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Movement Fund - crowdfunding basics

Our Movement Fund provides crowdfunding pledges, grants and support to help projects that get more people active. Here you can find our more about crowdfunding, what it is, why we encourage it and how to get started.

What is crowdfunding and why do we recommend it?

Crowdfunding enables organisations to raise funds by setting goals and promoting them to attract supporters who can contribute financially – often using discounts and experiences as rewards for donations.

It is a great way to raise money and awareness for your organisation through connecting with your community.

Our decision to make awards on the Movement Fund through a partnership with Crowdfunder has grown from a series of previous match-funding initiatives, which began in 2019.  

We have already supported over 1,000 community sport and physical activity providers to run successful rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns, with some great results – as you can see in this infographic

Bringing this model of match-funding investment into the Movement Fund means we can support more community organisations to deliver more projects, as well as help you to experience some of the benefits that we know running a campaign can bring. 

"I was quite sceptical of the Crowdfunder campaign at the beginning and thought that Sport England were making us jump through a lot of hoops. However, I now realise that it all helped raise awareness in the community and has helped us make more long-term partnerships."

Previous crowdfunding campaign owner

Why have we offered this to you?

It is likely that we have seen a number of successful campaigns for your type of project in the past, demonstrating what is possible.

It may be that there are elements of your projects that we can’t use our funding for, which historically would mean your application would be unsuccessful.

Or it may be that there is some uncertainty about whether this is the right project for your community, so a crowdfunding campaign can help demonstrate that to us.  

Whatever the reason is, fundamentally we like your idea and believe your organisation and project is a great fit for crowdfunding! 

Further questions

  • What is match funding?

    Match funding is an investment concept that is different to more traditional grant funding.

    As a match funder, we agree to provide an award in the form of a ‘pledge’ towards a crowdfunding campaign.  

    Once your campaign is running successfully, our pledge appears on your campaign when you reach key milestones, motivating your crowd of supporters to reach your target enabling you to deliver your project.

    You may also attract, or want to apply to, other funders that Crowdfunder work with

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  • What are rewards?

    Rewards are things you offer as part of your campaign, to help strengthen your appeal to your supporters. This could include products, services, events, experiences or sponsorship.

    Offering a variety of rewards across all price points is important, appealing to your current network as well as your wider community.

    We have learnt that campaigns only offering rewards appealing to existing supporters are not as successful as ones that offer a wider, more appealing variety.

    Once you begin building your page, Crowdfunder will help you with the concept behind rewards, explaining why they are so effective in opening up potential opportunities.  

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  • How much will we pledge?

    Our maximum pledge amount is £15,000.

    We have looked at your project costs and established what your shortfall is, so our pledge is typically 50% of that shortfall. Any partnership funding that you already have in place has been taken out of the equation. 

    When you set your campaign up, you will be asked to enter an ‘Initial Target’. This target should always include our pledge amount. For example, if we have offered you £5,000, your target should be £10,000. If you have been offered £10,000, your target should be £20,000. 

    Where costs in your project have been deemed ineligible in terms of our funding, we expect our investment to only be spent on the eligible items, as detailed in the cost breakdown in your Award Agreement.   

    In the past, 99% of campaigns that we have pledged on have managed to raise what they need from their crowd, so the success rate is very high. 

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  • How can you run a successful campaign?

    Alongside Crowdfunder, we have built a great deal of support and resource on this over the years – see our ‘How to Crowdfund’ guide.

    We have a process that is designed to help you at every step of the way, so please use all of this advice and guidance.

    If we suggest something, it is because we have learnt what works well (and usually always have an example to show you from another campaign).   

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  • What if your campaign isn’t successful?

    If your campaign fails to reach its target, then we will not be able to pay our award to you.

    We pride ourselves in trying to ensure we give you every opportunity to succeed with your campaign and 99% of campaigns to date have been successful.  

    Crowdfunding does require work to set up and run a campaign and we encourage organisations to undertake this as a small, dedicated team to share the workload for maximum results.

    If you have a great campaign page, are promoting it effectively and your crowd are not buying into your project, then unfortunately it may be a project that is not needed. Don’t be disheartened; consult your community and see what other project could be more suitable in the future.

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  • How does our pledge criteria work?

    Once you reach 25% of your target yourself, from a certain number of unique supporters, our award will appear on your page and in your fundraise, giving you a boost.

    You then need to go on and reach your target to secure our pledge.

    We pledge in this way to help provide momentum for your campaign, encourage supporters to help you reach key milestones and create a sense of urgency.  

    It is a great idea to tell your crowd this from the outset; it will help that they know what is required for you to unlock and then secure our pledge.

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  • How and when will you get your Sport England award?

    Once your campaign closes, having successfully reached its target, we will pay your award directly to you within 28 working days.

    To ensure this is processed swiftly, you will need to have returned to us your Acceptance Form, BACS Form, a recent bank statement and any other additional information requested in your Award Agreement. 

    For the money you raise from your crowd of supporters, this will be paid out directly by Crowdfunder.

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"It was a hugely positive experience. The first week was very daunting but we learned as we went along. The rewards element brought us closer to our community and we gained supporters we never knew existed."

Previous crowdfunding campaign owner

What should you do next?

  1. Return to your Acceptance Form, BACS Form, a recent bank statement and any other additional information requested in your Award Agreement. 
  2. Register with Crowdfunder, selecting ‘Crowdfund with donations or rewards’. 
  3. Begin working through building your crowdfunding campaign page.
  4. Use the resource available – our guide lists it all.
  5. Join us at one of our monthly webinars or watch a replay of a previous one.
  6. When your draft campaign page is ready, email
  7. We’ll take a quick look and suggest any other improvements or simply agree you’re ready to go.
  8. Begin crowdfunding!

"For us the whole process was very inclusive for club members – we ended up with a project team who met weekly throughout the campaign, with an open invitation for any club member to join for an update at any time.

"Applying for grant funding is very often a couple of frustrated people ploughing through paperwork in isolation, whereas crowdfunding absolutely energised our club. It brought members from different parts of the club together, got the community involved, and sparked a whole range of very positive conversations for the future."

Previous crowdfunding campaign owner

What if you already have a Crowdfunder campaign?

If you applied to the Movement Fund through Crowdfunder directly, then you will either have a draft campaign page or will already be actively crowdfunding with a live page.  This isn’t a problem; you will simply be one step ahead! See step 1 above, then proceed to step 4.   

We want to ensure that your campaign is as strong as it possibly can be can be, ideally before you launch, so use the advice, guidance and support that's available.   

If your campaign is already live, it may make changes a little more difficult, but if improvements can be made, most will be possible.   

If your campaign has already closed or set to ‘Always On’, then unfortunately we won’t be able to pledge anything. Our pledge would be no different to a more traditional grant, without any of the positive benefits that we know investing in this way can bring.

If your campaign is not draft or live, you will need to start and run a new campaign.

Need some assistance?

If you've any questions about crowdfunding or your application, you can contact our funding helpline.

By phone 

For crowdfunding enquiries, call 0345 8508 508, Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm. 

By email

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