What does crowdsourcing mean?

This is a means for securing funding for a project from a large group of usually unknown individuals.

Where traditional financing looks to get a few large loans from investors who may be very close to the project or its founders, with crowdsourcing a project looks to get many small loans or gifts from what are often strangers.

In return the project doing the crowdsourcing often provides special materials or early access to a project to those who contribute.