the countrys reliance on T-bills.

(Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas; Additional reporting and writing by Karolina Tagaris; editing by Patrick Graham)

07 August
Comments Off on Lawmakers Agree to Extend Funding for Six Months

Lawmakers Agree to Extend Funding for Six Months

Lawmakers Agree to Extend Funding for Six Months

WASHINGTON–Republican and Democratic leaders said Tuesday that they have agreed to extend current government funding levels through the first six months of the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, avoiding the prospect of a pitched budget battle shortly before the election.

The deal gives lawmakers the ability to focus on other pressing matters. They must figure out by years end how to deal with $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts set to begin in January, as well as the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts next year.

Each party claimed a victory in Tuesdays announcement.

Republicans had been wary of the political impact of waging a government-shutdown battle a month before the election. Conservative House members said they would prefer to put the budget issues in the hands of what they hope will be a Romney administration.

I think its important that we keep the wheels of government turning in such a way that we could allow a potential new president and a new Congress to get on the same page and give this country a new direction, said Rep. Steve Womack (R., Ark.).

Democrats said that Republicans had conceded on important policy points. Funding will stay at current levels, despite calls by conservatives for cuts, and Republicans agreed not to propose riders, or amendments that have forced Democrats into politically difficult votes on issues such as abortion.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) said the deal would let Congress focus on the looming automatic spending cuts and Bush tax-cut expiration.

This is very good, because we can resolve these issues that directly affect the country as soon as the election is over, Mr. Reid said. President Barack Obama also praised the agreement, calling it a welcome development.

Congress leaves Washington for its August recess next week, so the House and Senate will vote on the deal in September.

The deal resolves the spending issue for now, setting up the funding measure to expire on March 1. That means Washington will confront a budget debate shortly after Republican Mitt Romney takes office or Mr. Obama begins his second term.

In a broad budget agreement last August, Democrats and Republicans agreed to $1.047 trillion in discretionary spending for 2013, a figure that excludes formula-driven programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

In March, the GOP-led House approved a budget that set the level at $1.028 trillion, setting up a potential showdown with Democrats over the cutbacks.

Siobhan Hughes contributed to this article.

Write to Naftali Bendavid at naftali.bendavid@wsj.com

07 August
Comments Off on Funding Daily: a long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away…

Funding Daily: a long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away…

Today, we journey to the far flung reaches of the galaxy and back again. Computers really are taking over the world, and companies are making millions of dollars help them do it. Join me, the Yoda of technology investment news, as I explore the depths of the funding universe.

For more funding news as it happens, subscribe to our Deals Channel feed. You can also follow VentureBeat on Twitter, @venturebeat, to view funding news as it’s published.

Chinese company with Arabic name needs $8B to escape from dystopian brutes

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group is raising more than $8 billion in a new round of funding. $7.1 billion of this hot pot will go towards buying back 20% of its shares from Yahoo, which currently holds a 40% stake.

The amount will come from borrowing nearly $4 billion, along with sales of $2.6 billion common shares and $1.5 billion in preferred stock. Among those financing the $8 billion in Alibaba are the sovereign wealth fund China Investment Group and the China Development Bank. The investment comes as Alibaba earned $1.8 billion in revenue during the first half of 2012. Read more on VentureBeat. 

Box takes $125 to grow to infinity and beyond!

Box furthers its expansion towards universal hegemony with $125 million in new funding. The money will be used to grow the company globally before its anticipated IPO next year. The round is captained by General Atlantic, with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners, DFJ Growth, New Enterprise Associates, SAP Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, and new investor Social+Capital Partnership

With that kind of cash, it should be able to do more than just store data for enterprise. It should turn that data into a renewable energy source strong enough to power star (cloud) fleets. Driven by robots. Read more on VentureBeat.

SeoPult stockpiles $10M to help businesses with online marketing and perhaps space exploration

Online marketing platform SeoPult amassed $10 million in funding from comrade iTech Capital to infiltrate the world market with its internet e-advertising automation technology.

SeoPults services enables small and medium businesses without internet marketing know-how to wage more effective campaigns. It helps companies manage search engine optimization techniques and social media tools, and provides data analytics to help them leverage their efforts into improved results. To put it in terms you can grok, it helps strangers in a strange land find their way to success.

