Guide to Sourcing Digital Devices
How to Crowdfund or Crowdsource Digital Devices

Step 1: Set up your crowdfunding or crowdsourcing campaign


In this section, we outline the key considerations prior to setting up your scheme and provide tips based on lessons learned from existing crowdfunding and crowdsourcing schemes.

Case study: Southwark - Laptops for Learning
In early 2021, Southwark Council partnered with the London South Teaching School Hub to crowdfund and crowdsource laptops for digitally excluded pupils in the borough. Through a combination of cash donations, donated devices and council match funding, 1700 devices were secured and distributed to 92 local schools. Read the full case study.

Key considerations

Approvals

  • Do we need sign-off from senior leadership or cabinet members?
  • Do we need a Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) from our organisation to drive the campaign?

Resources

  • Do we have the right resources to conduct the campaign and manage the allocation of funds and/or devices?
  • Can we (or a partner organisation) match any funds raised?

Step

  • Do we know who the beneficiaries will be?
  • Do we understand the scale of need (e.g. the target fundraising amount or volumes of devices needed)?
  • What projects will we fund with the money raised?
  • Do we have minimum requirements for the devices (e.g. condition, technical specification)?

Partnerships

  • Can our strategic partners help us to run the campaign?
  • Do we have examples of successful crowdfunding or crowdsourcing campaigns run by other public sector organisations and what can we learn from them?
  • If we intend to purchase large volumes of devices with the funds raised, can we get a discount? (please note that LGfL offers bulk buying of devices at a reduced cost)

Top tips

  • Secure buy-in from at least one senior leader or cabinet member who can advocate for the project and help to get internal commitment. 
  • Find examples of crowdfunding or crowdsourcing campaigns that have been used to fund services and improve outcomes in the public sector.
  • Head up any controversial perceptions from local residents by clearly articulating the need for this type of approach and secure the support of members for this narrative.
  • Work with other departments within your organisation that hold data about local residents (e.g. free school meal data) as well as schools and community organisations to identify who would benefit from either a digital device or other support.
  • Consider using your existing partnerships with businesses and other organisations to help deliver some or all aspects of the crowdfunding/crowdsourcing campaign and logistics. 
  • Seek potential match funding either within your own organisation or from partners.
  • Outline the minimum requirements for donated devices in order to improve the quality of your stock and reduce refurbishment costs.