Crowdfunder.co.uk currently has over £4m of +Extra funding from a range of partners, but what is this additional money all about and how can you access it? We caught up with Natalie, Fund Distribution Manager here at Crowdfunder, to find out the basics that you need to know about +Extra funding. You can also find out more information here.
My role as Fund Distribution Manager means that I’m always keeping an eye out for Crowdfunder projects that we can match up with +Extra funding, which comes from local and national partners all across the country. The best thing about this is being able to see all of the amazing projects receiving the money needed to succeed and have a real impact in their community.
What is +Extra funding?
Extra funding really is what it says on the tin – extra money for your project, on top of what you raise from the crowd. You may previously have heard it referred to as matchfunding, but it all means the same thing… additional money for your project.
The money comes from our collaborative partnerships with a mix of public and private sector organisations, from which we now have over £4m available for projects that are having an impact on their community.
And the best thing? If your project is approved, the money that you receive through extra funding doesn’t need to be paid back!
Can anyone get +Extra funding?
The first thing to note is that in order to apply for any extra funding, you must have begun setting up a Crowdfunder project on the site and filled out enough information on the page for us to pass on to our partners. I’ll talk about this more in my next point.
With all of the funds that we have on offer, there is always a community element. However, as we work with over 30 partners, there is often different criteria specific to each fund available. Some partners look for organisations such as social enterprises and CICs, whereas some of our local authority partners love to support local community groups and not-for-profit organisations. On the next level of criteria, they may also be looking to support specific community focussed projects such as improving wellbeing, sustainability & environment, developing skills & education, or projects that specifically benefit young people or disadvantaged people within a local community.
Therefore, whilst extra funding is available for all types of projects, it wouldn’t be available for those raising money for their own benefit. The key thing with extra funding is that it’s all about making money go further and having an impact on a community-level.
Some of our funds are also location based, whereas others are national, so this is another factor to consider when looking to apply.
Can I apply before my project is live?
You have to have started setting up your project on Crowdfunder.co.uk. This doesn’t mean that it needs to go live, but the more information that you can provide when creating your project page, the easier it is for partners to get a gist of what your project is all about and decide if it fits their criteria.
The application process can take from 1-4 weeks, so I would recommend getting an application in as early as possible to be in with the best chance of accessing extra funding. We try to make sure that our partners’ application forms are easy to fill in, so this should only take a few minutes. It’s also worth reading the specific page for each fund to see the criteria. You can then make sure that your application really addresses those points in particular. You can find these pages here.
For most of our funds, you can apply before your project is live. However, some do require that you are live and funding to show that you already have support from the crowd.
If in doubt, we’re here to help you along with the application process, so feel free to drop us an email via [email protected].
How much +Extra funding should I apply for?
When you apply for extra funding, you don’t actually choose a specific amount to apply for. As each fund can vary slightly, the amount applied for will be automated based on each specific fund. For example, sometimes a partner will be looking to pledge 25% of a crowdfunding target on an approved project, and in other cases it will be 50%. Therefore, when setting the target for your Crowdfunder project, it’s important to keep this in mind. Although the percentage of +Extra funding you can receive varies, the maximum that any partner will pledge is 50% of your total crowdfunding target.
Once your project has been approved, there will also be a trigger point for the pledge to be made and this can vary as well. For example, you may need to hit 25% raised by the crowd before the partner will place their 50% pledge, and you will then continue crowdfunding to raise the last 25%.
Do I have to crowdfund to get +Extra funding?
In one simple word – Yes.
Accessing extra funding through Crowdfunder is slightly different (and often easier!) than the traditional grant giving process, and there is a huge range of benefits that crowdfunding provides to take your project to the next level, such as idea validation and awareness of your project.
As I mentioned previously, you must have a project set up on Crowdfunder.co.uk before you apply through your project’s dashboard, and have filled out as much information as possible about what your idea is all about – although you don’t need to be live (in most cases).