A - When it is "crowdselling."
Chicago startup ChoreMart launched its IndieGoGo "crowdfunding" campaign today: http://www.indiegogo.com/ChoreMart?a=419074
ChoreMart is building a new online service where people who need chores done, can help their neighbors who need to earn extra money, by helping their neighbors who need chores done.
Instead of seeking "donations" from its "crowdfunding" campaign, ChoreMart is seeking participation from people who need chores done (called "ChoreGivers" in the ChoreMart lexicon) and want to help their neighbors earn extra money ("ChoreWorkers").
The minimum "contribution" of $5.00 will be credited back to the ChoreGiver's transaction account, and therefore is more like a pre-launch sale than an outright donation.
Pre-sales have long been a fairly common source of product development funding in the B2B world, and crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo and others have extended this method to B2C sales when physical products are involved -- like books, CDs, DVDs, etc.
ChoreMart is pushing that envelope a bit further by trying this with pre-sales of an online service rather than a physical product. This should be an interesting experiment to observe in the lean startup world.
And of course, the campaign offers the usual perks like fun t-shirts, caps, launch party invitations, etc. for backers who give larger amounts. It wouldn't be a proper crowdfunding without them now, would it?