Tonara invents artificial intelligence assistant for musicians (otherwise known as an iPad app)

In the future, live music may be obsolete. Who needs symphonies when you have Spotify? That said, there are still a few fifth graders, senior citizens, and French aristocrats holding on to the bastion of musicianship.

Tonara sends sheet music across the screen like comets zooming past the windows of Battlestar Galactica. For those willing to forsake sheet music for iPads, Tonaras announcement of $4 million in financing is almost as exciting as the climax of Tchaikovskys 1812 overture. With the investment, the company will continue to develop artificial intelligence that can play the cello. But not the piano, because that is crazy talk. Read more on VentureBeat.

Instacanvas brings in $1.7M to challenge the metaphysical universe 

Instagram print shop Instacanvas grabbed insta-funding of $1.7 million. Instacanvass core concept is simple: photographers can display and sell their filtered photos as printed canvases.

What is not simple, however, are the philosophical implications.

First, an Instagram photographer captures a digital image of the real world and sends it off into the cyberland. People anywhere can see the picture and with the simple click of a button, receive a tangible manifestation of the virtual image of the sensory universe.

Maybe I am over thinking this. Let me put this into insta-terms. Yet another Instagram keepsake retailer got money from Founders Fund, First Round Capital, Bullpen Capital, and Scott Banister, and included participation from 15 additional angel investors. Read more on VentureBeat.

Pinfluencer breaks out of cocoon, unleashes Pinterest data analytics on the earth

Pinfluencer emerged out of public beta today like an alien shedding its skin to help brands take advantage of their presence on Pinterest.

This startup applies data analytics to Pinterest so brands can drive content, track metrics, spot trends, and connect with their enthusiastic fans. Even before launching, dozens of companies like 1-800-FLOWERS.com, GNC, HauteLook, Piperlime, and Rent the Runway have adopted the early version.

The company also revealed that it has raised $1.4M in seed/evil spawn money from Freestyle Capital and Baseline Ventures as well as angel investors.

Matrixx Software gets funding to blur line between dreams, reality, and telecommunications

Matrixx Software (with a name that makes the whole Sci Fi theme blissfully easy) reported in an SEC filing that it has raised $12.6 million of a $13 million round of funding.

The company provides telecommunications companies with a solution to adapt to the changing industry. As communication becomes less about actual talking and more about messaging and online sharing, cell phone networks and landline, cable, and satellite businesses can struggle to keep up.

The details of the funding have not been disclosed, although there is a distinct possibility that all the fundraising happened in a virtual reality and was led by sentient machines.

May the force be with you.

06 August
Comments Off on NDIS funding a federal job: Vic premier

NDIS funding a federal job: Vic premier

After a short stand-off with the federal government, Mr Baillieu last week increased the states funding commitment to enable a trial of the NDIS in the Barwon region.

Part of the stand-off was over the terms of the full rollout of the scheme.

On Sunday, federal Disabilities Minister Jenny Macklin said state premiers liked to frame the Productivity Commissions report into the scheme as saying the commonwealth should fund it.

But she said the report actually said the commonwealth should pay and recoup some inefficient taxes back from the states.

Mr Baillieu said the Productivity Commission made it clear that the expansion funding should come from the commonwealth, as did COAGs select council on disability reform.

05 August
Comments Off on Games, governments, and guarantees: Where does public funding fit in the …

Games, governments, and guarantees: Where does public funding fit in the …

Public funding is a tricky issue for game developers. We live in a world where conservative media still view video games as murder-trainers for impressionable youth. Understandably, this means politicians arent always leaping in to promise theyll support the local industry.

Historically, this has meant a lack of public funding for the industry, especially when compared to the sizeable amounts given to authors and filmmakers.

But in 2010, Curt Schilling approached the Rhode Island government with a promise of 450 jobs by the end of 2012 and landed himself a deal. Unfortunately, it doesnt look like that promise will be fulfilled, and now theres $75 million of debt to worry about.

The fact remains, Rhode Island was willing to prop 38 Studios up even when things werent looking great. They were willing to grant an enormous amount of money and were honestly expecting a good return. This proves that the attitudes of governments may be changing, but the way in which they help to foster the games industry still need revision.

The problem is political. If game funding is unpopular with voters, politicians can (and will) exercise their power in bringing it to a grinding halt.

38 Studios was entirely reliant on the state for their life support. This just isnt viable, especially given that Kingdoms of Amalur was always going to be a lengthy, expensive project. While large investment is required for development, the nature of politics is far too volatile to maintain a studio throughout the development cycle.

