The process of collecting a large pool of investors, each contributing or investing a small amount of dollars for a highly focused project is referred to as crowdfunding. The crowd is financing the project or goal. This is very similar to how large non-profits address significant events worldwide. A good example is the American Red Cross addressing disaster relief in the aftermath of a major natural tragedy.
Crowdfunding is an internet fund raising tool whereby many small contributions are combined to invest in a particular idea or goal. The crowdfunding site is referred to as the ‘platform’, the idea or goal is called the ‘campaign’ and the readers are referred to as the ‘investors’.