Introduction to crowdfunding

Community finance is becoming an increasingly popular way of raising finance for community led housing projects.

Crowdfunding is pretty self-explanatory: it's raising money from a large group of people. And it's becoming a really popular way for community groups to raise smallish sums of money.

Communities dipping into their pockets to help a project succeed proves that the project is credible and has the backing of local people.

National CLT Network

Crowdfunding is the opposite to traditional finance. Instead of asking the bank for one large sum of money, you're asking large numbers of people for small sums of money. It's about family, friends, neighbours and acquaintances, basically, it's about anyone and everyone. And it's a perfect way to help raise awareness of a community led housing project and create a sense of collective ownership. 

Tell your story

Crowdfunding is about stories. Specifically your project's story. Tell it how it is, pull on heartstrings and most importantly tell it in a way that resonates with local people. 

Further cementing the modern nature of crowdfunding is the way in which the internet can be used not only to collect the money but to promote it. Through digital media such as social media, blogs, videos and websites your project can reach thousands of people. 

Donation and reward-based crowdfunding

There are a few different types of crowdfunding methods, but the most common route for community led housing groups is donation and rewards-based crowdfunding.

Donation and rewards-based crowdfunding are where people invest simply because they believe in the cause. Campaigns can be set up where your organisation asks for donations of any size and nothing is provided in return (except maybe a thank you email!) or where you offer rewards in return for a donation. The reward could be anything: a t-shirt, a meal at a local restaurant, or VIP access to the scheme's official opening - anything that motivates people to donate.

Which platform?

There are more than 65 community finance platforms to choose from... But to make it a little easier for you, here are the platforms that community led housing groups have run campaigns with to date: