Welcome to The 12 Days Of Crowdfunding… a celebration of our top picks from 2017 – and trust me, there were a lot to choose from. We take our hats off to all of our project owners, who are a collection of some of the finest changemakers out there. They are working hard everyday to make their mark on communities across the whole of the UK, with the help of the Crowd of course. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and can’t wait to welcome in the New Year with the same resolution that we always abide by (we don’t mind if you want to steal it as yours too)… Make Ideas Happen.
We collaborate with local authorities and private sector organisations to improve the way in which funds are distributed to crowdfunding projects all over the UK. In 2017 alone, we distributed over £1.9m! as match pledges from our partners to the projects that they care about.
As a part of this endeavour, we offer the Santander Changemaker Fund, which aims to help social enterprises, small charities and community groups throughout the UK to deliver innovative solutions that will improve communities.
Together, we are creating social change through the power of ideas.
Change Please is looking to purchase a new van!
Change Please transforms the lives of homeless people by training and employing them as baristas on their coffee carts.
#InvestinWomen – changing the world for the better
This project was ran by Flourish, a peer network that supports women to create the change they see needed in communities. This project looked to support women social entrepreneurs and develop peer learning, encouraging women to act as a positive force for social change.
No child should carry their life in a bin bag
Madlug’s project aimed to help children in care by providing them with new pack-away travel bags, so that they can carry their life with dignity. As health trusts don’t provide suitcases, children in care more often than not, put all of their worldly belongings in a bin bag as they move from one place to the next. This movement crowdfunded so that they could order extra bags to be manufactured and meet the increasing demand for their product.
Disability Today – Connecting the Unconnected
This Social Enterprise aims to enhance the lives of the disabled community through Disability Today – a new website that provides information on disability from around the world. With the goal to enable ordinary disabled lives to be extraordinary, Disability Today provides the facilities for the disabled community to read and communicate with the world around them, enjoy new experiences and learn about what is available to them.
Growing Better CIC
Growing Better CIC support and advocate for people facing mental health challenges by providing a range of therapeutic, social and work opportunities. They successfully funded their project to buy and kit out a shipping container with hydroponic growing equipment.
Using drama to protect children from online danger
Arc Theatre has been working in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham and surrounding areas (and beyond) for over 30 years, bringing exciting educational theatre experiences to young people and adults in schools, local communities and businesses. They crowdfunded for their interactive drama workshops, which will teach online safety to 1,200 primary schoolchildren, providing them with skills for a safer future.
Bring children back in touch with nature
The Butterfly Conservation’s ‘Munching Caterpillars’ project looks to inspire and motivate a new generation to love nature and create guardians who will speak up for the natural world in the future. By introducing seven to eleven year olds to the world of butterflies, moths and their caterpillars, the team behind this project visit schools, youth groups and public events across the UK to bring hands-on activities to children in towns, cities and rural areas.
The Together Project
The Together Project tackles loneliness and strengthens communities by creating joyful experiences that unite the young and elderly.
GoCode Academy – Technology Campus for kids
GoCode Academy is building a coding academy for 6 to 18 year olds, where they can learn computer programming, create games, code robots and so much more.
55 East – East Street Community Enterprise Hub
55 East crowdfunded to launch their new community enterprise hub on one of London’s historic markets streets. The Hub will become a vibrant space for people to get support with both new and existing enterprises, try out pop-up concepts and participate in the diverse events and activities going on within it.
Smart Greens UK
Smart Greens UK is an award winning Social Enterprise that grows fresh produce with, and for the benefit of, the people of Oxfordshire. They crowdfunded to scale-up their horticultural business by growing in water rather than soil. By introducing Aquaponics, leafy greens can grow alongside fish who provide all of the nutrients that would otherwise be found in the ground.
Dave Linton, Project Owner of ‘No child should carry their life in a bin bag’, said, “Crowdfunding has enabled us to raise more funds and give more bags to incredible children in care. Before our campaign the demand for our giving bags was greater than our sales and there was a constant feeling of playing catchup. On top of now being ahead of our giving, we are also more confident in what we are doing as a result of over 300 people supporting us. This has given us the confidence to look at growing our team to scale and have greater impact.”
Rob Moores, project owner of ‘Growing Better CIC’, said, “Crowdfunding has helped our business in more ways than we could ever have imagined… It’s enabling us to move forward and grow our business much quicker than anticipated. Due to the publicity we generated through a local TV interview, we made vital connections to a secure mental health assessment unit in Leeds and are in discussions about supporting their service users both while they are in-patients and when they leave. Also, due to the publicity, we were contacted by several highly innovative companies that want to work with us in joint ventures… This is already bearing fruit as our container will now have solar panels!”