Crowdfunding Charities: 9 of the best UK charity crowdfunds

9 of the UK’s best charity crowdfunding projects – picked from our Crowdfunder Academy coaches for charity innovation in fundraising, great rewards and fantastic crowdfunding campaigns.

Kids Company, a charity that supports vulnerable children with hot meals, clothing and general support, raised more than £100,000 on Crowdfunder and leads the UK in innovation in fundraising by crowdfunding. 

Having successfully made Christmas better for so many kids across the UK, they wanted to expand their work to cover the entire winter period. They sought donations in an innovative, cost effective way. Simple as that. Despite being a great cause with so much good work, their crowdfunding campaign is an excellent example of where rewards fit in to successful campaigns.

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Kids Company

Jane Cadwell from the charity commented: “We launched a crowdfunding campaign because we saw it as an innovative opportunity to raise critical funds with no upfront spend. Like many small charities, we have no media buying budget at Kids Company and a tiny communications team — we are used to having to exploit every free and donated opportunity to within an inch of its life!

“We also had little time – a couple of weeks – to turn this around but the Crowdfunder team made it easy for us. The platform is very agile and interactive and we could see the potential for creating a community of supporters around our campaign. We were able to easily integrate our existing campaign theme and planned filmed content, which was a big plus. The average pledge on the website is £47, which is considerably higher than other platforms.”

The Warwick Rowing team’s naked calendar campaign is a great charity crowdfunding example. With the help of 359 supporters, they smashed their target raise of £5,000 with a staggering £35,877. Lots of people love a naked calendar – including celeb Stephen Fry who supported the project publicly with a great tweet!

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It’s not just big fundraisers that are making the most of charity crowdfunding – we’ve launched new charities on Crowdfunder too – have a look at AH20, a charity set up after a young man called Anton suddenly lost his life in the UK and his friends wanted to continue his great work, providing clean water for children and families in Nicaragua.

Cute puppies have been pulling in the pounds for years for fundraisers, and it was no different when popular charity Hearing Dogs For Deaf People launched their “Pup-mobile” appeal. With a fantastic project owner behind the campaign, the fundraiser raised over £16,000 of their £15,000 target.

Cute Puppy... photo by the brilliant Paul Wilkenson

Cute Puppy… photo by the brilliant Paul Wilkenson

All charities have stories to tell, and by telling these tales they connect emotionally with their supporters. By crowdfunding, they can use these stories to reach new audiences, and by giving rewards, they create an affinity and a connection with their donators. The Seed, did just this by creating an emotive campaign with great rewards – raising £6655 from 134 supporters to send a child on a scholarship, to plant a seed, to change the world.

Stories connect people and sometimes they go viral – this is what happened when the James McCarthy Foundation used the #IceBucketChallenge hash tag as a tool and reached out to celebrities across the UK to support their Crowdfunder campaign. Raising a huge £20,440 from a simple £2000 target, the team behind this inspirational campaign is raising awareness of Proton Beam Therapy, a new type of radiotherapy for cancer patients.

Crowdfunding gives charities the opportunity to experiment with social media, not just raising funds from regular donars, but reaching out to whole new and fresh audiences.

Legs4Africa showed us just how much fun could be had raising £5500 from 120 backers when half of the Crowdfunder office ended up rolling up their trousers for their #LegNomination as part of their campaign… and here is the embarrassing video to prove it…

One man on a mission (the poet, Lemn Sissay, MBE) has proven it’s possible for charities to gain repeat donations alongside consistently expanding their audiences by running not one, but two campaigns one year after another. Lemn’s crowdfunding is a fantastic example of how fundraising for Christmas is a clear winner for charities. Their latest success was The Hackney Christmas Dinner – raising a stunning £10,612 to give Christmas dinner to care-leavers.

The National Trust ran a fantastic Crowdfunder campaign as part of a large funding mix (£100,000 in total!) to restore the much-loved “Wobbly Bridge” in Hexham – raising over £10,000 by engaging with the hearts and minds of their supporters and new donators who together, preserved, enabled and saved this historically important heritage structure.

If you are charity fundraising, add your project, reach new donors and have a great time at the same time. 

We’ve been featured in The Guardian, and Kids Company wrote a great piece about their experience too!

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