Crowdfunding: A New Fundraising Approach

3 Feb 2012 in Artforms, Audience Development Blog, Regions

‘It was the revolutionary fundraising model that swept Barack Obama to power – and it could help arts bodies in Britain stay in business.’

Are you constantly looking for the right funding route but coming up empty handed? Are you looking for alternative routes to fund your project that doesn’t rely on public bodies? Would you like to start engaging people with your project now? Crowdfunding could be your answer.

Crowdfunding is a modern, online and interactive way to raise funds directly from the public – or the Crowd – for your projects and activities. With the advent of Crowdfunding we can now turn our audiences into supporters and funders, by collecting multiple small donations online and offering unique incentives to encourage giving, not only can you raise funds to get your project of the ground but you can start to build a ‘buzz’ around it before hand.

Crowdfunding is the latest addition to your Fundraising toolkit.

The practice of asking people to donate to a cause, charity, project or initiative is not a new concept, however Crowdfunding formalises a process of fundraising for projects through the internet and social networking. Crowdfunding is the collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money together, via the internet, in order to support the efforts initiated by other people or organisations. A Crowdfunding project relies on a number of small donations from your community in exchange for a reward and the ability to support your project.

Crowdfunding is an advantageous addition to your abilities to raise cash in large or small amounts to support a project you initiate; it can replace or support the need to apply for specialised Funding or Investment from traditional funders such as arts councils, enterprise development, trusts and foundations.

Crowdfunding relies on the offline and online communities you cultivate, the crowd can exist as a community but they can also form from disparate groups around the world who share an interest in funding a person, project, event, campaign etc. The advantage of an online fundraising solution such as Crowdfunding is that the internet allows for the fast and effective flow of information around the world, increasing awareness and the pool of potential funders who can engage with what you do.

 How is Crowdfunding relevant to me?

The beauty of Crowdfunding is that you can fundraise for any idea, project or campaign that you have a passion to deliver. It enables you to access new funders who ultimately become your supporters, without having to rely on traditional methods and formal processes of funding.

 In a time when budgets are being reduced Crowdfunding offers an enterprising solution to raising the funds you need. It takes the pressure off you to find the right funding route or investment strand that fits your idea or campaign. It gives you the freedom to pursue the project you and your community want to see happen.

Which is perhaps the most important aspect of Crowdfunding, it enables your community to mobilise around the things that they really want to see happen; the crowd becomes the investors in their own future. Which also means it is a good indicator of the eventual success of your project.

 So how does it work?

  1. You select the creative project, idea, campaign, event etc that you want to organise and that needs funding.
  2. You identify how much you need to raise in order to deliver this project.
  3. Identify your story and your pitch, how are you going to encourage people to donate.
  4. Consider how you will reward your new funders.
  5. Pick a Crowdfunding website to launch your campaign.
  6. Tell everyone you know, and those interested in what you do, all about your Crowdfunding campaign.
  7. Watch as people start donating to your project.

 Crowdfunding Sites:

  • Crowdfunder – Allows people to raise funds for almost any type of project and give rewards to their community of funders.
  • Crowdcube – Enables start-up companies to raising funding be offering real equity in the business.
  • Indiegogo – an online social marketplace connecting filmmakers and fans to make independent film happen.
  • Unbound – For books (currently published authors or new authors via agents).
  • Bussbnk – Crowdfunding for donations and loans, ventures must deliver a clear social or public benefit.  
  • Go fund me – An easy way to raise money online for personal fundraising ideas. This site is geared towards individuals interested in raising money online for personal causes.
  • RocketHub – A platform for grassroots Crowdfunding of creative projects.
  • Sponsume – fundraising platform for creative projects based in the UK and Europe.
  • – a risk free way for people to raise money to fund their creative ideas and projects.
  • Wedidthis – A UK based site, which featured selected projects each month.
  • NewJelly – Founded in Oslo, Norway in 2010, NewJelly allows talent to showcase their work, goals and dreams.
  • Akamusic – Founded in 2008 Akamusic is a community side that gives artists the possibility of having an album or a single produced.
  • ArtistShare – a Service for musicians to fund their projects outside the normal recording industry.
  • Soloco – currently in development, based in Glasgow, they support community projects and initiatives.
  • Angel Shares Scotland – recently launched in Edinburgh, this is a site dedicated to funding arts projects and administed by Arts& Business Scotland.

Read Northings Interview with Ed Whiting the Founder of

HI-Arts Craft Development and Audience Development are delivering a Crowdfunding workshop in Orkney at the end of February. For more information please click here.

HI-Arts Audience Development will be providing a Crowdfunding workshop in association with Arts & Business very soon. Please contact for more details.