Need funds? Work Bottom-Up

Social Enterprise, Crowd Source Capital and Project Finance turn traditional funding models on their heads, asking beneficiaries to invest, strengthening resource communities and cutting out red tape and middle management.

To find out if new projects can draw the target audience, independent games developer studios are asking them to invest in and participate in R&D, establishing communities where everyone who invests feeds into the process and consumes the output.

Expanding on the concept behind Nobel prize winning Grameen Bank, KIVA is a global microfinance platform where innovators or small business owners can bid for project-based loans from individuals or groups anywhere in the world.

Cancer Research UK has adapted this concept with MyProjects, allowing individuals to choose which aspect of the charity’s work they wish to support, make a donation, and track the progress of  the project online.

NESTA and TIGA’s Industry Sharing Scheme Play Together actively promotes and supports skills and resources sharing through its online communications tools.

Creative developers and producers use third party initiatives like Fund4Games, Ingenious Media or for the film industry, IFG Bonds to finance individual projects.

From Google and IBM to university magazines, organisations are experimenting with Crowd Source Capital, as business turns social.



2 Responses to “Need funds? Work Bottom-Up”

  1. Judy Seymour says:

    Here’s a fund raising idea from Clyde Smith ( that seems to fit the theme – Why Not Turn George Washington’s Late Fees Into a Library Fundraising Campaign?

    ‘So apparently George Washington and some other historical folks have late fees for unreturned books at the New York Society Library. While getting anything more than a publicity boost out of this situation may seem difficult, there is a way to monetize the moment and raise some funds for the library.

    What if they came up with a figure based on the accumulation of those late fees to date, the article mentions $300k for Washington’s fines alone, and launched a public campaign to raise funds by getting people to pay off the library debts of George Washington and other famous people with such uncollected fines?

    Sorry, I can’t hear your response to that question, the “KA-CHING” sounds in my brain won’t stop going off!’

    What do you think?

  2. admin says:

    Hi Judy,

    It’s one of the most creative responses to the age-old problem of funding resources I’ve seen!

    Following the main post, I’ve just read an article on Kiva in Wired – to date its mirco-lenders have supported 330,560 entrepreneurs, borrowing $129,881,885 via 181,431 loans, administered by 111 field partners in 52 countries. They only have a 1.5% default rate!!

    Can non-profits within the Arts and Cultural sector adapt these ideas for their community-based financing models?

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