Kickstarter is a unique funding platform for writers, artists, filmmakers, musicians, illustrators and others to bring their projects and ambitions to life. It's based on two premises: 1- the idea that a good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide and 2-a large group of people pledging small amounts of money (pledges can start at $1) can create the capital needed to get your project off the ground. Projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.
Kickstarter.com is the grassroots version of a patron of the arts. With a wide definition of 'creative', there are 18 categories of projects ranging from silly to sublime. If you have a project you can present well, you will not only get patrons, but people who will be excited to promote your project. It's easy interface for sharing is awesome. I 'shared' "Vuvuzelas for BP" on Twitter and FB, a project in the Event category, which needed funds to purchase 100 vuvuzelas to play in front of BP's International Headquarters in London for a one-day flash mob. The project was an overwhelming success, receiving more than double the $2,000 goal.
On the more sublime side there is A Field Guide To Now: An Illustrated Collection of Essays and Prose, an illustrated collection of essays and prose exploring the present tense. The creator, Christina Rosalie, set her project cost at $10,663 which was successfully raised in the 90 day framework.
Here's an example of a self-promoting video from an author.
Another interesting project by a Brazilian student re-creating Little Red Riding Hood onto storyboards for an animation project.
I spent several fun hours browsing through Kickstarter, amazed at the creativity of the projects as well as the enthusiasm of people who want to support the arts. You can simply 'follow' a project without pledging or you can pledge anywhere from $1 to $1,000. Kickstarter seems to be a well constructed, easy to understand format that could help you get your project, well...kickstarted!