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How to do Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding means getting help from fellow citizens to help you fund something.

What follows is information that we’ve gathered from various sources. Before making any decision please check the details carefully. Information changes all the time and Citizen Network cannot guarantee that the information below is accurate.

DIY – Do it Yourself 

You can ask for donations directly and if you have a suitable platform you can collect donations yourself, using:

  • Bank transfer
  • GoCardLess
  • PayPal
  • Cheque

If your platform allows, you can also combine different methods. For example these two independent newspapers use several different methods:

Bella Caledonia: https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/

Common Space: https://www.commonspace.scot/donate

Here is an example of what people say to promote donations:

“Bella is supported only by its readers. We don’t have corporate backers and we don’t take advertising. So we rely on your support. Please give whatever you can. Make a small monthly donation and support independent Scottish journalism.”

Bank Transfer

This is the ideal method for reducing costs because there is no administration fee. People use bank transfer to make a one-off donation, or set up a monthly payment direct to your bank account.

Bank Name (e.g. Lloyds TSB)
Sort Code: XY-AB-CD
Account Number: 12345678
NB – People paying from outside your own country may need more information than this.

GoCardLess

This is a system to which you can signup and which enables you to collect simple online Direct Debit information for a charge of 1%:

You can do this in a way that sets up different possible subscription levels, for example:

If you’d rather pay a small amount each month to support us,
you can do that here:

Go here to set up a monthly subscription at £5 a month.

Go here to set up a monthly supporters subscription at £10 a month.Go here to set up a monthly supporters subscription at £20 a month.

Find out more at: https://gocardless.com/

PayPal

PayPal is a system which allows people to pay and receive money easily over the internet. To receive money you need an account with PayPal and they charge 5% fee although there may be discounts for charities.

You don’t need an account to use PayPal and people can use all the normal debit and credit cards to make a payment.

Find out about at:

https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/personal

Cheque

You can also offer people the chance to make a donation by cheque. You will need to provide them with a postal address and information on who to make it payable to.

Patreon

Patreon is a site used to bringing in donations from patrons. It encourages people to see themselves as your fans or members and it works well for people or groups who are seen as creating new or innovative things.

It enables people to express their support and stay engaged with the person they support:

https://blog.patreon.com/creator-launch-guide?_ga=2.226994909.1186812378.1549364615-1454205290.1549364615

The effective charge is 10% but you don’t have to be involved in the mechanics of collecting the money.

Here’s an article about Patreon from The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/may/14/patreon-rise-jordan-peterson-online-membership

The leading campaigner for basic income, Scott Santens, is supported using Patreon

http://www.scottsantens.com

Kickstarter

Kickstarter is focused on helping create new publications, products or projects. It takes an all-or-nothing approach. You set your goal and you only get your funds if you reach that goal in a time limited period. This may seem negative, but it suits projects that really need a kick-start and it creates opportunities for tension, pressure and a sense of excitement. There is a total fee of about 8% for successful projects.

Find out more here: https://www.kickstarter.com/

Go Fund Me

Go Fund Me creates personalised platforms for your campaigns, which is ideal if you have no website. There is no platform fee, but there is a 2.9% transaction fee.

It is low cost and flexible: https://www.gofundme.com/how-it-works?

Facebook

You can use Facebook Payments to create donations to charities, non-profits and for private causes

https://donations.fb.com/en-gb/

Facebook charges 5% for administration and the rules and systems are different for official charities and social enterprises or nonprofit organisations that are more independent. This whole area seems important but requires more investigation.

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/nonprofits-and-facebooks-fundraising-tools-3573628

Just Giving

This works best for fundraising for official charities, however it seems you can raise funds for other causes, but the money will transferred to a named individual who you trust to use the funds properly. Generally this is a good site for UK charities and it helps people who want to fund raise easily set up campaigns on their behalf and to claim back UK tax relief. It is not so useful outside the UK or for non-profits who are not registered charities. It charges an admin fee of 5%.

https://help.justgiving.com/hc/en-us/articles/202748761-Getting-started-with-JustGiving-Crowdfunding

Fundly

Fundly is a campaigning platform. It charges 8.9% but has lots of things to help you campaign. Ideal for a campaign that may not have its own foundation and for someone who is willing to test out all the bells and whistles.

https://fundly.com

Unbound

A platform for the publication of unusual books. Effectively its a publisher – but it gets books off the ground using crowdfunding.

https://unbound.com

IndieGoGo

A platform for funding new innovations in technology:

https://www.indiegogo.com

Crowdfunding Center

This is a service with lots of information about crowdfunding generally:

http://www.thecrowdfundingcenter.com

Other information

Here is an interesting article outlining some of the other kinds of approaches to crowdfunding: 

https://www.floship.com/choose-right-platform-next-crowdfunding-exercise/