Crowdfunding is about to land in Crawley giving local people a platform to raise funds for community projects and make a difference to their town.
Crawley Borough Council has teamed up with Spacehive for a modern take on this well-established practice by providing a dedicated online home for Crawley community projects looking to raise funds.
It’s often a misconception that crowdfunding is a new idea; in fact the Statue of Liberty is an early example of this approach.
Back in 1885 thousands of New Yorkers clubbed together to fund the plinth which the statue would stand on for centuries.
Crawley’s Spacehive platform will enable organisations to raise awareness and support for their project, also giving them the opportunity to unlock grants and other funds.
Organisations such as the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and West Sussex County Council are also using the site to distribute their funding programmes.
This means project organisers will be pointed in the direction of potential additional funding which could help boost their coffers.
The money is collected by Crawley Borough Council through charges against new development to create the Neighbourhood Improvement Fund.
Community organisations with crowdfund project ideas can access the Neighbourhood Improvement Fund and be considered for a pledge, provided their idea benefits the residents of Crawley by improving the local environment, community services or facilities which are sometimes affected by development. The council may pledge up to 50 per cent of the total project target, capped at £5,000.
Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, said: “Crowdfunding is a great way of using developers’ money to benefit local communities because the funding is spent on projects that the community wants.
“I’m delighted that Crawley Borough Council is leading on this initiative and giving communities a platform to raise awareness and financial support for their project.”
There is a five per cent charge to all successful projects who have used the Spacehive site.
This is an administration cost which includes an external company, locality, to help check that projects have included the necessary information to give people the peace of mind when making a pledge. Organisers are reminded to raise extra to cover the charge.
Projects which fail to reach their target will not be charged.
The Crowdfund Crawley movement site will be available towards the end of May, with the official launch on Wednesday June 20.