I love this idea. It's also described as 'micro-philanthropy'.
Basically arts councils and governments don't have the means to fund art projects at the moment, but people do want to support artists, writers, musicians, actors, etc., so this idea of 'crowdfunding' was born.
I first came across it on the Irish 'Business to Arts' website, and subsequently on Facebook also, and now I'm thinking that it would be a marvellous way to both support friends in their endeavours and to get support for endeavours of my own.
The website is www.fundit.ie
I like the way that you give what you can - you're not asked to produce millions, you can give just €10 if that's all you've got. And there is often a reward system in place too.
So if you can, do. If you can't right now, that's okay too. Everyone is short these days. But when you can, please do. Be a patron of the arts.
Don't forget that such donations can also be tax-deductible.