Public sector resources are constrained due to a range of globally developing trends. These include:

  • The expected ability of governments to be able to raise taxes;
  • An ageing society which requires increasing resources from the public sector;
  • Progressively increasing heath care costs due to technology, ageing and public expectations about quality of life; and
  • Instability and evolutions of new global trading patterns and the associated disruptions of pre-existing businesses and business models and hence expectations of long term tax revenue.

Thus, new or previously unused models of funding are being promoted or sought. One such model is crowdfunding. The crowd can be many differing things from individuals, local businesses to large corporate organisations. All of these bodies many have differing expectations from their support or investment.  However ultimately, they provide an ability to support an objective that may not otherwise occur in a community.

Crowdfunding is not strictly new. For example, philanthropic support for community arts spaces which is a long standing funding model is in effect crowdfunding. However crowdfunding is being transformed by the digital revolution. Digital provides an ability to reach and co-ordinate a much wider set of potential funders that was otherwise feasible. This then supports the concept that it is feasible to be involved with a wide set of projects in disparate sectors and communities around the world.

Examples of crowdfunding platforms include:; fundingcircle; gofundme; and justgiving.

Crowdfunding is also being used to support commercially driven businesses as an alternative to traditional bank (loan) or stock market equity investment. Examples include: kickstarter; and crowdcube.