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

Step 3: Identify the resources you need

Running a successful crowdfunding or crowdsourcing campaign is best done by a multi-disciplinary team. Having sufficient resources for the duration of the project will ensure that your campaign is consistent, reaches the target audience and, most importantly, builds and maintains momentum.

Case study: Essex County Council - Closing the Digital Divide
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Essex County Council crowdsourced devices from individuals and businesses to be refurbished or stripped for parts and subsequently sold on. The council used the funds raised from these sales to purchase devices for digitally excluded families in the county. Since December 2020, over 5000 laptops, tablets and Chromebooks have been distributed. Read the full case study.

Key considerations

  • What resources and skills do we need to run this scheme?
  • Do we need one dedicated person who has overall responsibility for it?
  • Which other teams in our own organisation could support us?
  • How can we leverage existing relationships (e.g. with local organisations and businesses) to make this a success?
  • Should we work with an external partner to run our crowdfunding or crowdsourcing scheme?
  • Do we need volunteers?

Top tips

  • Consider having the following roles in your team:
    • At least one person (even if for a fixed term) who has sole responsibility for managing all aspects of the project
    • A Senior Responsible officer (SRO) who will ensure internal buy-in as well as advocacy with external partners
    • A Project Manager and or Project Officer(s) who will coordinate the delivery of your scheme
    • A Communications Manager and Content Designer who will craft impactful and consistent messaging to raise awareness of the scheme
    • A Corporate/Community Engagement Lead or Partnership Lead who will identify and help to make direct connections with prospective partner organisations
  • Work closely with other council departments, such as Communications and Community Engagement.
  • Team up with Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations and local businesses to run the scheme – could you make use of existing relationships to leverage opportunities from the social value clauses in contracts?
  • For crowdsourcing, you may also need logistics support (for collecting and distributing devices) and a device upcycling service provider (to ensure any donated devices are fit for purpose) – LOTI has created a useful list of upcycling service providers.
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