benmetz.org

May 19, 2009

crowd funding for transition

Filed under: projects — benmetz @ 11:29 pm

crowdfunding for transition
In my role at Ashoka we are just starting to work with Rob Hopkins (Rob was elected an Ashoka Fellow this year) to carry out some research surrounding creative ways of financing Transition Initiatives.  The Ashoka team (myself and Catriona Maclay, please see below for contact details) are interested in hearing from Transition groups who are currently in need of finance for upcoming projects. We want to work closely with a small group of projects to support you through the process of securing funds sourced from the across the Transition Movement rather than traditional grant funders or commercial investment.  This is often called Crowdfunding and below I’ve included a few words of explanation and links to explain more.

Projects we want to hear about can range from getting cash together to send people from your recently-formed group on Transition Training, to multi-million pound land developments, and everything in between.

If your Transition Group has a financial need for an activity which:

  • Has already been planned
  • You know the cost of
  • Has clear benefits

……..then we want to hear from you!

Get in touch with us by commenting on this blog post or emailing infouk@ashoka.org.  We’ll also be at the Transition Conference this weekend (22nd – 24th May) at the Battersea Arts Centre so come and find us there.

And now a few words and links on Crowdfunding
Traditional forms of financing enterprise are incentivised through potential for financial return to investors.  A range of factors including the recent upsurge of interest in social enterprise and ‘more than profit’ business models and the near collapse of the capital markets are stimulating alternatives to for-profit share issues and private placements as methods of capitalising enterprise.  As a response new methods of financing and opportunities to refocus business towards the delivery of social and environmental value are emerging.
Some of these new opportunities are emerging in a field that can broadly be labelled Crowdfunding.  Crowdfunding, “inspired by Crowdsourcing , describes the collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money together, usually via the Internet, in order to support efforts initiated by other people or organisations” (quote from the pbworks wiki on crowdsourcing linked here and above).

The pbworks wiki is a good starting point for background reading.

The Young Foundation Social Innovation Exchange has also produced a good briefing paper on this.

And if you like to read in the old fashioned way then read Jeff Howes book Crowdsourcing

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