In 2016 Nesta launched the Arts and Heritage Matched Crowdfunding Pilot, to explore the potential of mixing crowdfunding donations with grant funding. The pilot saw arts and heritage initiatives raising money for a diverse range of projects; from plays and art exhibitions, to launching new apps and preserving heritage sites. Six months after the campaigns ended in 2017, Nesta researchers spoke to six of the projects to find out about the long-term benefits and challenges of crowdfunding.
The pilot ran from September 2016 until October 2017 and provided a total of £251,500 or matched crowdfunding to arts and heritage projects raising between £4,000 and £40,000 on the Crowdfunderplatform. Over that period, 59 projects successfully crowdfunded for their projects, while also receiving match funding on the platform. These projects raised money for a diverse range of projects from plays, to art exhibitions, to launching new apps to preserve heritage sites.
We published Matching the Crowd in October 2017 examining the impacts of matched crowdfunding shortly after these campaigns were completed. That study revealed several immediate benefits of crowdfunding for the projects themselves, including bringing in new donors to the projects, helping them to develop their pitching and fundraising skills and a range of other non-financial benefits such as brokering additional connections and converting donors into volunteers and more ‘active’ supporters.
This blog outlines the results of a subsequent survey completed six months after the end of the programme and is concerned with the longer term impacts of crowdfunding. From the original group of 59 projects that participated in the pilot, 39 responded to this survey. It is accompanied by six case studies which look at the specific longer term benefits and challenges of crowdfunding for some of the projects.