There's an excellent new website called fundit.ie which will provide an easy way for arts projects to get "crowdfunding" i.e. donations from large numbers of interested members of the general public. For example, someone trying to raise funds to make a play or film could use the site to seek patronage from fans.
While the concept isn't entirely new, creating a standardised, reliable, trustworthy platform for crowdfunding is potentially very beneficial: not only would it be inefficient for each project to independently create its own system, but more importantly this new site might help with the key issues of quality and trust. If I'm going to give money, I want to know I'm not being ripped off.
The site has only just been launched today (22/02/2011) so right now there aren't many projects. I hope fundit.ie is a success - and I'm already eagerly thinking of donating. Whether you're a future patron or a starving artiste, go have a look.