Crowd Funding is not a new phenomena, it has been around for at least 5 years if not longer. The principle is that you advertise what you want to do and how much money you need to do it and the “crowd” (people like you and I) offer to put money up to help you to achieve your goals.
The idea originally came as an alternative method of funding compared to seeking venture capital or going to the bank to start a business. So in these cases you are seeking a share of the business or organisation. However I have seen this extended to apply to charitable causes and projects. In this case there is no return on investment for those donating.
We would like a website…. but
Each year I get enquiries from organisations that do not have a website, but would like one. I provide a summary of the costs and the process, then I don’t hear anything else. I chase it to find that they cannot afford it, even at my very low acquisition cost.
It seems to me that these organisations are stuck in a rut. They are short of funds, and are having to be very selective on what they spend them on. We all know that local government funding is disappearing for many charities providing family services for example, so I fully understand the problem. However with a website, they would have a presence on the internet, they can be located, they can seek funding through it, direct funding providers to it to establish their value proposition. So it seems to be a chicken and egg problem. Is there a way around this?
Returning to Crowd Funding
I have looked at some sites that specialise in raising capital, it would seem feasible to document a project where a website and hosting can be provided to a charity based on crowd funding for say £200-£300 in the first year. If you know of any Not-For-Profit or charitable organisation that might be interested in this approach please put them in contact with me. I would be happy to give it a try.
Crowd Funding applied to your organisation
Of course it follows that this concept could be used to help your organisation. First you need a value proposition, what is it you are going to do, or want to do? Write it up and get it on a crowd funding website as a project. Then advertise it through your website, your facebook or twitter accounts.
I suspect it is unlikely that a single benefactor will pop up from the internet, however for a given project, it may be easier to raise £200 from 40 people assuming you have the connections. Using social media to make this happen will extend your reach to more than those you directly connect to. If you look at some of the projects they are more compelling than others.
If you are interested in this area (either something that you wish to pursue for your own organisation, or as a joint venture) contact me and I will help you look into it. Use my contact us page to drop me a line.
I will be doing some research on it over the coming months, and may initiate a project to learn how it all works. If I learn anything more I will add an article on it.