Creative Scotland Crowdmatch Eligibility and Pledge Criteria

Crowdmatch - Extra Funding Scheme to support the sustainability of creative projects in Scotland.

Version dated: March 2024

Introduction

What is it?

Creative Scotland Crowdmatch is dedicated to empowering creatives in Scotland to bring their ideas and projects to life. We make crowdfunding more accessible and beneficial by offering an alternative funding option. Our platform supports individuals, groups or collaborations, and businesses, ensuring they can sustain their creative endeavours and turn their visions into reality. Moreover, through match funding opportunities, we further amplify the impact of each contribution enabling creators to achieve their goals more effectively. 

Whether you're looking to record a new album, publish a book, launch a magazine, organise festivals, host outdoor film screenings, put on circus and theatre events, acquire new equipment, upgrade facilities, move studios, establish a jewellery school, or set up a community screen printing and textile studio—we're here to help you make it happen.

Discover some of the projects we've previously supported by visiting our Crowdfunder page https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/user/creative-scotland/profile

When should I apply?

Ideally before you apply to us, your campaign page should be as complete as possible but not yet launched; whilst we can consider an application on a campaign that is already actively running, helping you to make it as successful and suggesting improvements can then be a little harder to do, so please do try and apply before you launch your campaign page.

Eligibility

To be eligible for match funding the funded project must deliver activity in at least one of the following themes:

- Arts
- Screen
- Creative Industries

Individuals who are freelance or self-employed artists and creative practitioners residing in Scotland, aged 18 years or above. Any type of constituted artistic, creative or cultural organisation based in Scotland can apply.

The following will not be eligible for match funding:

- Activity already supported by another Creative Scotland fund.
- Individuals and organisations who do not work in the creative industries as outlined above. This includes sectors like tourism, hospitality, the events sector, hair and beauty, the wedding industry, sports, the museums and heritage sector.
- Full time Students. However, part-time students can apply but will need to prove their part-time status and that the activity they are applying for does not contribute toward their academic studies.
- Academic bodies (Schools, FE Colleges and/or HE Institutions).
- Academics or other education professionals seeking funding related to their educational role.
- Organisations seeking to distribute grants on our behalf.
- Individuals and organisations based out with Scotland.

Costs that cannot be covered by match funding

There are certain types of activity which Crowdmatch funding doesn’t support. In addition, because funds come from the National Lottery, there are certain things that our funding cannot be used for. You can’t include the following costs in a project budget: 

- Activities which are not related to the arts, screen or creative industries 
- Repayment of loans, endowments or interest
- Money which has already been spent
- Costs for political or religious activities
- Fundraising for charity

Crowdfunder project set up

In order to be eligible to apply, projects must be set up on Crowdfunder. Eligible projects will need to offer rewards linked to their project activity. Applications will be reviewed alongside project pages, so prior to applying please ensure you have completed the following sections of your crowdfunding project on Crowdfunder:

Section 3 - Project Page

Section 5 - Targets

Section 6 - Rewards

Please consult our guide to learn how to create a strong project page and for some great reward ideas.

Selection process

Projects that meet the eligibility criteria outlined above will be reviewed to determine their suitability for support from the fund.

Initially, projects meeting the eligibility criteria will be reviewed by a member of Creative Scotland’s Creative Industries Team to ensure they are sufficiently developed for consideration by one of Creative Scotland’s Art Form Officers.

Following this initial review, eligible projects will be forwarded to a Creative Scotland Art Form Officer for assessment and funding recommendation. 

Applicants can expect to receive a decision within 10 business days.

Applications will be assessed based on the following criteria:

Creative

1. The quality and ambition of the project: assessment will be based on the project’s alignment with the standards of quality and ambition as defined by Creative Scotland’s funding criteria. (Reference: Funding Criteria | Creative Scotland ​)

2. The strength and viability of the idea: the assessment will focus on the project's feasibility both in terms of its ability to attract support from the crowd and its ability to deliver its outcomes.

3. Contribution to the creative or cultural sector: consideration will be given to whether the project enriches the creative or cultural landscape or enhances the creator’s own business practice.

4. If the creator is earlier in their business journey, will this project help propel them forwards and support a stronger role or presence in their sector?

Technical

1. Previous funding support: confirmation that the project has not received support from another Creative Scotland funding route.

2. Realistic funding goal: assessment of whether the funding target is practical and aligned with the project’s scope and requirements.

3. Completeness of the campaign page: assessment of the thoroughness and effectiveness of the campaign page in communicating the project’s objectives, plans, and intended outcomes.

Pledge Criteria

If your application is approved, you’ll get match funding of up to 50% towards your initial crowdfunding target, up to a maximum of £10,000. This offer will be valid for 4 weeks after the date of notification, if you do not launch your crowdfunding campaign within 4 weeks of notification the offer will be rescinded.

Following approval for funding, if you wish to make any changes to your campaign target or any significant changes to your rewards or other page content, you must notify us on [email protected].

To receive match funding, the following conditions apply:

1. For every donation made towards your project we'll match it up to £250, so if your project receives a donation of £20 we'll add another £20, if your project receives a donation of £600 then you'll receive an additional £250.

2. Only one donation per supporter will be matched (we will not provide match funding where a supporter is deemed to have made multiple donations).

3. You must receive donations from a minimum of 25 unique supporters to receive any support. To verify whether Supporters are unique we will take account of information including, but not limited to: name, address, email addresses and payment card used.

4. Your project must reach 100% of its target before closing in order to secure the match funding pledges.

If the project fails to reach 100% of the target the Creative Scotland pledges will be cancelled. The Project owner will be encouraged to review what went wrong and, if appropriate, to attempt to crowdfund again.

Creative Scotland reserve the right to vary these pledge criteria; projects will be notified if their pledge criteria will vary from the stated terms above.

This fund will be distributed on a first come first served basis. Matching will stop automatically when the funds are fully allocated or when your project has reached the maximum it is eligible to receive or when your campaign has been live for 8 weeks, whichever arrives soonest.

Additional Requirements

You will be ineligible for funding from Creative Scotland if, at Creative Scotland’s sole discretion, it is not satisfied that all the Supporter pledges on your project are genuine pledges.  

Project Owners or the campaigning organisation pledging to their own campaign is allowed, however this should not be a significant amount unless discussed with Creative Scotland before the pledge is added. Small offline donations that have been collected may also be added, however you may be required to evidence the origin of these pledges (receipts, letters of support, copies of cheques or bank statements, etc.).

Where projects or pledges are identified as fraudulent, potentially fraudulent or demonstrative of manipulating the pledging on a project in order to obtain match funding, this is taken very seriously. Where appropriate, the police or other relevant authorities will be informed. In addition:

- Your application for funding will be refused and any existing commitment for funding will be withdrawn.
- Your Crowdfunding project payment will be cancelled and you will be ineligible for future applications or projects.
- Action will be taken to recover funding which has been paid out.

All funded projects are required to agree to the Grant Conditions.