I would say that on balance bringing those seeking funding with an audience who are inclined to offer such support seems to be a good use of new technology and the power of the web.
First on the scene back in 2001 was ArtistShare which began as a fan sourcing site enabling artists
47th Annual Grammy Awards– 2005
Winner: Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album Maria Schneider - Concert In the Garden,
Nominee: Best Jazz Instrumental Solo Maria Schneider "Bulería, Solea y Rumba" -- Donny McCaslin, soloist (track from "Concert in the Garden”)
Nominee: Best Instrumental Composition "Bulería, Solea y Rumba" -- Maria Schneider
48th Annual Grammy Awards– 2006
Winner: Best Instrumental Composition “Into The Light” Billy Childs
Nominee: Best Instrumental Jazz Album “Lyric”
Nominee: Best Instrumental Arrangement Billy Childs, arranger
Nominee: Best Comedy Album The Agoraphobic Cowboy, Rick Moranis
49th Annual Grammy Awards– 2007
Winner: Best Latin Jazz Album Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri - Simpatico
Nominee: Best Large jazz Ensemble Album Bob Brookmeyer - Spirit Music
50th Annual Grammy Awards– 2008
Winner: Best Instrumental Composition Maria Schneider - “Cerulean Skies”
Nominee: Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album - Maria Schneider “Sky Blue”
52nd Annual Grammy Awards– 2010
Nominee: Best Jazz Instrumental Album - The Clayton Brothers - "Brother to Brother"
Nominee: Best Latin Jazz Recording - Geoffrey Keezer - "Aurea"
53rd Annual Grammy Awards– 2011
Winner: Best Instrumental composition - The Path Among The Trees -Billy Childs
Nominee: Best Jazz Instrumental Recording, Individual or Group - The Clayton Brothers - "New Song And Dance"
Nominee: Gerald Clayton Best Instrumental Composition - Battle Circle - The Clayton Brothers - "New Song And Dance"
Nominee: Best Large Jazz Ensemble Recording The Path Among The Trees
Nominee: Best Instrumental Composition - Patrick Williams - Aurora
Nominee: Best Instrumental Arrangement - "Fanfare For A New Day" - Patrick Williams - Aurora
12th Annual Latin Grammy Awards– 2012
Nominee: Best MPB (Música Popular Brasileira) Album - Yeahwon - Yeahwon
Other nominees in this category were Caetano Veloso, Milton Nascimento, Djavan and Mônica Salmaso.
55th Annual Grammy Awards– 2013
Winner: Best Instrumental Arrangement - Gil Evans "How About You"
Nominee: Best Large Jazz Ensemble Recording The Gil Evans Project: Centennial
Nominee: Best Arrangement Featuring A Vocalist(s)- Gil Evans "Look to the Rainbow" - featuring Luciana Souza
The business model is explained by Brian Camelio:
Other crowd-funding sites ( from Wikipedia 04/07/2013)
The United States based company ArtistShare (2000/2001), Pledgie (2006), Sellaband (2006), IndieGoGo (2008), Kickstarter (2009), Fundly (2009), GoFundMe (2010), Appsplit (2010), Microventures (2010) and Fundageek (2011).
Using the power of small investors to coalesce around a project in order to fund it is not new and indeed there are many examples perhaps one of the best being the funding of the Statue of Liberty in 1886. The web allows this idea to span the globe, allowing many more individuals to be involved.