We’re proud to have one of the best crowdfunding coaching teams in the business and we are really excited to see that Bertie Herrtage, Senior Coach here at Crowdfunder, is planning his own project for the very first time. He’s on a journey around the UK to explore mental health and to meet with 10 inspiring projects who through crowdfunding, have sought to address this growing problem in our society.

In 2017, Knoydart Community Hall raised £29,115 from 354 supporters on Crowdfunder.co.uk.

Video by Frederick J P Shelbourne

My name is Bertie Herrtage, I’m a coach here at Crowdfunder UK and I’m on an adventure. Since August I have been travelling across the UK, from Cornwall to Scotland, meeting with and interviewing 10 of my favourite projects. These 10 wonderful stories will form the basis of a publication which I myself am putting together, with the aim of shining a light on all of the good things that are happening and the incredible people behind them.

Over the next 4 weeks I’m running a crowdfunding campaign to raise the finance for the magazine, each week I’ll release two blogs and two films to share the journey with you.

It started off as a bit of a fantasy. I was sitting in my office and on the website, I saw a community in a very remote part of Scotland, a population of 120 people, who were crowdfunding the £30,000 they needed to develop their community hall.

The shots of this place, 7 nautical miles from the coastline and based on a peninsula only accessible by boat, were incredible. If you have an appreciation of the outdoors and any sort of recurring wanderlust, then this was where you wanted to be. Tall trees, towering hill tops, deep lochs and the imagined bliss of the whistling wind and open spaces, devoid of tarmac and modern blemishes.

Knoydart Community Hall - Crowdfunder
Photography by Jasper Fry Photography

Successful crowdfunding is in the name, you must have a crowd to put together a good campaign. This means that having access to the relevant people via the appropriate networks and databases is important. For a business, this usually comes in the form of a mailing list and for a community group, a Facebook page and newsletter.

The Knoydart Community Hall had these last two databases in spades and upon considering the matter I discovered that they were well known in the local area, throughout Scotland and among tourists as a destination spot for good music and other cultural activities. Despite their population of 120, they had a much wider crowd of people who frequented the hall or who had fond memories of visiting and were ready to show their appreciation.

Knoydart Community Hall – Crowdfunder

I had arranged to meet with Jackie Robertson and Davie Newton who spearheaded the crowdfunding campaign because I was interested to find out more about how they did it and admittedly I was also keen for an adventure.

Knoydart Community Hall - Crowdfunder
Photography by Jasper Fry Photography

My cousin and I, Freddie the filmmaker, arrived in the small village of Inverie after a 45 minute ferry ride from Mallaig Harbour on west coast of Scotland. We were met at the dock and were immediately welcomed with open arms and made to feel at home. Our first taste of Knoydart’s hospitality was dinner at Davie and his wife Lorna’s house and after an evening of getting to know one another we ambled back in the dark, the remaining mile or so to The Knoydart Foundation Bunkhouse where we were staying.

Knoydart Community Hall - Crowdfunder

The next day we had an afternoon touring the village and meeting with some of the team who were behind the crowdfunding campaign. That was the first thing that they did very well, crowdfunding by yourself is a lot of work and Jackie and Davie managed to assemble a core team responsible for its delivery. This team can handle the intricacies and management of the campaign but everyone else in the community can share in its promotion and therefore become personally involved in its success.

If you are a small enterprise or group then you’ll need to borrow networks where you can. What interested me about this campaign was their use of local tourist-based businesses who had access to a wider and more diverse audiences to amplify their reach.

Knoydart Community Hall - Crowdfunder
Photography by Jasper Fry Photography

A community hall is something special, especially because its open to everyone and for everyone. This isn’t just the bingo hall, this is the party, the film, the yoga, the everything. A central place which has a use for everyone.

A common complaint of modern society is the degradation of community values and a primary cause of this is the reduction in opportunities for people to meet and spend time together. Crowdfunding to improve your community hall is therefore an excellent way in which to engage all sections of society and shape its use around them.


Feeling inspired? Start crowdfunding to make your idea a reality.