Crowdfunding for Social Enterprises


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Crowdfunding is a new, innovative way to raise funds, awareness, participation and support for all sorts of projects.

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  • The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment finished their WeDidThis campaign on the 23 rd of October 2011. They raised £1,255 (£55 over their target) with 58 donations.
  • The crowdfunding campaign finished on 13 th July 2011. They raised £610 – their target figure 13 people pledged donations. On average people donated £45.
  • About this Project On 12th September 2012, the Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action will be celebrating its first 17 years of taking innovative ideas and making them happen and supporting social entrepreneurs, together with the 70th birthday of its founder, Michael Norton. To mark this occasion we are asking for contributions to an innovations fund to help us pioneer new ideas for creating social change. Our first target is £5,000. If you are a UK taxpayer, your contribution is eligible for Gift Aid. To illustrate the variety of our work, here are some ideas we have been developing during the past year: • StudentFunder, a mechanism for students to mobilise the support they need for their studies by getting supported by friends and family. • AngelFish, creating a member run, donor advised loan fund to support start-up social enterprises. • Workshop 44, a new type of community centre focusing on supporting residents to get going on their own ideas for addressing the problems in their communities. • Incubating social entrepreneurs, by providing workspace, technical support, guidance and mentoring plus a cash allowance towards expenses to help them turn their ideas into a viable enterprise. These are some of the successful programmes we have created in recent years, each being led by an amazing young social entrepreneur: • FoodCycle: volunteers collect food which would otherwise be thrown away, cook it in donated kitchen space, and serve it to people in need (the homeless, refugee groups, the elderly, etc.). Next steps: a chain of restaurants and green meals on wheels. • Otesha: young people going on cycle tours to take the message of sustainable living in a fairer world to schools and communities. Next step, a Green Jobs programme. • MyBnk: provides hands on experience for young people to gain financial literacy and encourage enterprise by setting up a micro-bank in their school or youth project. Next step, Enterprise-in-a-Box. Other projects we support include FARM:shop, a farm created inside an otherwise empty building to promote local food growing; Hackney Pirates, a volunteer programme teaching literacy in unusual environments; and the Oxford Jam, a fringe event for the Skoll World Forum.
  • About this Project The Edinburgh Wholefood Cooperative Ltd, is a new Edinburgh-based cooperative business. We currently have five members: Dee, Neus, Will, Karen and Sophie. We came together with the aim of setting up a worker-controlled shop that would sell good quality, responsibly sourced foods at an affordable price. We plan to take over an existing wholefoods business, 'The New Leaf,' situated in the Marchmont area of Edinburgh. We are aiming to refit the shop in late August and reopen our doors as The New Leaf Co-op in Early September 2012. As individuals, we are passionate about food: growing, cooking and eating. We see many problems with supermarket-led systems of food production and supply, based on exploitative worker conditions and unsustainable farming practices. We see the cooperative model as an excellent route to offering an alternative to this unsustainable approach; as a way to offer affordability, and to deliver on our social aims, whilst maintaining control over the terms of our own employment. The New Leaf has been running as a wholefood business for 20 years, and has a loyal following in the local community. Our plan is to expand the shop by opening an adjoining back room and therefore doubling the sales area. We will sell a large range of unpackaged wholefoods from hoppers and other dispensers. We will be an information hub in the local community and put on tasting events and workshops. We also hope to offer a cargo bike delivery service. To enable us to purchase the business, expand the range of stock and refit the premises we will need to borrow £45,000 in loans. Currently we have secured £35,000 from supporters in units ranging from £5,00 to £10,000. Rather than going to the bank, we are aiming to draw on community support to raise our start-up funds. And this is why we are using Buzzbnk! We will pay back loans made through Buzzbnk in 7 years, but we will be working to pay it back beforehand if possible. Please get in touch if you would like to invest a larger amount and thus would like some flexibility in the timescale of loan repayment. For those interested, we also have a comprehensive business prospectus for you to read if you’re interested in our forecasts and calculations about feasibility. For a copy of this report email us on:
  • Southside Foodshare, a local food co-op, has been operating in Glasgow since 2009, now we're raising the funds to help other communities to get started. We need £2700 to prepare groundwork and run a pilot project for Foodshare Scotland. It's simple, Southside Foodshare members order and pay for fresh vegetables, fruit, eggs and dairy, which are delivered locally every Wednesday. We buy in bulk from selected producers and growers, to keep costs lower for customers, and pay our suppliers direct - no middlemen.  We have a proven model in Southside Foodshare and, from the steady stream of interest, it's clear that the demand exists in other areas. Creating Southside Foodshare has been a great experience and now we're ready to expand and adapt our model of collective food purchasing to communities across Scotland. Foodshare Scotland is a new community interest company that will develop and support local food cooperatives across Scotland. Here's how Foodshare Scotland will support local communities set up their own food co-op:     •    Help communities improve access to affordable, local produce.     •    Find individual producers or growers who wish to supply a collective purchasing group.     •    Build the community, bringing together members of each coop and their suppliers so that personal relationships can develop.     •    Prepare the all the administrative paperwork, guides and tools that give your group the best start     •    On-going support for existing cooperatives to keep the operation running smoothly Since Southside Foodshare started, there have been many supportive people who say that they wish they had something similar in their neighbourhood or town. We'd like to help other communities but raising the necessary funding is our main hurdle, so your contribution will go a long way toward helping us realise this goal with Foodshare Scotland. Now is your chance to make it happen, just make a promise - please.
