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

Step 2: Select a crowdfunding platform


As crowdfunding becomes more popular for financing projects in the public, private and third sectors, the ecosystem is becoming even more rich and diverse. We recommend that you conduct in-depth research before selecting a crowdfunding platform for your scheme.

Case study: Lambeth Appeal - End the Digital Divide
A survey of Lambeth schools showed that there were over 8500 children in the borough lacking sufficient access to computers and Wi-Fi during the first COVID-19 lockdown. So, in autumn 2020, Lambeth Council launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to purchase laptops, tablets and internet access for young people in education in the borough. It raised over £50,000 in 55 days and approximately £120,000 overall. Read the full case study.

Key considerations

Costs

  • Is the crowdfunding platform free to use? 
  • If not, does our budget allow for set up and/or ongoing costs (e.g. monthly fees) for using the platform?

Donations

  • Can we keep what we raise?
  • What are the rules regarding interest fees (accumulated whilst donations are in a holding account)?

Functionality

  • Is the crowdfunding platform managed by a not-for-profit or private entity?
  • Can organisations use it to raise money?
  • Is the platform relevant and appropriate to our campaign/cause?
  • Is it easy to contact and get support from the crowdfunding platform?

Other

  • Are there clear complaints processes in place and are the timescales for dealing with complaints reasonable?
  • What is the refund policy and are there any charges in cases where refunds need to be made?
  • Does the crowdfunding platform clearly outline how it complies with relevant fundraising legislation, including data protection?

Examples of crowdfunding platforms

As each crowdfunding platform caters for a specific set of causes and/or sectors and has functionality that meets the needs of its target audience, it is important to carefully consider your requirements and choose the one that best meets your needs. The Fundraising Regulator provides advice and guidance on this. Please note, the crowdfunding platforms below have not been vetted by LOTI.

Rocket Fund 

  • Donations-based crowdfunding platform. 
  • Runs a keep-it-all funding model.
  • Projects must benefit UK schools, colleges, pre-schools, other educational institutions and PTAs (e.g. providing devices to be distributed to students).
  • Projects with a £50,000 or above target pay platform fees of 5% + VAT and project owners will be charged transaction fees of 2.4% + 20p (per pledge) + VAT on UK/EU cards / 3.25% + 25p (per pledge) + VAT on non-EEA cards.
  • Project owners with lower targets are charged transaction fees of 1.9% + 23p + VAT on UK/EU cards / 3.25% + 25p + VAT on non-EEA cards should their target be met.

Spacehive

  • Civic crowdfunding platform (but councils have used Spacehive for their own projects).
  • Donations and rewards-based platform.
  • Runs an all-or-nothing funding model.
  • Charges fees of 5% of the amount raised. 

Crowdfunder

  • Donations and community shares-based crowdfunding platform.
  • Open to a broad range of projects. 
  • Allows all-or-nothing and keep-it-all funding.
  • Charges fees of 5% of the amount raised. 

CrowdPatch (currently closed while it restructures its offer)

  • Donations and rewards-based crowdfunding platform. 
  • Allows people to raise money for worthy projects while also helping them to meet other people in the same community or with common interests.
  • Runs a keep-it-all funding model.
  • Charges no commision on the amount raised.

Hubbub

  • Rewards-based crowdfunding platform.
  • Allows all-or-nothing and keep-it-all funding.
  • Charges no commision on the amount raised. 

JustGiving Crowdfunding 

  • Donations-based crowdfunding platform. 
  • Runs an all-or-nothing funding model.
  • Charges fees of 5% of the amount raised.