If the government were to respond to every request for funds placed upon it the country would be bankrupt in a very short time. But sifting through the requests to find the ones which are deserving of help can take up reams of paperwork and countless man hours. Now the government has another string to the decision-bow, the ability to turn to the crowd to gauge support for projects.
Match funding is a simple idea which relies on projects raising funds for themselves which are then matched by government or other bodies. For example, in February 2014, the Community Development Foundation announced that £30million was being made available to support projects in deprived areas, with the funds being made available if matched by a similar amount of in-kind donations (this means donations of cash, services, free products or volunteer time).
The benefit of matched funding or other forms of crowdfunding is that projects only receive monies if they have struck a chord with, and raised funds from, the wider community. One such project is the Annan Harbour Regeneration Scheme. The scheme has secured £6,000 funding from the European Fisheries Fund but the monies will only be released if the project first raises a matching amount. The Annan Harbour Action Group has turned to Crowdfunder for help in raising the £6,000 needed.
Previous projects have proved that when the power of the crowd speaks, great ideas can become reality. With government matched funding added to the mix, who knows what transformations can be wrought.