One glance at the news is evidence enough that 2019’s General Election has taken over the UK. It is simply inescapable. However, the act of crowdfunding is changing politics for the better. It’s propelling more people into the heart of political discourse, enabling them to get their voice heard above the roaring political noise. With a Crowd of supporters behind you, there’s no limit to what you can do.
This new and innovative way of fundraising has become an essential tool for a number of political parties. In fact, the Green Party of England and Wales have utilised this method of fundraising more than anyone else.
This election period, the Green Party and 170 of its members have taken to Crowdfunder to ensure that more Greens are elected in Parliament than ever before.
We caught up with the Green Party’s Head of Fundraising, Heather Thomas, to find out more about how they’re using Crowdfunder to connect with supporters across the UK.
Heather told us, “Not everyone who supports a political party are members of that political party. That means they might want to talk to us and we might want to talk to them so we just need an introduction! When an election comes, many people who are not normally engaged in politics want to get involved and support the party and candidates who share their values and vision for the future. Crowdfunder helps us to connect.”
She continued, “Crowdfunding is much more than raising money. It is building a community of people who believe this election is, indeed, the Climate Election and Crowdfunder’s platform lets people feel the strength of numbers. People who believe the only vote that really matters is a Green vote are not alone.”
With £211,895 raised so far from 4769 supporters on the Green Party’s main crowdfunding campaign alone, it shows that the Green Party have truly become—in their words—a people-powered political party.
“When people log on to a Crowdfunder and see that hundreds of other people in their local community are supporting a Green candidate, it builds confidence in that Green candidate.”
These change-making tremors that crowdfunding creates are not just being felt by the supporters. The Green Party and its members have adapted the way they campaign to fit this new and modern way of fundraising.
Heather explained, “Crowdfunding has encouraged us to re-think how we weave digital and in-person experiences together to build stronger relationships with our supporters.”
Though, it’s not just political projects which are finding their place on Crowdfunder. Social enterprises, charities, and business owners are all turning to the crowd as a way of fundraising for the changes they want to make in their communities and beyond.
Since 2018, Beach Guardian—a Community Interest Company in Cornwall—have run a total of four crowdfunding campaigns with an aim to fund their community beach cleans and environmental workshops.
By using the power of the crowd, the Bronte Parsonage Museum were able to purchase a rare ‘little book’ at auction which was produced by Charlotte Bronte when she was just 14 years old.
Organic Blooms turned to the crowd in 2018 to enable them to grow their social enterprise. Their initiative trains those who have struggled to find work due to a learning disability, austisic spectrum disorder, or a mental health condition by using flower growing, gardening, and floristry to improve their well-being and skills.
Heather went on to say, “Crowdfunder is a wonderful source for good. Don’t we all want more opportunities to have an impact on our world, live our values, feel a sense of purpose and simply to spread kindness and abundance? Doing good feels good. Doing good and connecting with a community of like-minded people feels even better. I think Crowdfunder enables creators and funders alike to feel inspired and make change happen.”
“There is no one size fits all solution to the world’s problems. Changemakers in local communities need to be able to find one another, learn from one another and hatch plans that make a difference in their corner of the world. Crowdfunder can help people to do all of those things.”
Final thoughts from the Green Party
With such a successful history of crowdfunding on our platform, Heather left us with her top tips for anyone—political or not—who is thinking about running their own crowdfunding campaign.
“Don’t just think about crowdfunding as a means to raise money. Sure we all need money to run a political campaign, but money is just one way that people can get involved in the politics of change. What crowdfunding is really doing is gathering a group of people who want change to happen, now. In the case of this election, people want The Green Party to deliver a Green New Deal and a net zero carbon Britain that is fairer for everyone. Make sure that you are giving donors information about how you plan on delivering what you say you will throughout the campaign. Better yet, try to engage them in conversations and as you build a relationship with your funders, encourage them to ask their peers to join your cause.”