What is crowd funding?
Crowd funding is the system by which a project or venture can be funded through raising small amounts of money from a large collection of individuals, typically via the Internet. You might think it’s a new idea but it’s been around longer than you think; many of our spaces have been collectively funded and the idea has existed since Victorian England! Crowd funding can be used in a variety of ways, from film and music production to political campaigns and playgrounds. Follow this to see how one musician beat Rhianna and Coldplay in the UK charts with an album produced through crowd funding. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/06/28/ginger-wildhearts-fan-funded-album_n_1633255.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular. In short, it is the collective cooperation and pooling of money to complete public projects and it may even replace the need for a government grant.
What is Spacehive?
Spacehive.com is a way the Internet can be used for private investment and private ideas to be nurtured and grow into realities in public spaces. It has opened up and allows a new route for projects to be put forward, and successfully so. A key reason why Spacehive has been particularly successful is that everyone can get involved. Any individual can propose a project and anyone can help to fund it, from architects and engineers to councils who need to raise that little more money and even ordinary people like you and me.
Why should communities contribute to crowd funding?
So why should communities and business embrace this new way of funding projects?
- There’s lots of development of public spaces to be done
At a turbulent time such as the one we are living in, there is little state money around, yet, the need for the development of public spaces is in some ways greater than ever. The state still has its duty to fund projects, but it is not an either or. David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ means everyone pulling their weight and contributing as much as they feel they can. With community support behind each project, there will never be an example of the building of projects that are not supported by the community itself. Spacehive allows exactly this and works in conjunction with what the government is trying to achieve.
- It can benefit and improve local communities
Public space has a huge bearing on quality of life and its development can have a vastly positive impact on business that by getting involved in projects early on can reap benefits on completion. Lots has been written in the media lately about communities, particularly local high streets, in decline but these projects can help people and businesses together.
Take a look at a few examples
This project was based on building a community centre in Glyncoch, south Wales. The town, which would have lost their government grants, managed to raise the impressive £30k needed with the help of retail giants Tesco and Asda as well as contributions from ordinary people. The building of the modern community hall (with features such as a conference suite and IT centre) is anticipated to develop opportunities and create jobs as well as benefitting local businesses. It’s expected to reverse the cycle of deprivation and benefit all those who live in the community. As Chris Gourlay (CEO of Spacehive.com) found, the greatest accomplishment was how the community felt empowered by what they had accomplished (and rightly so!).
The development of Cody Dock (http://spacehive.com/codydock) is another example of where Spacehive is uitilising collective public and business funding to ignite the ‘first spark of regeneration in a forgotten part of the capital’. It plans to turn the derelict dock into a creative quarter, building a space that will include tranquil gardens and wildlife habitats while simultaneously attracting a creative industry where people can live and work. Another impressive aspect of the project is how people ‘will be able to walk and cycle the full length of London’s second river – from Hertfordshire, past the Olympic Stadium, to the new cable car on the Thames’, meaning that people will be able to see first hand the legacy left by the Olympics.
Why and how can communities get involved in crowd funding?
As previously stated, Spacehive is not trying to take away the states responsibility of providing public spaces. Yet, it is clearly evident that finances for local projects are difficult to come by. Moreover, the general public is often those who have the best ideas, not the local councils. Getting involved can take many forms and by getting on board and giving to these projects we can all do our bit to make our society a better place, for ourselves and for others. The most revolutionary aspect, however, is how anyone can get involved! Spacehive firmly believe that many hands make light work and you can create a project and get people on board with it in a way that has not been explored in such a way before. Go to http://spacehive.com/Home/CreateAProjectExternal to see for yourself how we have the power to shape the environment in which we live, all at the touch of our fingertips.
Here’s a selection of the best things to watch and read if you want to get involved.
Go to http://spacehive.com/Home/CreateAProjectExternal to see for yourself how we have the power to shape the environment in which we live, all at the touch of our fingertips.
You can check out videos of the progress of Spacehive projects including information on a new campaign for cage cricket, which has the backing of sports legend Sir Ian Botham!
If you’re a tweetaholic follow Spacehive on twitter at http://twitter.com/spacehive to follow the latest news on some of the amazing projects going on locally and nationwide.
Ultimately, Spacehive wants people to get involved in anyway they can. If you have a project that you are passionate about get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org to turn your ideas into reality.