Nesta unveils online directory of UK crowdfunding platforms
Third Sector Online, by Jenna Pudelek
The innovation charity Nesta has launched an online directory that will help charities find suitable crowdfunding platforms.
CrowdingIn, available from today, includes the details of 31 platforms available to people and organisations in the UK that are looking for funding.
Crowdfunding is a way of financing projects and businesses through small contributions from a large number of sources.
Nesta said it was the first time that a directory of all the crowdfunding platforms operating in the UK had been compiled. It has also published a guide for people and organisations looking for such funding, called Working the Crowd.
A wide variety of platforms are available through the site, including those with a social purpose, such as Buzzbnk and Solar Schools.
Funding can take the form of a donation, equity purchase or loan. Most platforms operate an "all-or-nothing" funding model where a target amount is set out at the beginning of the campaign and, if it is not met or exceeded within a given time, the funding does not proceed and the backers have their money returned.
Liam Collins, policy adviser on innovation and economic growth at Nesta, said he hoped the site would enlighten people about crowdfunding.
"Crowdfunding covers such a broad range of activities – everything from business lending, where lenders are going for purely financial return, to the very philanthropic, where funders are sometimes offered recognition or rewards," he said.
"For someone thinking about raising money through crowdfunding, it can take time to figure out what type to use. The directory has simple filters that show the platforms available for social good, the creative industries or for business start-up or growth."
The site has a button that allows people to add information about new crowdfunding sites and, once it has been assessed, it can be added to the directory, said Collins.