Recently I wrote about the seemingly unstoppable rise of civic crowdfunding platforms. A directory of such sites operating in the UK counted 31 platforms in this country alone. So it's interesting to read a report on the civic crowdfunding sector across Europe and America written by Twintangibles and Alessio Barollo, two members of the Italian Crowdfunding Network.
The report begins by providing a fascinating overview of the crowdfunding philosophy. It provides a telling reminder that this isn't a new thing, with the first crowdfunding projects being undertaken in the 1800's, with the Statue of Liberty being one of the first beneficiaries.
It goes on to analyse some of the projects and platforms in the marketplace at the moment, with some fascinating findings emerging. Did you know for instance that on UK platform Spacehive, 60% of project funding came from just 21 large institutional investors. To be clear here, that's 21 investors out of a total of 315. So 6% of investors had provided 60% of the funding. This is reflected in an average investment of nearly £3,000, which is probably out of the price range of your average man on the street!
A perfect example of this is provided in the case of a project to provide free wi-fi in the UK town of Mansfield. Of the £37,000 that was raised for the project, just 10% was provided by 24 individual investors, with the remainder provided by a range of institutions, with a whopping 55% provided by The Cardinal Group, who are a security company based in Cambridge. When asked the reasons behind their donation, they revealed that they hoped to use the project to showcase their retail security services.
Jason Trigg, founder and CEO of Cardinal Group, said “This is a really exciting project for Mansfield, which has the opportunity to lead the way not only in free wifi access but to be highlighted as the town where next-generation retail technology is installed to transform the high street. Cardinal is thrilled to be involved.”
The report then concludes with some helpful commentary on the kind of conditions which allow crowdfunding to thrive. If you're looking to build a crowdfunding platform in your area, or indeed are looking at crowdfunding to finance your project, this is a report that's well worth a read.