In the last few years we are hearing more and more about crowdfunding. A concept that basically refers to people and/or organisations coming together to raise money in order to fund a project.
When it comes to crowdfunding in sport, we could say that this is a collaboration that, at its core, has a shared vision - to encourage healthier lifestyles and stronger communities by making match-funding available to help the sport and physical activity sector.
This summer we celebrated the fourth anniversary of our partnership with Crowdfunder UK, and what a wonderful collaboration this has been!
Combining the expertise of this great organisation – one of the most renowned crowdfunding platforms in the country – and our commitment to investing in grassroots sports initiatives, we have created a joint endeavour that continues to redefine the landscape of sports funding.
This is how it works.
Organisations can apply for up to £10,000 in match funding to contribute to their live campaigns.
All clubs need to do is apply via the Crowdfunder UK platform, and by raising a portion of their total across a certain number of supporters, our pledge will automatically be dropped on to a live campaign.
Our main driver for the initiative was to help change the behaviour and thinking within VCSE (voluntary, community and social enterprise) organisations our sector.
Advocating self-help and empowering people to achieve success from running a campaign is key and the additional resource that we provide to achieve this, paramount.
A common misconception is that the more deprived areas struggle to raise funds from their local communities.
However, areas with an IMD (Index of Multiple Deprivation) 1 recieve an amplification of £1.46 for every £1 of Sport England investment.
This illustrates that with regards to crowdfunding, more deprived areas may not be at a disadvantage as is commonly thought.
We have two campaigns that are examples of this partnership: Active Together - a programme to help sport and physical activity organisations move forward with priority projects and running costs that they might be struggling with; and Places and Spaces - a programme for community sport and physical activity groups looking to create, enhance or redevelop their sports facilities for the benefit of the community as part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games legacy.
One of the most remarkable feedback items we have consistently received from project leads benefitting from this model, refers to the wider impact the crowdfunding experience has had on their organisations.
Aside from the financial backing, thanks to the pool of support and tools on offer, organisations have reported many benefits, including:
- better connection to the local community
- improved digital skills
- activated wider sponsorship on top of their campaigns
- increased number of new members
- a growing sense of togetherness throughout the organisation.