Saturday 16 November 2013

Community First Crowdfunding Challenge to Help UK's Deprived Communities

A new crowdfunding challenge has been launched to help match fund local projects that will help the UK's most deprived communities. The Community First CrowdMatch challenge, in partnership with non-profit organisations including NESTA, Community Development Foundation (CDF) and CrowdfundUK invites communities to participate in this innovative fundraising project that involves crowdfunding as well as match funding by way of a grant award. Using the crowdfunding platform Buzzbnk participants have just 60 days to reach their respective targets snd have their funding matched essentially doubling their funds.

The current economic climate continues to put a strain on third sector non-profit organisations and community groups in need of vital funding to remain viable. Crowdfunding is fast becoming an alternative form of fundraising for charity and community based projects. The CrowdMatch Challenge offers projects access to materials, advice and support on crowdfunding to launch their own campaign. The challenge is made up of various non-profit organisations involved in helping the third sector and local communities with funding, help and resource tools. These include;

  • NESTA; a charity designed to help bring innovative ideas to life by way of investments and grants as well as assist in the provision of necessary resources, research, and skills.
  • COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION (CDF); national organisation with expertise in community development and engagement helping communities to develop and strengthen local voices. They help improve local people's voice and create a better place to live.
  • BUZZBNK;  a crowdfunding platform that has featured previously on the Gazette, and which helps social ventures, community projects, and local business start-ups find the necessary funds.
  • COMMUNITY FIRST;  a four year £80million initiative funded by they government to help communities identify their strengths and local priorities to better plan for the future and remain resilient in the face of increasing economic uncertainties.
  • CROWDFUNDUK; a resource dedicated to promoting crowdfunding as a viable tool for social enterprises, third sector projects and local communities by providing resources and information to make crowdfunding more accessible.
  • CCLA is one of the UK's largest charity fund managers that works alongside the CDF and Community First programme. The organisation has donated a cash prize for the CrowdMatch Prize Challenge.
Community groups and organisations wishing to participate must apply to the Community First panel for grant funding. Once this is approved the panel set a match funding target on a 1 to 1 basis. Under the set criteria the project owners use Buzzbnk to raise their portion of the necessary funds through crowdfunding. In return they will receive free support and advice on how to design and plan a crowdfunding campaign. The target set to use the funds is 60 days and if successful the panel will match the funding target.
Crowdfunding is a great way for community projects to increase their profile, and gather support from local people. We are excited to be working with Nesta and Buzzbnk on the Crowdmatch Challenge to introduce crowdfunding as new tool to Community First Projects - Jason Nuttall, Head of Programme, Community Development Foundation
The challenge aims to not only increase accessibility of available funds but also to create an atmosphere of co-existence and solidarity. Local groups can encourage their communities to be involved making everyone feel they are contributing in bringing about positive change in their area. The challenge is now open to all Community First panels and projects from Community First wards and more information can be found on The CrowdMatch Challenge website.

Image Credit; Mastermaq

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