On the surface, this is not so different from the way publishers interact with their shareholders, but publishers have an intimate knowledge of the industry born from years of experience.

Say what you want about Bobby Kotick, but True Crime: Hong Kong (rebranded as Sleeping Dogs) is coming out in a few months. Activision saw a loss and cut it loose but knew enough to realize that someone might want to buy it. It cost far more than its worth to anybody, Im sure, but at the end of the day, were going to be able to sit down and play it, and the people at United Front Games are going to eat. The same cant be said for 38 Studios.

So, whats the solution?Put simply: tax breaks.

I cant count the number of TV shows I watched as a kid that had Product of Canada at the end. Now — eliminating the possibility of Canada being the true residence of Santas elves — this is probably thanks to massive tax breaks.

Not only is there a section of the National Tax Act dedicated to Artists and Writers, but the Provinces compete to lower taxes further. Thats why Rockstar Vancouver is now Rockstar Toronto, with 37.5 percent of their labor cost covered by tax refunds.

This is great for bigger, already established companies, but Australia has come up with a scheme to support indies as well.

Australia hasnt been having a good run. Sega Australia recently shuttered following basically every other large scale studio in the country. Krome (Blade Kitten), BlueTongue (De Blob), and Team Bondi (LA Noire) have all dissolved — and not on good terms either.

The government responded with some direct funding. Thats one of the reasons youve probably heard of Firemints Flight Control. The key difference to the situation in Rhode Island is that the studio was funded by an extension of the state film grant. This wasnt an economic investment but a cultural one.

Now theres a scheme to assist companies earning less than $20 million per year. Its labeled the Research and Development Tax Offset. The good news for Australian developers is that — provided they are willing to do the extensive paperwork — all of their work falls under this provision.

So at the end of the day, there are a couple of conclusions to be made. Firstly, tax breaks are better than cash injections. It just makes better economic sense. Yes, cash injections are a necessary part of development, and I have no authority to judge governments who do so, but it doesnt incubate a whole industry to maturity in the same way a tax break does.

Secondly, public funding should aim to foster cultural diversity, not healthy balance sheets. While studios can be a great source of employment and exports, thats not what games are for. They are the forefront of software technology, pushing the information age forward. They are cultural artifacts, representing the values of the individuals and societies who created them and preserving those values as historical curiosities for generations to come.

Thats the line I want our politicians to follow when they finally organise support for the industry. Not another investment but an effort to help create pieces that we can stand behind with a kind of nationalistic pride. It may be a long, long, long way off — it may never happen — but Id love to imagine that one day people recognize a nation for a thought provoking game the same as they recognize it for its pop stars and landmarks.

I — for one — prefer Nathan Drake to Soulja Boy any day.

[Top-photo credit:Velo City]

05 August
Comments Off on McKenna unveils education funding plan

McKenna unveils education funding plan

TACOMA, Wash.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna said Tuesday that he would spend an additional $1.7 billion on the states public education obligations and higher education through 2015.

McKennas plan would take into account a series of expected savings, such as smaller government, more competitive state contracting and curbed health care costs, all ideas hes discussed before. The plan released Tuesday included a spreadsheet that puts dollar figures onto how much would go toward education in the coming years through 2021.

The plan assumes that non-education spending growth is capped at 6 percent per biennium, and that state revenue would increase by 9 percent per biennium.

Both McKenna and Democratic challenger Jay Inslee have said they want to find more money for education through improving government efficiency and spending post-recession dollars. Lawmakers say about $1 billion will be needed in the near future for education.

A spokeswoman for Inslee said Tuesday that McKenna is overpromising.

A lot of these things are going to take time, absolutely, but to just go out and promise that within the next couple of years were going to be able to magically find $3 billion by holding down costs, is just completely unrealistic, said Jaime Smith, a spokeswoman for Jay Inslee.

Like McKenna, Inslee says that money for education can be found without new taxes, and he has also talked about curbing health costs, just as McKenna has.

But Smith notes that other than addressing the immediate need for the state to improve its funding for education as directed by the state Supreme Court earlier this year, Inslee hasnt specified a specific number. McKennas numbers are one big empty promise, Smith said.

McKenna also proposes a levy swap proposal to make education funding more consistent as required by a state Supreme Court ruling earlier this year.