  • DigVentures is your chance to work with some of the best archaeologists in the land on one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. Join us and share the excitement of discovery as it happens, knowing that without your support, it wouldn’t have happened. The Project DigVentures Ltd will be excavating the iconic Bronze Age site of Flag Fen , where extensive drainage and climate change threaten to destroy the world-renowned archaeology forever. Our work will be an essential part of saving the archaeology and giving the site a future life, and all we need to do is to raise £25,000 to make this incredible project happen. You and your friends can be a part of it – by supporting us through buying benefits, and even joining us on site. The more you contribute, the more involved you can become – from being one of the first to receive the site report, to rolling up your sleeves and actually taking part. As soon as you support the project at any level, you will receive access to the Site Hut , an online forum providing exclusive daily project updates, interviews, lectures with archaeological superstars, films, photos - or just pop in for a nice cup of tea! We’ll be filming on site every day, and posting all sorts of fabulous information to keep you up to date. If you can’t join us in the field, we’d love a crew of armchair archaeologists out there following our every move. The field school at Flag Fen (for those who purchase a benefit at £125 and above) will be really exciting this year. We’ve put a lot of thinking into making this the best experience possible, whether you are digging for a day, a week, two weeks, or the whole project. There will be dedicated staff providing orientation, training and instruction, as well as evening lectures, fun outings and plenty of time for questions. And some surprises, of course! Places in the field school (from 23rd July – 12th August 2012) are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, and are only for those aged 17 and older. What do I do? Pick a benefit level and purchase! Tell your friends and everyone you know, and ask them to get involved too. You can also purchase benefits as a gift for someone else: don’t we all know someone who has a bit of a geeky fascination with archaeology? Send them our way! The more people who get involved, the more work we can do. And this year isn’t the end – the site is drying out fast, and we need to keep the work going. Planning for the 2013 season is already underway… What happens after I have bought a benefit? First things first, you will receive an email from us acknowledging your purchase and welcoming you to the DigVentures team. Immediately after the funding window closes at the end of April, we will open the Site Hut and ship all physical merchandise such as pins, tee-shirts and other items. Some of the benefits won’t be possible until we’re actually digging, so please bear with us! if you have purchased a benefit to join us on the dig, we will contact you right away to arrange a date, as places are limited and dates will be available on a first-come, first served basis. Did we mention the party? The End of Site party, of course! Every good site has a great party to celebrate the end of a successful season, and we’re no exception. Everyone who funds us will be invited to the DigVentures End of Site Party, where you will see a presentation on the season’s results, catch up on project news, mingle with the archaeologists, and get to meet everyone who joined us on site. And there’s bound to be some dancing too… How do I get in touch with the DigVentures team? We’re here for you! All emails sent to will be read and replied to by one of the team. We have a website which explains much much more - - We’re also on Twitter (@TheDigVenturers), Facebook and Skype (
  • The Arts Barge Project is... A large and growing collective of musicians, artists and performers who want to buy a dutch barge to become a unique, river-based venue in York. We've been working successfully since 2008 putting on large, medium and small-scale collaborative events which get professionals and amateurs from loads of different genres and backgrounds to work together as well as mentoring young musicians and kick-starting our own in-house amateur band. This year we're focussing our For Love and Money fundraising campaign on buying the barge itself.  Why a barge? We have no arts centre (it closed down in 1998) and no affordable 'built' space in the city to rent as a community venue. As well as that, York's river is very underused despite a thriving river-community just out of the city centre. A barge is an ideal way to create a community space at a fraction of the cost of a building - we've already been offered a prime, city centre mooring in a great location for our project to start up.  "We're gonna need a bigger boat" We rented a barge in 2011 and put on a programme of day-in, day-out entertainment - music, comedy, cabaret, open mic, new works - plays, songs and artwork - and we also had a cafe bar selling local produce and great locally brewed beers - the run was a sell-out success. As well as that, we regularly do local festivals and 'pop-up' tours, we've got our own in-house professional band as well as our amateur Bargestra! and we're right at the centre of new creative initiatives in York. We're particularly into big collaborations - we love mixing it up in terms of genres and styles. We're supported by the local council and local businesses and there's a lot of public support for the project. Based on the success of our trial run we decided to buy our own barge a year earlier than originally planned. What will your money buy? Simple. A barge.  Okay, so it'll need some work but the idea is that we buy a sound 'hull' for around £5K which the community will work on alongside professional boat fitters. We've already raised over £6K ourselves and this money will be used to get the barge moved to a dry dock and undergo survey and initial works. We've been approached by a documentary maker who wants to follow the progress of the purchase and fit-out and we've identified the barge we want to buy - it'll hopefully be available for survey in late March and then for purchase some time in April. The process of fitting out the barge through to getting her moored safely is likely to cost around £70K (depending on whether we decide to go for one deck or two) and we're aiming to raise this through a combination of public funding, private sponsorship and our own fund-raising efforts. Our ambition is to launch the barge in summer 2013.  What if you buy the barge and then can't raise the money to fix her up in time? It is a highly ambitious plan for the next 12 months but we know it's possible. Our estimate of £70K+ is what would be needed to make a 'state of the art'  venue but we'll cut our cloth according to what we raise over the next year. We've got an established fund-raising track record of our own which we will be using alongside all our other efforts. If necessary we can do a basic fit-out and then improve the interior at a later date. We can also leave the barge as a single-decker until further funds are available to add another level. The main priority is to buy a suitable hull - we're confident that once we've done that and made our 'virtual' barge a reality, raising money for the next phase will be significantly more achievable.    Check out our website here:
  • Started in America, this is the first official Crowdfunding site to emerge. Designed for American projects, this may not be particularly relevant for you to use here in the UK, but does host a vast array of projects for inspiration.
  • Crowdfunder will run campaigns for 30, 45, 60 or 90 days. Sponsume will run a campaign for a maximum of 90 days.
  • You need to tell people exactly what your budget will be used for. Postage, printing, packaging etc. Ask for slightly more then you think you will need. How many people do you think you could inspire to fund your project How much do you estimate that people will fund on average?
  • Simple – focus on the core of the idea Unexpected – you need to grab people’s attention Concrete – make sure the idea can be understood and remembered Credible – is your idea believable Emotional – help people to see the importance of your idea Stories – empower people to use an idea through narrative.
  • This is essential to the success of your Crowdfunding project, a visual, audio and creative approach to fundraising will really capture people’s attention and interest. It is also a great way of your funders to share the project with their friends and family, people are much more likely to watch a short video then read text off a website
  • Interviews – you, your audience, your participants. Animation – using your creativity and your networks. Photography stills and audio – easy option with big impact.
  • Rewards are an essential part of the Crowdfunding campaign. A reward is an offer that you make as a thank you for the individual who supports your project through a donation.
  • Plum’s crowdfunding campaign ended on October 15 th 2011. She raised £5,040 (101% of her target) 137 people backed her project. On average people donated £36.
  • Rewards are an essential part of the Crowdfunding campaign.
  • No content – no funding.
