Crowdfunder well and truly stamped its mark on 2019, proving once again the power of the crowd in an increasingly divided society.

It gave people a voice when many felt ignored. It enabled communities across the land to come together and make a real impact at a local level. And it boosted thousands of great causes across the country, making a difference to the lives of the people who needed it the most. You raised more than £13 million for great causes, and these are just a few of our highlights from a year to remember.

Led By Donkeys

Led By Donkeys started out as a very British response to Brexit, the biggest issue of the day. It quickly became the biggest people-funded political movement in UK history. 

The originally anonymous quartet came up with the idea over a pint and sent social media into a spin, growing a global editorial reach of more than two billion people. 

They created one of the most talked about campaigns in recent times thanks to more than 35,000 supporters who raised over £1 million this year on Crowdfunder. 

It enabled a cutting campaign comprising 400 billboards across Europe, a ‘March to Leave’, three spoof websites and projections in Westminster, Brussels, and on the white cliffs of Dover, Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace. 

It also provided the defining image at the People’s March rally in London, attended by a million people. 

On the 31st October 2019, they even released their very own book. 

Put together it continues to shine a light on the hypocrisy of the UK’s political leadership to ‘make asses out of Westminster’ (Evening Standard, March 2019). And there’s no end in sight.

Ready to get your voice heard? If you tell us your idea before 12pm on Tuesday 7 January, you could win £2020 towards your idea.

Nathan’s New Wheels

Nathan Mattick is Britain’s first wheelchair-using referee, qualifying through The FA. But there was a problem. His knackered electric wheelchair was on its last legs. A loyal fan and volunteer at Cheltenham Town Football Club, he turned to their supporters with a plea to help him fund his new wheels so he could pursue his passion for football. And they didn’t let him down. 

They quickly raised almost £6,800 of the target, set at £8,900. The effort caught the eye of the Gloucestershire FA, who pledged the final £2,180 to complete the campaign, allowing Nathan to order his new chair. 

Fans of the Gloucestershire club are no strangers to the power of Crowdfunder, producing five campaigns in total to raise over £85,000 for a variety of community and personal causes proving yet again that the game is nothing without its supporters.

Planning to crowdfund in 2020? Tell us your idea and you could win £2020 towards your target!

StrongMen

Surrounded by stigma, male mental health is often kept under wraps with phrases such as “man up” and “grow a pair” floating around each conversation. Though, thankfully, times are changing. Men are being encouraged to speak out about their problems and seek help for emotional turmoil.

One such charity breaking the stigma is StrongMen. Run by Efrem Brynin, Dan Cross, Ollie Ollerton, and Alexandra Wells, StrongMen funds weekend breaks for men who are suffering from bereavement, giving them a chance to unwind and come to terms with their mental health. 

In 2019, the StrongMen team and four fundraisers raised £9,056 from 322 supporters. In July of this year, the team behind Channel Four’s SAS: Who Dares Wins took part in an expedition to the summit of Mont Blanc to raise money for this worthy cause. 

So, if men can summit Mont Blanc for male mental health then you can make 2020 yours! Tell us your big impact idea and your crowdfunding campaign could launch with £2020 from us…

UK Student Climate Network: Youth Strike 4 Climate

It’s no secret that Greta Thunberg has inspired a global movement which has seen thousands of young people take to the streets to protest against climate change. 

Founded by students Anna Taylor and Ivi Hohmann after they engaged in a collaborative effort with the early organisers of Youth Strike 4 Climate, the UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN) aims to empower the younger generation to take action against the climate crisis. In February 2019, over 15,000 students walked out of lessons in a show of passion and anger. 

This was only the beginning.

On March 15th 2019, over 50,000 students joined the Global Strike for Future, calling once again for change and showing that young people are “no longer accepting of being pushed out of the most relevant dialogue of our generation.

Hoping to embolden the youth movement, UKSCN took to Crowdfunder with an aim to raise the funds that would ensure young organisers across the country could access the tools needed to amplify their voices. 

After 43 days, £36,401 was raised from 622 members of the crowd. 

Looking to make an impact in 2020? Enter our competition to win £2020 towards your very own crowdfunding campaign!

Greta Thunberg’s Book of Speeches to 100 Schools

In August 2019, fifteen year old Greta Thunberg decided not to go to school one day. Her actions have since inspired a global movement which has seen thousands of school children leave their lessons and take to the streets in protest of climate change, forcing the government to take note of the climate crisis. 

A book of her most thought-provoking and poignant speeches about global warming and climate change was released in May 2019. 

It was titled Nobody is Too Small to Make a Difference. 

Just a few months later, English novelist and nature writer, Melissa Harrison, tweeted, “Just seen a very little girl go to the counter of a bookshop all by herself and ask for the Greta Thunberg book and they had it and she was allowed to buy it. And this is a wonderful and hopeful small thing.”

