Sporting clubs, as a great example of a particular type of community group, constantly have two aspects that make them perfect for crowd funding – a never ending stream of “need” for which they are running projects, and a loyal supporter base. Their need for equipment, to cover travel costs, or to hold events, is ever present. At the same time, sporting clubs always have some form of loyal fan base. Whether that be the local community, the families and friends of the players and staff, or the following that their efforts and passion has accrued over time, there is always a band of followers that are keen to step up and do whatever it takes to help “their team”.
The eternal question has been how to effectively link the two, the wants and needs of the organisation, with the willingness of the fan base.
Crowd funding is the answer.
By putting a project up on a crowdfunding platform such as iPledg, community groups are able to articulate their needs, and communicate their requirements to the masses. They are able to explain exactly what they need as well as express their requirements in a finite, measurable manner with a pre-determined funding target and timeframe. In some ways, with a set date by which their funding is required, they are able to create a greater sense of urgency.
The fan base or audience can see exactly what is required. They can be called to action by the passion of the cause, or even receive additional motivation from the attractive rewards or inducements that may be on offer. Most importantly, they can feel part of the outcome that can be gauged and documented. And, finally, they can be rewarded for their involvement and publicly recognised as one of the supporters to whom rewards were delivered.
Here we have mentioned sporting clubs, but the same is the case with any community group. The key ingredients are a group with a need, as well as a group with a following. Regardless of what the focus of the community group, if these ingredients for success are there, a well promoted campaign is well placed to achieve success.
Crowd funding is a unique vehicle for community groups, perfectly positioned at a time when organisations seek a point of difference in their fund raising and community engagement efforts. It allows for the unlocking of resources, especially funding, that have long eluded clubs. Crowd funding also is an effective tool to create awareness and involvement in the projects that are at the very core of the community group’s existence.