The SEC is studying whether some of its public offering rules should be eased for smaller companies engaging in crowdfunding for capital-raising purposes.  The study includes the number of shareholders that trigger public reporting, the restriction on general solicitations in public offerings and restrictions on general solicitations in public offerings. Crowdfunding involves groups of people who pool money to support an effort by others to accomplish a specific fund-raising goal. The pool is typically made up of small, individual contributions. Certain supporters of crowdfunding have submitted a rulemaking petition to the SEC seeking an exemption for offerings of up to $100,000 that would permit individuals to invest up to $100. Nearly 150 comment letters have been submitted in favor of the petition, with some proposing different offering size thresholds or individual investment limits.

sec.gov/news/testimony/2011/ts091511mbc.htm