Arts and heritage sector explores potential of matched crowdfunding

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London, 1 September 2016 – Individuals and organisations with ideas for new projects in the arts and heritage sectors are encouraged to register their interest in an innovative new crowdfunding programme set to launch on 14 September 2016.

The initiative will see a series of specially selected crowdfunded projects be given up to £10,000 – or 25% of their total target amount received in donations – in matched funding.

According to Nesta research, crowdfunding has grown exponentially in the UK in recent years, with the market now worth nearly £400 million a year. Matched crowdfunding is increasingly popular: a proportion of money pledged by the crowd is then matched by an organisation, but until now there has been little research into the relative advantages and disadvantages of this method of fundraising.

This pilot scheme, outlined in the government’s Culture White Paper, is the result of a partnership between UK innovation foundation Nesta, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Arts Council England (ACE) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Crowdfunder, the UK crowdfunding platform, will be launching dedicated arts and heritage campaigns as a part of the programme. The platform will also manage the distribution of the partner funds into eligible projects.

The campaigns break down into two key sectors:

  • One will be backed by £125,000 from ACE and will award match funding to eligible individuals looking to launch arts projects in England who are able to raise the other 75% of their target funding amount.
  • The other will be backed by £125,000 from HLF and will provide funding to selected organisations planning projects in the heritage sector in Scotland, North-West and South West England who are able to raise the other 75% of their target funding amount.

Not only will the initiative benefit a variety of projects, but it will also test the effectiveness of matched crowdfunding as an innovative way of funding arts and heritage projects.

Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock said: “UK arts and heritage are admired around the world. Continued public funding and private investment has a vital role to play in ensuring these sectors continue to thrive.

“I’m delighted that this innovative crowdfunding pilot will explore exciting new ways to support private investment and develop sustainable fundraising models across the country.”

Phil Geraghty, MD of Crowdfunder said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Nesta, Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England on distributing a total of £250,000 to arts and heritage crowdfunding projects across the UK.
“We are seeing huge growth in crowdfunding for arts and heritage projects having already raised in excess of £5m on Crowdfunder. This is a great opportunity for cultural projects to unlock extra funding with the support and validation of the crowd.”

Organisations or individuals with proposals for projects to be submitted to one of the funding streams should submit their ideas at http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/artsandheritage.

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