Crowdfunding for the long term
30 September 2020 at 6:50 pm
Recurring Crowdfunding aims to help community organisations and social enterprises build a reliable supporter base over time.
A new approach to crowdfunding hopes to unlock support for grassroots organisations over the long term.
Unlike the all-or-nothing campaigns designed to achieve an immediate fundraising goal, Recurring Crowdfunding, which launched on the StartSomeGood platform in September, will be ongoing, allowing organisations to build a reliable supporter base over time.
The aim is to allow community groups to build dedicated ongoing donor communities, social enterprises to offer subscription products, and creative producers and community organisers to be supported longer-term.
Tom Dawkins, StartSomeGood co-founder and CEO, told Pro Bono News the platform wanted to support social entrepreneurs in the journey of creating change, rather than just at the moment of creating change.
He said while the idea had been in the pipeline for years, the disruptions of 2020 had brought it to a head with people less focused on launching new things and more concerned with how to sustain, save, pivot and progress what they already have.
“We launched almost 10 years ago as a crowdfunding platform dedicated to helping people launch initiatives that make a positive social and environmental impact, with a particular focus on how we launch new things,” he said.
“There was an endemic lack of capital for the early stages of social startups. Crowdfunding is playing a role in alleviating that gap.
“What we’ve seen outside of that is that… once you’ve launched, what you then need to survive and to thrive is a dedicated core group of supporters, and that’s true whether its philanthropic supporters on the not for profit side, or dedicated customers on the more social enterprise side.”
The platform is hoping to fill a gap for both start ups and social enterprises as well as for more established charity organisations that may have limited staff and resources, and have seen the way they normally fundraise “go out the door” with COVID.
Dawkins said for many, crowdfunding had always served as a “digital pop up shop” where they can very easily get what they need. He hopes Recurring Crowdfunding will provide the same, but with an ongoing focus.
“I’m hoping it adds to the overall resilience and sustainability of so many of the grassroots initiatives in the community, or the emerging initiatives,” he said.
The upgrade has been welcomed by many in the social sector, with a number of projects already making use of the new capability.
Usman Iftikhar, founder and CEO of Catalysr, said it could be a gamechanger for grassroots social enterprises.
“We have always wanted to diversify our revenue streams and give an opportunity to our broader community to offer on-going financial support, but never had the capacity or resources to develop a digital fundraising arm,” Iftikhar said.
“Recurring Crowdfunding by StartSomeGood is a game changer for us and many grassroots social enterprises like us to develop a deeper relationship with our supporters and diversify our funding sources, especially in the post-COVID economy.”