Donations and Crowdfunding

The first port of call for funding for a community project should always be your members, supporters and wider local community through fundraising and more recently, crowdfunding.

Raising donations, even small amounts, from your users demonstrates how much support you have and that people are willing to back you with their money. There are plenty of different ways to raise funds, from ‘buy a brick’ campaigns, to social events and sponsorship.

Charities benefit from some extra benefits when fundraising by being able to reclaim ‘gift aid’ from the Government on all donations from UK taxpayers, which is worth an additional 25% on every donation.

A few general points can be applied to all types of fundraising:

  • Have a clear & exciting vision
  • Make it fun
  • Don’t guilt-trip people
  • Make it possible to give as little or as much as people are able
  • Keep it legal – follow the laws and codes on charity fundraising and lotteries
  • Ensure you don’t spend more in running your fundraising than you raise
  • Think about how companies can support you – perhaps with in-kind support
  • Thank all your donors and remember to keep them informed about the project.

As of July 2016, the Code of Fundraising Practice is set by the Fundraising Regulator. It outlines the standards expected of all charitable fundraising organisations across the UK.

Crowdfunding

In recent years crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular way of funding projects.

Typically achieved via online platforms, crowdfunding involves the collective efforts of people networking and pooling resources to support projects, ventures or initiatives of others. A profile or website is set up, and then using networks such as social media, friends, family and colleagues, money is raised to a set target.

There are four different types of crowdfunding:

  • Reward-based: A business or entrepreneur pre-sells a product or a service to launch a business concept without incurring any debt or sacrificing any shares or equity. Projects that are launched for contributions would compensate their investors with some like a t-shirt, experience, or product of what they are creating as a thank you.
  • Equity-based: where the monetary exchange is for company equity or ownership, not goods and services.
  • Credit-based: also known as ‘peer-to-peer lending’ and is used on more of a personal level. It is essentially a loan at a reasonable rate funded by multiple investors.
  • Debt-based: the lending of money to an individual from an investor in exchange for interest.

Crowdfunding platforms

Online crowdfunding platforms are growing and developing all the time, the list below are just some of those that exist.

Before you search through various crowdfunding platforms, we would suggest that you to might look at Crowding In. This is a free website that will help you choose the right crowdfunding platform for your project.

Crowding In

Kickstarter

Kickstarter helps artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers, and other creators find the resources and support they need to make their ideas a reality. To date, tens of thousands of creative projects — big and small — have come to life with the support of the Kickstarter community.

Kickstarter

Spacehive

Spacehive is the world’s first crowdfunding website for civic projects. Fund a new park or renovate your high street as easily as buying a book online.

Spacehive

Crowdfunder

Crowdfunder helps you raise funds to make your great idea a reality.

Crowdfunder

Buzzbank

Buzzbnk was co-founded by Michael Norton, OBE and Theresa Burton in 2009. The website launched in January 2011 as the UK’s 1st crowdfunding platform specifically for social enterprises and charities.

Buzzbnk merged with Trillion Fund Ltd November 1, 2014. Buzzbnk.org continues after the merger on its mission to help social enterprises and charities raise the funding and support they need.

Buzzbank

Ethex

Ethex is a small not for profit organisation based in Oxford UK with the aim of creating a marketplace for positive investments.

They want to make Positive Investing easy, so that you can invest directly into leading social businesses with the lowest charges possible.

Ethex

Abundance

Abundance offers peer-to-peer investments that create something good for the environment and society, without compromising on your financial return.

You can invest directly in a range of projects with Abundance, which offer social and environmental benefits as well as a long term, bank beating income. It’s a way for you to take control and create a more secure future for your finances, your family and the world you live in.

Abundance

Bloom

Bloom VC Limited is independently owned and operated in the UK, funded by a small group of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs and investors.

We’ve been at the forefront of crowdfunding since 2010, when founder Amanda Boyle spotted an imminent funding gap for startups, early stage businesses, communities, art and culture… in fact, anything that needs the smallest amount of cash to get going. The idea is simple, harness the power of the crowd (that’s you, me and everyone around us) and, in return for cash – no matter how small  – receive a reward.

Bloom

Seedrs

Online investing opportunities in the best new startup businesses, and raise seed and angel investment, with top European equity crowdfunding site Seedrs.
Seedrs

Funding Circle

Funding Circle is a business financing company that helps small businesses develop to make our economy stronger.

Funding Circle

JustGiving

JustGiving is the world’s social platform for giving.

JustGiving

Crowdcube

Crowdcube is the world’s leading investment crowdfunding platform. We enable anyone to invest alongside professional investors in start-up, early stage and growth businesses through equity and debt investment options.
Join the 300,000-strong crowd looking for more interesting investments – it’s free, quick and has no obligations.

Crowdcube