Pub is the Hub has just announced the launch of the new Community Services Fund to help pubs diversify into community services.
It is always pleasing, but sadly frequently rare these days to see new fundraising opportunities coming through to support environmental improvements.
Well, crowdfunding is one that deserves some further investigation. Crowdfunding is essentially online fundraising and has typically supported a whole range of start-up businesses such as film and art type projects, particularly in the United States.
In the UK there are a number of crowd funding platforms but one, Spacehive, has been set up specifically to lead on public space and environmental work where there is a clear public benefit.
As with anything new there is always uncertainty as to whether it will work or not, but I reckon with the rapid growth of digital networking, the growth of digital fundraising will not be far behind – where local people, businesses, supporters and visitors alike will be keen to support projects that they feel an affinity towards and in so doing pledge some money.
The need may be for a new hedgerow, a school nature garden, a local tree planting project or a new or enhanced community greenspace or perhaps an imaginative nature conservation project that can capture the public interest.
Being adventurous, I can even see footpath improvements and longer trails being supported by crowd funding, as realistically where else is the funding going to come from to fund these initiatives in the future? True, lottery funding is here to stay but I guess that if you can prove local support by raising a proportion of the funds through crowd funding then that can only help your case.
So have a look at the Spacehive site for more detail and to see how it might fit your organisation, you can post a single fundraising project on Spacehive or get your own branded initiative page that will help raise the profile and marketing of your environmental cause. I would be interested to hear from any organisations thinking of setting up their own initiative page.
An enjoyable afternoon was spent a few weeks back in the company of Susan Evans, one of the leaders of the Lings Wildlife Watch Group, which last year scooped the UK Watch Group of the Year award.
The picture shows Susan and some of the group at the Summer Leys nature reserve where the afternoon was spent bird watching, identifying the late summer berries coupled with just a little bit of running about enjoying the outdoors.
The photograph by Pete Johnstone was taken for the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust magazine.