Kickstarter, Indiegogo, RocketHub and PledgeMusic are a only a few examples of the most successful of these types of websites.
How does it work? You're an artist and you have an idea that you think is amazing, but like most artists - you can't fund it. So you go on any one of these websites (some are music specific, such as PledgeMusic, but others like Indiegogo cover a wide variety of projects,) and you create a page. There is some variation between sites at this point, but the general idea is: you tell you tale, you explain your business plan, or project idea and you set a goal. Your goal is an amount of money that you will require for your project and you ask for amounts as small as $1 with rewards to the contributors at each level of donation.
What ends up happening in those cases that are successful (and they claim that 70-90% of pages do recieve their goal amounts,) is that thousands to tens of thousands of people donate small $1-$5 amounts, and the goals as high as $25,000 and higher have been reached.
And what's a couple dollars for you? You art-loving, hard working, culture-supporting hipster? Have one less soy latte and donate that five bucks to an artist who really needs it and who's dreams will only come true with your support.
Thanks for reading and check out this guy!!