Crowdfunding Development – raising money and awareness

Crowdfunding development awareness?

I have worked for 20 years in development education – raising awareness of development issues in schools and communities across NW England. Funding this activity has always been difficult but in the current climate it is almost impossible. Development education should look to crowdfunding to fund or co-fund projects building support and raising awareness of the issues at the same time.

Kiva is the most successful of the microfinance sites which use crowdfunding to provide loans, via microfinance institutions, for the poorest people in developing countries. Once the funds are repaid the original lender can lend to another cause, donate the funds, or withdraw them.

It is different to crowdfunding as the people do not post their own projects – these come from the microfinance institution via Kiva.

The impressive statistics from Kiva show a large number of people are keen to use their money for development in this way. Total loans made to date is $284,995,000, with 1,091,195 Kiva users from 217 countries who have given loans to 729,182 people from the global South.

There are an increasing number of crowdfunding platforms across the world. This infographic shows the spread. Some only take on projects with social impact such as Buzzbnk (UK), PeopleFund.It (UK) and StartSome Good (US).

Notable successes are Solar Water Disinfection on the Irish Site The target was €22,000 to provide a borehole and reinstall the solar disinfection. By the end of their campaign they had raisesd $24,365 from 199 funders. Not just donations but micro loans can be obtained via Buzzbnk. Funding an indigenous community grow 30 hectares of trees in Bolivia the target was £45K and they raised £49,920 with repayment of the loans at 5% interest. 73 backers including 3 invested £5K

But these loans are directly funding community development and poverty not development awareness

What about development awareness?

Global Perspectives a Canadian campaign raised $620 on IndieGoGo to send young people, who have had a year-long development education programme, to live in a community in Nigeria.

I have yet to see a European development awareness organisation run a campaign there are plenty of projects that deal with education, equality and diversity, community development and sustainability issues.

Some successful examples

Film: Voices of the Transition a film project exploring solutions for a sustainable future raised £2,220 of £2000 goal with 55 backers.

Drama: Found: free theatre and dance workshops for women of all ages raised £1090

Fashion: Sara’s Sustainable fashion Project raised her target of £500.

Food: Grow for the Community raised £2005 for a children’s project.

Science and research: Oxford Biochar raised £8,000.

Transport: the Bicycle Academy raised £40,000!

What could we use crowdfunding for? To co-finance a project; publish educational resources; develop and run a community programme; run an arts festival; produce and app or a film.

Everything in other words!

So what are we awaiting for – permission?

It’s granted!


Join me on an introduction to crowdfunding workshop

Crewe 3 July  10.00 – 15.30

Workshop in partnership with CVS Cheshire East

Venue:The Exercise Studio, Belong, Brookhouse Drive, Crewe

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