Many of you already know about C. Hope Clark's Funds for Writers website and newsletter. This is the go to place to learn about grants, contests, and other opportunities for writers to fund their writing projects.
When writer friend Tim Northburg was searching Funds for Writers for ways to finance hiring a professional editor for his YA novel, Bacon Finnegan and the Relics of Merlin, he found Kickstarter, a platform funding mechanism for setting up a project with a time limit for raising the amount needed to get the job done.
I've looked at much of the info on this site, and am impressed at the line-up of projects. Looks like a great way for artists and writers to get backing for their projects, and a great way for those who support the arts to help out. I tested making a pledge to Tim's project and discovered the payment charge went through amazon.com, which increased my sense of security in sharing my credit card number. Kickstarter also has a blog which may be of interest.
I suspect that getting the word out for any one project is difficult, but for writers or artists who have a large network of friends, it's an interesting way to fund a retreat, important conference, art classes, a gallery showing, or hiring a professional editor to help a beginning writer polish a manuscript.
To view Tim's project page and the trailer for his manuscript, go to the Kickstarter: Bacon Finnegan and the Relics of Merlin.