ECN CrowdCamp: 5 things you didn’t know about civic crowdfunding

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1. It increases citizens’ sense of ownership, engagement in their territory while promoting transparency and efficiency in the allocation of funding

Often initiated by citizens, social entrepreneurs or social organizations, civic crowdfunding campaigns are aimed at raising funds for projects which have a big impact on local communities. It provides a great opportunity for people to improve their neighborhood’s environment and build active communities. The sense of ownership, which is resulted by contributing to projects, leads citizens to respect and appreciation for the project results as well as each other and the entire community.

2. Many public authorities (regional and local governments, innovation agencies, development banks) are increasingly dedicating parts of their budgets to the top-up of crowdfunded projects

Seeing citizens actively raising funds and successfully implementing social projects, more and more public authorities are willing to support these initiatives by match-funding crowdfunding campaigns. Local governments often cannot channel investments in relevant civic projects because they are not aware of such needs or because they value other projects to have higher priority for their territories. On the other hand, locals are often frustrated that governments are not investing in something they truly need and value. This is where match-funding becomes beneficial for both parties. It also encourages the dialog and redefines the relationship between citizens and local governments, while helping to build the community’s sense of unity and trust.

3. It has become more and more relevant not only at local and regional level but also at European level, due to potential future developments in combination with EU funding

With civic crowdfunding quickly spreading across Europe, there is an increasing importance in top-up and blending schemes, and financial instruments in the future European funding landscape. Therefore, European policymakers are already looking into future opportunities of how to best combine crowdfunding with other sources of funding, among which the European Structural and Investment Funds.

4. It’s for everybody: it can be implemented through rewards and donation models, but also through equity and lending crowdfunding

The best thing about crowdfunding is that anybody can initiate a campaign, and anybody can support and fund it. Not only there are plenty of crowdfunding platforms across Europe, there are several different types of crowdfunding: reward-based, donation-based, equity-based and lending-based. All you have to do is define what type of crowdfunding would work best for your project and contact the right crowdfunding platform. Civic crowdfunding is a concept of active participation, and crowdfunding is a sufficiently flexible instrument to enable most projects to find their way to improve territories and communities.

5. It’s coming to you: join us at the 3rd ECN CrowdCamp in Bologna (June 28-29)! Register now and explore the European potential of the innovative funding scheme.

Interested in civic crowdfunding, match-funding or potential to EU funds? ECN CrowdCamp is a great place to be and learn all about it. Not only you will learn about best practices from civic crowdfunding platforms, what role could EU institutions play here or what type of opportunities you have to combine crowdfunding with other sources of funding, but you will also meet international crowdfunding platforms, EU representatives, regional and local authorities, academic professionals and startup entrepreneurs and exchange knowledge with them. And the best part of all that – you will get to contribute to changing the role of crowdfunding in the territorial economic and social development, to improving access to finance and developing synergies with existing funding sources, and to the development of a new collaboration paradigm between civil society, authorities, and innovators. Find more information about ECN CrowdCamp here.

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