Crowdmatch Challenge insight report
Our latest research finds that crowdfunding can be a viable option for community groups, particularly when donations are matched with additional funding.
Our latest research, “Crowdmatch Challenge: Insights into matched crowdfunding for small community groups in deprived areas” is based on a study of the Crowdmatch Challenge, an initiative which supported small community groups to fundraise through crowdfunding and offered match-funding on all donations pledged.
Crowdfunding is a means of raising money online directly from supporters to fund the launch of projects, products and services.
This research aimed to investigate the suitability of crowdfunding as a mechanism for raising funds for small community groups in areas of deprivation and looked to examine the role that match funding could play within this process. The research also sought to gain a better understanding of the kinds of support that are most helpful in enabling small groups to successfully run a crowdfunding project.
The report’s key findings
Crowdfunding is seen as a credible funding option for community groups in areas of deprivation
Community groups were positive about crowdfunding being another ‘tool’ in the ‘toolbox’ for raising funds. Both projects that launched and those that didn’t were positive about using crowdfunding in the future.
It is particularly attractive to groups and their supporters when donations are matched
The majority of groups that launched a Crowdmatch project felt that match funding had played a significant part in their decision to do so. Supporters also cited the match funding as a significant reason for donating to the project.
But crowdfunding is not necessarily a quick and easy solution
Groups recognised that crowdfunding is not an easy route to funding and requires sustained effort over the duration of the project to promote the campaign and build a crowd.
The main barrier to crowdfunding is a perceived lack of resources
Unsurprisingly, community groups, often run by volunteers, feel that a lack of resources – mainly in the form of people to run the project – is the biggest barrier to their uptake of crowdfunding; however, the crowdfunding process itself may help groups reach new supporters or mobilise existing ones.
Groups need support that is tailored to their needs
Groups need support that is tailored to their needs: Community groups are extremely varied in terms of both their needs and their abilities; the best type of support therefore is provided on a one-to-one basis that is flexible in terms of time and location. As groups become more familiar with the process of crowdfunding, however, there may be less need for this type of support.
Groups need support in identifying a ‘crowdfundable’ project
Groups recognised the need to identify a clearly defined project that appeals to potential supporters. Supporters were attracted to Crowdmatch because they wanted to help groups reach their target, supported the group’s ambitions and would benefit from the project.
Groups need support in identifying and managing ‘the crowd’
The crowd tended to be already known to the group, were usually based in the local area and were likely to benefit from the project. To an extent, however, groups were able to build relationships with new and existing supporters. The Crowdmatch Challenge was also successful in introducing new people to the concept of crowdfunding.
Crowdmatch built capacity and raised awareness of crowdfunding amongst community groups
Although the majority of groups that we initially surveyed knew little about crowdfunding, this research shows that community groups are still receptive to new ways of funding and that by going through the Crowdmatch process groups now feel more confident to crowdfund in future. It was also recognised by some groups that crowdfunding is a way of building their capacity and long-term sustainability by reducing their dependence on grants.
The research contains five case studies from community groups who took part in Crowdmatch. You can find out about the projects in these infographics:
- What’s the Score?, Wakefield
- The Friends of Cale Green Park, Stockport
- Lady Godiva Awakens, Nuneaton
- Inventive Nature Play Space, Kettering
- Bidston Sports Ability, Wirral