  • Projects fail if… You don’t express clearly the nature of your project – you are asking for people’s money to do what exactly? Additional information is hard to come across – you have to create trust between you and your potential funder, don’t forget to assert your credibility. You don’t tell anyone about it – you have to work to get people to commit funding to your project, don’t expect the cash to roll in once you have hit upload! There is a lack of communication between yourself and your new funders – if you don’t communicate with your potential and actual funders, you are only hurting yourself and the project. You don’t follow up on rewards – you don’t want people to think they were conned. Your project doesn’t fit with the parameters of the Crowdfunding site you choose – the sites will attract the right people to donate to the right causes, make sure you read up about the site and look at the projects which have achieved success and those which haven’t. You choose not to produce a video – if it is not your talent then find someone within your community who can, directly communicating what you are doing and the reason why peope should give their money to you is essential. If you can’t communicate your project visually, maybe Crowdfunding is not for you. You forget to build and nurture your online and offline community around your project – Be creative in the ways that you reach out to your audeinces. You promise what you can’t deliver – that will be your reputation over. You focus on the negative – we are all facing hard times particularly the public sector, so people don’t want to hear you moan about not getting funding from the Arts Council etc, rather they want to invest in positive ideas and support something great.
  • Your first steps towards Crowdfunding. Follow these steps to create your first Crowdfunding project.
  • Crowdfunding for Social Enterprises

    1. 1. An Innovative Way to Raising Funds, Awareness, Participation and Engagement for your cause, charity or project. Crowdfunding for social enterprises
    2. 2. CrowdfundingToday’s Workshop• What is Crowdfunding?• How does Crowdfunding work?• Where to Crowdfund?• Writing your pitch• Choosing rewards• The Next Steps• Tips and Pitfalls• Your First Steps This workshop is powered by HI-Arts
    3. 3. What is Crowdfunding? “Survival of the fittest for creative ideas. Lots of people – each giving a small amount – can make good things happen. The ‘crowd’ decides what’s good, what’s not, what they want to fund and what they don’t…Good ideas will shinethrough and the wisdom of the crowd to fund them is a really exciting prospect.” Crowdfunder
    4. 4. £5 or more – Acknowledgement on the Hamish Henderson Archive Trust website £10 or more – Acknowledgement in the first Hamish Henderson Journal £20 or more – Exclusive signed copy of the Journal £100 or more – Signed copy of the Journal and a VIP invitation to the launch£200 or more – Private View - personal viewing of some of the materials in the Henderson Archive.
    5. 5. Hamish Henderson Archives Raised £4,670 (£2,670 over their target) with 128 donations. donationsOn average people donated £36 each. each
    6. 6. Gig Buddies• The Gig Buddies Campaign has 27 days left to go.• They aim to raise £1,000.• So far 27 people have supported this project.• On average people are donating £22.
    7. 7. Demand Energy Equality• The crowdfunding campaign finished on 5th June 2012.• They raised £5,145 – £145 more then their target• 105 people pledged donations.• On average people donated £49.
    8. 8. How does Crowdfunding work?In a Nutshell…1. Pick the project or idea you want funded.2. Identify how much you need to raise.3. Pick a Crowdfunding website.4. Identify your story and your pitch.5. How will you reward your new funders?6. Tell everyone you know, and those interested in what you do, about it!
    9. 9. Where to Crowdfund?
    10. 10. Look for a host that offers support and advice in developing and communicating your project.
    11. 11. Find out how long the site will run your campaign
    12. 12. Check to see if the crowdfunding site charges you for raising funds?
    13. 13. Make sure you read any guidelines or terms and conditions before launching your project.
    14. 14. Setting your Funding Target• Core costs of the project• Rewards – what additional costs?• Crowdfunding site Fee• Ask for slightly more• Community commitment• Estimate the average pledge
    15. 15. Writing your pitchYou need to make the idea stick in the minds of potential funders…• Keep it Simple• Make it Unexpected• Create a Concrete idea• Make it Credible• Find the Emotion• Tell a Story Who, What, When, Where and How
    16. 16. 14 Questions to Answer1. Who are you? 9. Who will be doing it and what are2. Who is your target audience? their qualifications?3. Why do you need money? 10. How will you tell people about it?4. Why might the funder be interested? 11. How much do you want?5. What’s the idea? 12. How much have you raised yourself?6. Why are you the best people to be delivering 13. How will the project be evaluated? this? 14. Who or what will benefit from the7. Where is the activity taking place? funding of this project?8. When will it be taking place?
    17. 17. Creating a VideoCreating a Video is Essential for:• Connecting with your funders• Demonstrating trust and value• Being clear and concise• Providing a short and sweet pitch
    18. 18. Creating a VideoWhat type of video?• Interview’s• Documentary• An animation• Photography SlideshowPointers• Keep it short and to the point• Clearly relate to the project• Quality of video footage• Editing• Audio• Creativity
    19. 19. What is a Reward?
