What is crowdfunding and why could it be good for you?

2 Mar 2017 Lynn Kennedy    Last updated: 14 Jun 2017

Our Guest Writer, Anne Strachan from Crowdfund UK demystifies Crowdfunding and describes how organisations can use technology to update this long-standing fundraising tool.

What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is where lots of people together to support and fund projects by other individuals or organisations. A campaign can be to gather donations, obtain loans, raise your profile, offer equity, test and idea or product with your market or build an active supportive community for your organisation.

Crowdfunding is an empowering alternative to grant applications which can be used for a variety of purposes - getting a project off the ground, refurbishing a building, financing an exhibition or funding a startup company.

Who uses it?

Crowdfunding isn’t new. It’s been around for as long as individuals, charities or businesses have wanted to ask people for money. But what has brought it into the 21st century is the interactivity of the web allowing people to link websites and share videos; the development, and people’s increasing use, of social media to navigate their way around the world, connect with others and find out information and make online payments.

It is also now working with match funders such as local authorities, the Heritage Lottery, the Arts Council, Esmée Fairbairn and other foundations who are coming on board and matching the pledges made by the community. Why are they doing this? Not only because it stretches limited financial support but also the projects have proved that they are really by the community.

Many great projects have reached out to their communities and made exciting things happen from a water slide in a city centre to saving a lido, from a dementia café to a food waste restaurant, from buying a van to developing a science centre.

Want to know more?

Like all funding tools, Crowdfunding is not easy. It is hard work. It needs a great idea, a committed team with creativity and energy, lots of planning and the time to put plans into action.

If you want to hear more from Anne and find out if you can use crowdfunding to raise money and build an engaged community around your project, NICVA, in partnership with Crowdfund UK, Northern Ireland Environment Link (NIEL) and Rural Community Network (RCN), NICVA is offering two unique workshops - 

Belfast Crowdfunding Workshop 20th March (Waiting list only)

Cookstown Crowdfunding Workshop 21st March 

by Lynn Kennedy

Fundraising Advice Officer

[email protected]

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