He says he wants to increase state spending on public schools by 4 percent by 2019. Currently, 44 percent of the states general fund budget is allocated to public education from kindergarten through the end of high school, a reduction from 48 percent in the early 1990s.

What were trying to achieve here is a reversal of the trend weve seen over the last several years, he said.

He also wants to reduce class sizes for kindergarten through third grade to 17 students per teacher and pay for all-day kindergarten by the 2017-2019 biennium. Currently, the state budgets for class sizes of 25 students per teacher.

McKennas numbers show that an additional $4.6 billion would be spent on public education by 2021, and that higher education would see an increase of $1 billion in that same timeframe.

The refocus on education funding has been driven in part by a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year. In the so-called McCleary decision, the Washington Supreme Court determined in January that the state isnt meeting its constitutional obligation to amply pay for basic public education.

Former state Sen. Dan McDonald helped McKenna craft the plan.

Were not saying this is going to be easy, McDonald said. This gets you to where you want to be and the numbers work, and I think its very reasonable to say, look, higher ed and K-12 have been taking the brunt for a long time. Were going to grow them faster than the rest of state government.

Follow Rachel La Corte at http://www.twitter.com/RachelAPOly or http://www.facebook.com/news.rachel

05 August
Comments Off on Sheriff Brown’s Jail Funding Gamble Pays Off

Sheriff Brown’s Jail Funding Gamble Pays Off

Sheriff Bill Brown gambled a bit earlier this year when he gave up $56.3 million in funding from the state in pursuit of potentially even more money for a new North CountyJail.

It was a calculated, safe risk, but a risknonetheless.

Thursday, Brown found out his gamble paid off when the state announced Santa Barbara County would receive an additional $20 million tacked onto an already received $60 million in funding for the jail. The $80 million total amounts to the full sum Brown requested, and the maximum a mid-sized county could’ve received out of the state’s granting for new county jails around California. “It was a risk to a degree, but a risk worth taking,” Brown said Tuesday. “The strategy worked out and we gotit.”

The announcement brings the county one step closer to getting a new North County Jail built. For decades Santa Barbara has recognized the need for a new facility, and in fact has been overcrowded in violation of the law for more than 20 years. Not only is the current jail overcrowded but it is also an aging structure filled with more dangerous criminals thanever.

A snapshot of the jail on July 31 showed there are 61 inmates being held on murder or attempted murder charges. The jail is at 122 percent capacity, according to officials. The main jail, which has a capacity of 627, is currently housing 705. The medium security facility has a capacity of 161 but currently holds 258 inmates. But even more disconcerting than the general population numbers are specifics on who is being housed there. Of the 963 total inmates, 264 are serving a sentence, while the rest are still pre-trial, on trial, or awaiting a parolehearing.

In 2008, Brown secured $56.3 million in funding through the first phase of Assembly Bill 900 granting. That original funding was for a 306-bed facility. But he relinquished that money in pursuit of the $80 million, a proposal which would also require less local matching costs, and also allow Brown to build a 376-bed facility with units for medical and mental health. He was reasonably confident he would get the $80 million, but even that wasn’t guaranteed when he gave up the lesseramount.

Of course, while finding funding for the construction of the jail has been a long time coming, its not even the greatest of concerns for Brown; the funding to actually operate the jail is mostworrisome.

Brown needs about $17 million a year to keep the jail up and running, at a time when the county — and Brown’s department more specifically — has undergone unprecedented budget cuts. Brown and County CEO Chandra Wallar have concocted an incremental savings plan that would eventually put Santa Barbara in a position to fund the jail operations once it opens in2017.

Last year, the supervisors voted to start contributing to the fund, putting in an initial $1 million. They tacked on $2 million more this year. Next year, according to the CEO’s plans, the board will set aside $3.3 million. By 2017-2018, the fund would have $22.9 million in it and start being drawn down for the jail operation. But that’s only if the board of supervisors continue to set the moneyaside.

Because of how far Brown has advanced this plan, it will be tough for the supervisors to say no. Saying no would be turning down unprecedented progress on building a new jail. But setting aside millions of dollars a year every June is also a tough pill to swallow as the board has been decimating county programs and employee positions because of budget deficits. “It’s critical we stick to the plan,” Brown said. And time is of the essence, because the $80 million grant won’t be aroundforever.

The Sheriff will first give a presentation to the county’s Debt Advisory Committee, which will figure out what the source of funds will be for the matching amount. He plans to go to the board of supervisors in September. If they vote to move forward, construction of the jail is expected to take fiveyears.

