It is a sad reflection on my life that I was excited when someone sent me the following link https://www.nesta.org.uk/blog/lessons-four-years-running-uks-first-crowdfunding-platform-directory-crowdingincom A blog on crowdfunding and how it had grown. This is important to me and all the groups we at CCVS support.
So I was a little disappointed about the lack of real meat in this blog. Yes crowdfunding has grown, yes there are many platforms out there to choose from, and yes the bulk of the money raised goes to the private sector. I knew all this but it does not help me to convert others to the potential of trying a new way of raising funds. Thanks to NESTA for the graph.
What do I need as someone who advises charities and community groups on fundraising?
- I want a comparison of the platforms,
- I want to know how many of the pitches are successful on each platform.
- I want to know how much money is raised on each platform,
- I want to know which platform offers the best support,
- I want to know about integration with social media, exciting ‘add ons’ for poor charities.
- I want to know what each platform charges in upfront costs and fees and creditcard fees etc.
I need to have evidence to persuade people to give it a go. So how much has Crowdfunding grown; what do we know about those who donate this way; are rewards based campaigns better than other types.
Finally some analysis of what makes a successful campaign. More videos, more updates, smaller targets, stretch targets, personal testimony, different client groups.
I need to know as much as this as possible if I am to change minds and expand the uptake of Crowdfunding with the types of groups I support (generally those with income below £50K).
We have a good relationship with www.chuffed.org , not because this is necessarily a better platform but because the training they help us deliver is not all about the platform, but ultimately about how to run a good campaign. They don’t sugar coat it, they don’t say it will be easy, they are clear that to succeed you have to put the time and effort in.
If Crowdfunding were easy we would all be doing it and the funding crisis for small organisations would be confined to history. That is not the case, as with any fundraising you have to have a plan, you have to know what you are trying to change, who you are working with, and why people should support you. I believe that Crowdfunding is something more small charities and voluntary groups should be doing. To make the change I would really like more research into what why and how so I can prove my gut feeling to people, that Crowdfunding can help more organisations and causes.
The research may be out there, if so let me know. If not I challenge NCVO, NESTA and all the others who research into the sector to look at crowdfunding. Maybe start a longitudinal study so we can look at trends. Rank the different platforms based on success rates (or maybe don’t). But give me the ammunition to convince organisations that they need to try this new form of fundraising.