    20. 20. What is a Reward?Let Plum explain…
    21. 21. Meme• Plum’s crowdfunding campaign ended on October 15th 2011.• She raised £5,040 (101% of her target)• 137 people backed her project.• On average people donated £36.
    22. 22. What is a Reward?• Your way of saying ‘Thank You’• Builds support for your future project, cause and/or organisation.• Act as a marketing and promotional tactic.• Must be creative and linked to your campaign.
    23. 23. £5 – Wall of Fame: be included on the website Wall of Fame. If you represent anorganisation your logo and link to your website will be posted.£10 – Ready Steady Cook: everything above and you’ll be sent a PDF copy of the SouthsideFoodshare recipe book. Compiled by members and suppliers favourite recipes, this reflectsthe versatility of seasonal Scottish produce.£20 – Launch Invitation + 250ml rapeseed oil: a VIP invitation to the launch event, yourname on the Wall of Fame, and you’ll be sent a 250ml bottle of Scottish rapeseed oil – themost popular product distributed through Southside Foodshare.£50 – Launch Invitation + 500ml rapeseed oil: a VIP invitation to the launch event, yourname on the Wall of Fame, and you’ll be sent a 500ml bottle of Scottish rapeseed oil – themost popular product distributed through Southside Foodshare.£250 – All of the above + Priority in setting up a new Co-op: Two VIP invitations, 500ml ofScottish rapeseed oil, credit on Wall of Fame, and hands on assistance in setting up a newcooperative in your area. Southside Foodshare will work with you to set up a system thatsuits your needs, and make sure that you get your first vegetable delivery free!
    24. 24. Why is Crowdfunding relevant to us now?• It is an enterprising solution to raising funds.• It is a new approach which cuts out traditional funding approaches and their requirements.• It enables communities to mobilise around the things they want to see happen;• Communities become investors in their own future.• It mobilises new money when traditional support is less available.• It is a good indicator of the eventual success of your project.
    25. 25. Next Steps: Marketing your projectCrowdfunding WebsiteYour Website – friends, partner and supporter websites (Web Release)Your Blog – friends, partner and supporter’s blogs (Blog Release)Your Social Networks – friends, partner and supporter social networks (Share)Community News, Radio, Magazines, Leaflets – local word of mouth (Press Release)National News, Radio, Magazines – national word of mouth (Press Release)Email Your Database – friends, partner and supporter’s forward emails (Links)eNewsletter – friends, partner and supporter’s newsletters (Links)Mobile SMS – ask them to share their text (Share)Presentations – at your events, activities, when selling (Word of Mouth)Posters, Leaflets, Postcards – For your community or beyond (Promotion)Letters – contact your fans, supporters, volunteers etc personally (Invite)Tell everyone you know! Get them to tell everyone they know!
    26. 26. Next Steps: Keeping your funders up-to-date• Update your Crowdfunding site• Thank You Cards• Blogging• Social Networking• Personalised Emails• Invitations
    27. 27. TipsCrowdfunding is not the easy option – any and all fundraising is hard! It helps, but it’s not necessary, to have a pre-existing community of supporters. Be resourceful – It can be hard to incentivise people, capture their imagination. Be clear –Set a completion date for the campaign, clearly define your goals and expectations. Be Informative – Offer as much information about your project as you can.
    28. 28. PitfallsProjects fail if…• You don’t express clearly the nature of your project.• Additional information is hard to come across.• You don’t tell anyone about it.• There is a lack of communication between yourself and your new funders.• You don’t follow up on rewards.• Your project doesn’t fit with the parameters of the Crowdfunding site you choose.• You choose not to produce a video.• You forget to build and nurture your online and offline community around your project.• You promise what you can’t deliver.• You focus on the negative.
    29. 29. FAQs• How long does a campaign last?• What happens when my project reaches its target funding?• How will I be able to contact my funders?• What happens if I don’t meet my target?• What happens if I reach my funding target before the end of the campaign?• Can I pledge to my own project?• Will the Crowdfunding site take a cut?• How do supporters collect their rewards?
    30. 30. Your First Steps towards Crowdfunding• The project idea• Delivery dates• Costs to deliver• Crowdfunding Target• What would Crowdfunding support• The benefits of the project• Crowdfunding video• Rewards• Potential donors• Marketing tactics• Keeping funders up-to-date