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August 2022
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Nesta report paves way for grant funding revolution with the crowd

Phil Geraghty, MD of Crowdfunder

Report shows:

Grant funds were amplified by 161% in crowdfunding pilot

  • 78% of people who pledged gave money they wouldn’t ordinarily give to charity or philanthropic causes
  • 33% saw an uplift in volunteering after the fundraise, with 2 in 3 projects seeing an increase in skills

The £5.6bn grant funding sector is set for major disruption as new research reveals the significant impact crowdfunding can make when used alongside grant funding.

Led by global innovation charity, Nesta, delivered in partnership with Crowdfunder, the UK’s #1 rewards based crowdfunding platform, the Matched Crowdfunding Report 2017 shows crowd-matched grant funding could offer 161% more for community, charity and business projects across the UK. The publication highlights a pilot programme where £251,500 from Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund inspired the crowd to donate £405,941.

During the nine-month pilot, Crowdfunder marketed the funds and provided the online platform for projects to launch their ideas. The £251,500 in matched funding was provided to 59 projects on These schemes also benefitted from ongoing support, coaching and workshops from the site and the support of 4,970 crowd backers.

The report is the result of a collaboration between the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, Crowdfunder and Nesta. For the first time, it provides a powerful insight into the impact of matched crowdfunding. Until now, despite its rapid growth, the practice has remained largely unexplored.

The way in which UK grant money is distributed has been slowly evolving. However platforms like Crowdfunder have been pioneering ways to match smaller donations raised from the public with larger institutional funding from 20 local authorities and companies like Santander.

Phil Geraghty, MD of Crowdfunder said: “The report makes a strong case for local authorities and other grant funding organisations to work with Crowdfunder. We can match the UK’s £5.6bn grant money with crowd-raised funds. Importantly, the report outlines strong evidence for doing so.

“Previously, lack of evidence on the impact of crowd-matched funding meant some potential funders struggled to assess how it could be used within their current funding programmes. The release of the Matched Crowdfunding Report 2017 changes all that. We now have strong data that could change the grant sector forever. The firm recommendation shining through the report is that funding organisations need to give crowdfunding a go.

“Crowdfunder is now looking for more funders who have a collaborative approach, deep valuable knowledge of their sectors and a shared mission to tackle societal change by helping make ideas happen.”

The report also recommended that Crowdfunder needs to invest more in sharing its knowledge with the sector and develop more technology to do it at scale. This would unlock greater funds for more grass-roots projects while allowing funders to use their expert knowledge to the benefit of communities.

Crowdfunder is currently raising funds to on Crowdcube, in order to scale its business, invest in technology to ensure that crowdfunding projects can tap into the £5.6bn grant sector and ultimately help more charity, community and business projects across the UK.

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