I can imagine the conversation: "Hey, rather than providing public money to arts projects, how can we help persuade the public to give their money directly to artists?"
On the other hand, there is something democratic - or at least populist - about getting individuals to support the projects they'd like to come to fruition.
And I have been known to back the odd crowdfunding push in the creative sector. (I'll use the term 'artist' as shorthand for all types of creative people including authors and filmmakers.)
The advent of social media may have made that easier to achieve than it used to be, but it's still an issue for those who want to be artists rather than marketers.
Few people are likely to back a project proposed by someone they've never heard of, but again, that's where social media comes in - if people you know and trust (or at least respect) are backing a project and it seems interesting to you, aren't you more likely to contribute too?
So it isn't a pure numbers game. Just as it was once necessary to form relationships with key players (gallery owners/curators, publishers, producers, etc), making a connection with a 'big name' in the specific field can give significant reach through social networking and social media.
Anyway, if you're an Australian artist and you think you might be interested in tapping crowdfunding as a way of helping to finance your next exhibition, film, performance season, or printing of a book, the Australia Council is running a roadshow (which started today) to help spread the findings of its research into crowdfunding.
You can find details of the sessions and the research here.