Crowdfunder to scale online fundraising to every school in the UK through acquisition of Rocketfund.

Against a backdrop of school funding shortfalls and the cancellation of most traditional school fundraising activities this year due to social distancing restrictions caused by COVID-19, the platform provides a quicker and easier way to raise money from individuals and businesses beyond schools’ immediate network.

Crowdfunder aims to scale Rocketfund and transform traditional means of school fundraising by providing coaching, rewards-based giving and the opportunity to apply for match funding through private sector partnerships.

Rocketfund founder Ben Gill has joined Crowdfunder from Nesta to lead the project.

Crowdfunder is the UK’s #1 rewards-based crowdfunding platform where over £100m has been raised for community causes and projects that aim to tackle society’s challenges.

Crowdfunder, the UK’s #1 rewards-based crowdfunding platform has announced their acquisition of Rocketfund, the UK’s #1 crowdfunding platform for schools. The platform was acquired by Crowdfunder back in March and then Covid-19 hit and schools were closed meaning their plans were put on hold. Now that schools have reopened Crowdfunder and Rocketfund are planning on working with schools who now need more support than ever due to the pandemic.

The platform will retain its own brand and website, while schools will gain access to a whole host of Crowdfunder benefits including coaching, rewards-based giving and the opportunity to apply for match funding from a pot of £1 million provided by partners such as Aviva and M&S Energy. 

Since Rocketfund’s inception, schools have launched 500 crowdfunding projects raising £400,000 and benefitting 125,000 students. Crowdfunder will scale the platform to enable access for every school in the UK.  

Rocketfund was created and incubated at Nesta. Ben Gill, Rocketfund’s Founder has joined Crowdfunder to lead its expansion. Alex Hook, Director of Nesta’s technology ventures, is already on the Crowdfunder Board. 

Rob Love, Founder and CEO Crowdfunder, said:

“School fundraising has always existed. Shifting these efforts online is turbocharging the amount schools can raise, the number of people they can reach for support and reducing the time and effort required. Crowdfunder will harness this and level the educational playing field – helping schools in less-privileged areas to connect with the wealth so enjoyed by schools in more affluent areas.”

On average private schools raise £667,000 per year, while their state school counterparts lag behind: the most engaged state school PTA’s raise an average £9,000 a year. This year many traditional school fundraising activities (such as bake sales, quizzes, Christmas fairs and Christmas plays) have been cancelled due to social distancing restrictions. However, Rocketfund is aiming to help schools run these online and raise much needed funds to help them get through the pandemic. Rocketfund have waived their commission fees to schools and PTAs to help as much as they can through the pandemic.

Future First’s research found that state schools miss out on £100m untapped cash from their alumni every year. Using crowdfunding to reach alumni members could double the amount raised by PTAs at the moment. 

Ben Gill, who has joined Crowdfunder to lead on the integration of Rocketfund’s work said:

“We want to take Rocketfund to every school in the UK and help them to raise more money, more easily. From VR headsets to outdoor nature projects, it’s incredible to see the things that schools are already fundraising for. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do next, when we encourage them to dream bigger with the extra support and extra funding available from Crowdfunder.”

This acquisition marks another milestone in Crowdfunder’s growth plans as the platform expands to transform the way people raise money in the UK. Crowdfunder also recently launched in Canada and made charity fundraising 100% free – setting it apart from giving giants GoFundMe and JustGiving.