Related Links

  • Sheriff Pursues New Jail Funding Scheme [December7,2011]
  • State Gives SB County $60 Million for New Jail [March12,2012]
05 August
Comments Off on Curtain rises on crowd-funding

Curtain rises on crowd-funding

The prospect of organizing a fundraising gala was downright off-putting to Jessica Grindstaff, artistic director of the Phantom Limb Company. Ms. Grindstaff felt a gala would take time away from her creative endeavors and cost lots of money in overhead for the theater, known for its puppetry, bold movie projections, and evocative music.

Instead, she suggested the theater use Kickstarter, a crowd-funding website where artists ask the world for money. Contributorsmostly friends, relatives and other grassroots supportersdole out as little as one dollar in return for a sense of satisfaction and perks such as access to cast parties.

Thanks to Kickstarter, the Phantom Limb Company raised $46,022 for its latest production, 69S, a piece about the early 20th-century explorer Ernest Shackletons ill-fated expedition to Antarctica. Using three-foot-tall marionettes manipulated by stilt-walking performers, 69S draws analogies between Shackletons crisis and global warming. It was performed last fall at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Over the past few years, crowd-funding websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo have become increasingly popular among cutting-edge theaters that have had little access to mainstream donors. Some say crowd funding may alter the theater scene permanently, enabling smaller, more experimental shows to be produced, and helping them build audiences. Dozens of backers have a stake in the show. Phantom Limb, for example, boasted 244 angels.

Consider some recent successes: The creators of The Groove Factory Musical, centering on the demise of the club scene at the turn of the 21st century, raised $10,251 on Indiegogo. Similarly, Ping Chong amp; Company generated $23,065 (also on Indiegogo) to fund the filming of Secret Survivors, written and performed by adult survivors of sexual abuse.

At the opposite end of the aesthetic spectrum, The Floating Theater rolled up $20,811 on Kickstarter for The Magical History Tour: Theater! On a Boat! With Pirates! The musical recounts the adventures of legendary pirates; it raised enough money for several performances on a 158-foot-long tall ship as it sailed around New York Harbor.

There are different guidelines for joining Kickstarter and Indiegogo, but both insist artists establish financial goals and time frames within which to achieve them. Social media is the key to success.

This turned out to be a full-time job, said Ms. Grindstaff. Every time someone made a contribution, Id go to their Facebook page and thank them and add a link to my Kickstarter page. Then their friends would see it and could link to our page.

It helps if the artists have track records or their projects have already generated some buzz. The Groove Factory Musical, has been in development for 10 years and was recently accepted as part of the highly competitive New York Musical Theatre Festival, often a precursor to a commercial run.

Still, for co-writer Chad Kessler, who has been the primary producer up until this point, going online posed some new conflicts. He needed $45,000 to $50,000 to pay Equity actors and present a high-quality production that might appeal to serious investors at the festival. But he was afraid a $50,000 online campaign would turn off potential contributors who might only have $25 to throw into the pot. He settled on an initial $10,000 campaign. We felt if we succeeded, wed ignite the fire for future campaigns, he said.

He hated the public display of his fundraising. I was afraid [Equity actors would] see we had made $4,000 and decide we couldnt pay them.

Soliciting monies from friends and relatives can be awkward. Mr. Kessler was grateful to his Aunt Harriet, who made a modest contribution, but he felt slightly uncomfortable.

By contrast, Ms. Grindstaff didnt mind. I never asked my friends and relatives for anything, she said. When I did, they understood how much we needed it.

Crowd funding is not unlike telethons, creating a sense of community among contributors and observers, especially as deadlines loom. When we had $37,000, people started panicking for us and felt they had to give money so that wed make our [goal of] $45,000, said Ms. Grindstaff.

Crowd funding may make it easier for small theaters in the long run. Sara Zatz, associate director of Ping Chong, said the Ms. Foundation renewed its financial commitment for Secret Survivors, and 272 new contributors can now be tapped for funding endeavors.

Some believe crowd funding will attract new young investors, who will change theaters aesthetic. Each crowd-funding campaign is almost like a narrative in itself, said Slava Rubin, founder of Indiegogo. Theres a beginning, middle and end, and all the participants are actors in a production. I wouldnt be surprised if, in the near future, [funding] campaigns become the actual theater itself.