Have you heard of Kickstarter? I'm not sure how long it's been around. It's one of those ideas that make you slap your forehead (figuratively speaking) and ask yourself "Why didn't I think of that?" People with ideas that need funding post a description of a project, a funding goal for the project, and a deadline to reach that goal, and then they offer potential investors incentives to participate in supporting the project. If the goal isn't reached by the deadline, the project fails to get any funding at all, which encourages people to set realistic goals. The plans range broadly--from the prosaic to the inspired.
The ones that interest me most are those posted by artists trying to make a film, or produce a play, or publish a book, or kickstart a participatory art project that gets feedback directly from the investors and then rewards them with a piece of the project. What a wonderful way to get communities to support artists through direct involvement in both the creation of art and its consumption. With technology, the community expands to the entirety of the world connected to the Internet. Brilliant.
The link above will take you to some of the arts-related projects that the Kickstarter staff have recommended--but don't forget to come back; there's much here you still haven't seen.