This, in turn, inspired the Big Green Bookshop to crowdfund to get 10 copies of Greta’s book into 100 different UK schools in a bid to empower and inspire the younger generation. 

They aimed to raise £3,000…

Within a few days, the Crowdfunder had surpassed its target with teachers and parents nominating their own schools to receive the books. 

Then something amazing happened. Penguin Books, the publisher of Greta’s book, promised that they would donate an equal number of books to schools across the UK, matching what was raised through the crowdfunding appeal.

Over £13,000 was raised from 642 supporters meaning that copies of the book made it into 800 UK schools, truly showing that no one is too small to make a difference. 

Thinking about crowdfunding for you own idea in 2020? Simply tell us your idea in 100 words and you could win a £2020 pledge from us to help make it happen!

Street Cramps

In 2017, Bimini Love—a 17 year old girl from Cornwall—took a stand against period poverty. She noticed an increasing number of homeless women in Cornwall and realised they wouldn’t have access to supplies for their basic sanitary needs. This led to her founding Street Cramps—an initiative to provide homeless women with products, clean underwear, and even heat pads.

She raised £7,000 on Crowdfunder, meaning that she could supply the whole of Cornwall…for a whole year. 

Earlier this year, Bimini planned to send MPs a message about period poverty they couldn’t ignore by floating a 60ft tampon down the Thames. Two days after this campaign was launched, the government announced funding to end period poverty in English schools.

Bimini has also received a Points of Light award from the former Prime Minister, Theresa May, for her crowdfunded work on Street Cramps! 

Ready to make an impact? Tell us your idea to be in with a chance of winning £2020 towards your very own crowdfunding campaign! 

Nancy Astor Statue

The UK’s first female MP, Nancy Astor, took her seat in the Houses of Parliament just over 100 years ago in Plymouth. She served the city for 26 years, pioneering a world-wide change in terms of equality, democracy, and female empowerment.

In November 2018, Plymouth Women in Business Networking—a Community Interest Company—had an idea. By building a statue of Nancy Astor which would sit outside of her family terrace on Plymouth’s Hoe, they would ensure that Nancy’s legacy was recognised for generations to come.

Over £140,000 was raised from 778 members of the crowd, including £20,000 from Plymouth City Council as part of their initiative to improve the city and make it a great place to live, work and play.

Then, exactly 100 years since Nancy Astor was elected, former Prime Minister, Theresa May, unveiled the finished statue to a crowd of supporters, with the BBC, the Independent, and the Guardian commenting on the historic moment.

It all began with an idea and turned into an inspiring focal point for women of the future.

Ready to make an impact? Tell us your idea to be in with a chance of winning £2020 towards your very own crowdfunding campaign!

Save The Social

Grassroots music venues are important cultural hubs within communities across the UK but they’re struggling. They are becoming increasingly undervalued, underfunded and ignored and, as a result, more than 35% have disappeared since 2007. 

The Social is one of London’s most iconic venues but it was the latest in the long line of independent businesses to face the threat of closure back in January. 

Names such as Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers and Adele – among countless others – credit the London venue as the launchpad to their hugely successful careers. 

But a little under a year ago, the team behind The Social desperately needed £95,000 to prevent the sale of their building. Their supporters rallied around them, hitting the crowdfunding target inside a week which would secure the future of the bar for many years to come. 

The Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim made time in their busy international schedules to shoehorn intimate Crowdfunder shows to help the owners overfund to the tune of almost £150,000. 

Sadly, it’s not a unique story but, behind the rate increases and rent rises, are important cultural hubs that hold a special place in the hearts of the people. 

The ‘Save The Social’ campaign truly showed the power of the crowd, preserving one of the UK’s most significant venues as it reached the milestone of its twentieth birthday.

Looking to make an impact in 2020? Enter our competition to win £2020 towards your very own crowdfunding campaign!

Lindisfarne Festival

It’s no secret that extraordinary things can happen when a community bands together.

Due to funding cuts, Lindisfarne Festival was once again under threat. You see, it had been saved in 2018 through vital action from the crowd but 2019 had, once again, proved too tough on the festival circuit. 

On a mission to keep the festival from disappearing from the annual events calendar, the festival team set up a second crowdfunding campaign. They utilised rewards and sold merchandise, festival tickets, and VIP festival experiences as rewards. 

In just 30 days, the rallying community of 353 supporters showed their love of Northumberland’s spectacular event and raised £85,781, saving the festival once again and reiterating that Lindisfarne Festival is a festival for the community from the community!

On a post on their Facebook page, the team said, “OMG!!!!! You’ve only gone and smashed it!!!!!!!! 🙏🏼 🙏🏼 We’ve done it!! We’ve actually done it 🥰🥰 THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.”

Feeling inspired and looking to crowdfund for your great idea in 2020? Tell us your idea and you could win £2020 towards your campaign.

