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December-January 2020 | Features

Time to think crowdfunding

Time to think crowdfunding

In a year where fundraising has been more of a challenge than ever before, Garth Arnold speaks about how crowdfunding may be the answer to help fundraising projects.

Whoever thought earlier this year that we would be having our Rotary meetings on a Zoom platform; the COVID-19 pandemic has us looking at different ways of doing things. One that has started to gather momentum is crowdfunding.

One might ask; what is crowdfunding?

It is a method of raising additional funds through the collective effort of friends, family and people associated with your project.

This approach taps into the collective efforts of a large pool of individuals—primarily online via social media and crowdfunding platforms—and leverages their networks for greater reach and exposure.

It is not a new idea; in 1885 the base or pedestal of the Statue of Liberty was in part crowdfunded once the funds ran out. Joseph Pulitzer raised $102,000 in six months from 120,000 donors.

It is just now that technology and providers making available crowdfunding platforms have made it easier to do.

Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland started the crowdfunding journey back in 2017, when we initially had been looking at developing our own platform.

A good analogy, it is like selling tickets online for a coffee morning or film showing. You need to make it attractive and interesting for the reader.

Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland started the crowdfunding journey back in 2017, when we initially had been looking at developing our own platform.

Further research and investigation found this to be too expensive and the probability of us carrying more risk with our own platform.

We decided to research the marketplace and identified five potential providers who could provide a crowdfunding platform.

In August 2017, we signed up with GlobalGiving, a registered charity in the US and UK and it is the largest global crowdfunding community connecting non-profits, donors and companies around the world.

There are of course other Crowdfunding Providers for example GoFundMe, JustGiving and LocalGiving.

 

I see these as more geared towards the individual fund raiser, more personally and family-focused.

GlobalGiving is more structured towards organisations with a project in mind.

Also, with having a large corporate partner base, they have a rigorous due diligence process so they know that the organisations they deal with are creditable and can be trusted with their contributions.

GlobalGiving offers you a digital space to share your project in a compelling way and to invite your donors to give the way they want; whether once or monthly.

With GlobalGiving being a charity, it will claim any relevant Gift Aid and pay you direct the following month.

In August 2017, we signed up with GlobalGiving, a registered charity in the US and UK and it is the largest global crowdfunding community connecting non-profits, donors and companies around the world.”

The GlobalGiving platform has facilitated over 20 projects from Great Britain & Ireland Rotary clubs and one Fellowship (the International Fellowship of Rotarian Doctors), raising in excess now of over £100,000.

We currently have a number of projects that are still live on our GlobalGiving landing page: globalgiving.org/rotary.

GlobalGiving’s process is slightly different to other providers in that your initial entry point is through one of their quarterly Accelerator Programmes which take place in September, December, March and June.

They are structured and can last for between two to three weeks. Clubs with their projects can graduate and become a full GlobalGiving Partner if they raise approximately £4,000 ($5,000) from at least 40 donors.

The GlobalGiving platform has facilitated over 20 projects from Great Britain & Ireland Rotary clubs and one Fellowship (the International Fellowship of Rotarian Doctors), raising in excess now of over £100,000.”

GlobalGiving sees this ‘goal-setting’ as an incentive to kick-start the project’s fund-raising and pushes you to raise more money online with further structure initiatives e.g. bonus days.

We have had 24 projects posted through the GlobalGiving platform – with various degrees of success. It is important to remember you need to work at it and we recommend you attend the live online training. Is your club thinking about how it could raise funds from other activities that previously might have come from functions and outdoor events?

Maybe Crowdfunding is your answer.

Remember you need a good project; something that the crowd can relate too.

You need a passion to help the charity or cause you wish to receive money for.

Also, key is a team to help you. Remember do not expect to launch a project and money just roll in – you need to work at it!

For more information contact: Garth Arnold, Danny Lovey, or Steve Gale.

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