The Wave

Sometimes great things come with time. 

In 2014, Nick Hounsfield and Craig Stoddart set off down a path that would take them five years into the future. They crowdfunded to help bring the world’s first inland surfing venue that used Wavegarden Cove technology to the Northern Hemisphere. 

After just 28 days, 937 supporters raised £219,473.

Five years later, The Wave opened to a flurry of excitement, proving that an idea, a group of supporters, courage and bucketloads of perseverance can make great things happen.

A group of us here at Crowdfunder even got to test it out for ourselves. 

Have you entered our 2020Crowd competition yet? There’s £5,040 in prizes on offer. To enter, tell us your idea!

Our Future Our Choice

It’s safe to say that Brexit has taken over the UK. It is simply inescapable.

Set up in 2018 by law graduate Femi Oluwole, Our future Our Choice is made up of a group of young people who are ready to fight for what they believe in and reclaim the future as theirs. They’re campaigning for a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal. 

Over 5 crowdfunding campaigns, their crowd of 3526 supporters have raised £110,865 and counting…

What are you and your crowd going to achieve in 2020? Tell us and you might just win £2020 towards your idea.

Trump Baby

The controversial and instantly recognisable Trump blimp hit the front page of every newspaper around the world and touched a nerve in the Whitehouse. It was further proof that when a great idea is backed to the hilt it can go global and even reach the smartphones of our world leaders. 

“It symbolises a key moment in London’s history of protest. It’s living history, about expressing how different people feel and bringing that to life,” said Vyki Sparkes, curator at the Museum of London.

The team behind the blimp raised £35,468 raised from 2477 supporters back in 2018. Then, earlier this year, they decided to bring the baby back. They made a deal with the public. If they supported groups and charities who are fighting against Trump’s politics then the blimp would bless the skies one again.

In the end, they raised £38,084 from 1520 supporters!

Are you looking to crowdfund for your bright idea in 2020? Tell us your idea and you could win a £2020 boost from us!

 

The Tide Climbing Centre

Earlier this year, Crowdfunder employee Sophie Reynard crowdfunded to help bring an indoor climbing centre to Cornwall. With a focus on accessibility, the team at the Tide Climbing Centre needed a final £15,000 to finish their build which included 7.5 metre roped walls to enable climbers of all talents to enjoy the space.

In 61 days, £25,130 was raised from 240 members of the community. This also included a match-funding grant of £5,000 from NatWest as part of the Back Her Business programme which aims to close the gender gap in business through a combination of expert crowdfunding coaching, events, and grants.

One supporter wrote, “Really excited about your project – we definitely need a good indoor climbing facility locally and your environmentally-friendly approach makes it even more appealing. Looking forward to updates as the opening date approaches.”

Inspired? Enter our #2020Crowd competition for your chance to win £2020 towards your own crowdfunding campaign!

MasterPeace Studios

It’s no secret that the hustle and bustle of modern life can be draining. With a busy schedule, self-care can be dropped to the bottom of your list. 

Though, in recent research by BBC Arts, even the smallest amount of creativity can have a massive and positive impact on wellbeing. Understanding this, Zena El Farra and Georgie Mason—two creatives with a passion for mental health—crowdfunded to create a unique art experience for adults in London which would help the people of London realise the benefits of mindful painting and creative expression.

A community of 184 supporters raised £16,179 in just 22 days. 

On their crowdfunding page, the MasterPeace team updated their supporters, saying, “Thinking back to the moment we switched the campaign on and stared at the screen wondering if anyone would pledge, we would have never, ever thought that in 3 short weeks we’d have raised over £16,000.”

They also took part in the NatWest Back Her Business programme which aims to close the gender gap in business through a combination of crowdfunding coaching, networking opportunities and match-funding grants of up to £5,000.

Inspired by Zena and Georgie? Enter our competition and you could win £2020 towards your very own crowdfunding campaign!

The Guitar Social

One of our most inspiring stories of 2019 came about in the summer.

The Guitar Social uses the power of music to bring together isolated and vulnerable communities in north London, uniting people through the humble guitar. The organisation is the brainchild of talented musician Thomas Binns who had the idea to host the longest guitar lesson the world had ever seen to drive awareness for his work, raising vital funding to secure its immediate future in the process.

Backed by The Cure, Stevie Wonder and Ed Sheeran, he targeted £24,000 – £1,000 for every hour of the Guinness World Record attempt – to purchase 200 guitars and quickly achieved everything he set out to do. 

The attempt also caught the eye of  Trust For London, who dropped £10,000 of their own to support their community work. The project really does epitomise what Crowdfunder is all about and that’s why we invited them to soundtrack our review of the year, recording their own version of David Bowie’s Heroes.

Are you looking to crowdfund for your bright idea in 2020? Tell us your idea and you could win a £2020 boost from us!