The Crowdfunding Nature initiative is now well under way with Froglife successfully raising over £3500 for their nature reserve project in Peterborough.
Three other campaigns are currently live and it would be great if you could support them;
The Greensand Trust’s Love a duck:http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/love-a-duck/
The National Trusts Dormice project: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/giving-the-dormice-of-danbury-a-home/
And the Wildlife Trust BCN’s Great Fen Project: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wildlifebcn/great-fen-great-fun
The East of England Biodiversity Forum with the support of Natural England is testing the effectiveness of crowdfunding to help raise the profile and funding for nature based activities in the East of England. The cost of maintaining and further improving sites of high nature conservation interest is significant.
These costs are further increased when public access, learning and education programmes are being encouraged on these sites. As funding from the more traditional sources is becoming more and more competitive crowdfunding is being looked at as a way of boosting funds for specific projects.
However, if the ‘crowd’ doesn’t pledge anything towards the projects then they won’t proceed. One project from Froglife has already been successful in raising £3500 for their nature reserve in Peterborough, 3 more projects have now gone live, some with only a couple of weeks left to raise the funds.
PS. All the video’s are worth watching – great fun was had by all!
Duck End is a much loved nature reserve on the edge of Maulden in Bedfordshire. It has ponds, marshy areas, pollards and a wildflower meadow and home for lots of wildlife. The reserve is also the last remnant of Maulden Moor, where peat was cut for fuel in the 18th century, so it has wildlife and some history but walking around the reserve, especially in winter, is getting increasingly difficult as it can be a very wet place.
The Greensand Trust who manage the reserve want to replace the old boardwalk with a new one and will be running a crowdfunding campaign, called Love a Duck! to help raise funds for the new boardwalk.
I met Jon Balaam from the Greensand Trust on the day of filming the crowdfunding video who explained that the volunteers have really enjoyed preparing for the video and the crowdfunding idea and that the Trust hopes to be launching the campaign next week.
The Greensand Trust is one of a number conservation organisations who are taking part in Crowdfunding Nature a pilot project run by the East of England Biodiversity Forum to test the potential for crowdfunding to raise funds and profile for nature based projects.
Photo: Pete Johnstone
Project Update. Froglife’s campaign is now live – please support it if you can: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/hoppy-families
At last the vision of Crowdfunding Nature is beginning to take shape. I spent a lovely morning with Cat Duerden from Froglife at their Boardwalks Local Nature Reserve in Peterborough as they filmed their pitch for their first venture into crowdfunding.
Cat explained: Froglife are planning to launch our exciting new crowdfunding campaign in early February to raise £3500 to create a ‘Hoppy Families’ Nature Trail. As part the campaign we want to encourage more people to visit the Boardwalks as although the reserve is free and easily accessible and close to the city centre, few people seem to know about this beautiful greenspace.
Crowdfunding Nature is a pilot project being run by the East of England Biodiversity Forum with Natural England to test the effectiveness of crowdfunding to help raise the profile and funding for nature based activities in the East of England. Close behind Froglife are 6 other environmental groups working up their own crowdfunding project to be launched in the coming months.
The Crowdfunding Nature project initiated by PJ.elements with the help of CrowdfundUK is providing training and ongoing support for the environmental groups involved in the project.
Crowdfunding has proved itself as an effective way of doing commerce in the business world yet I believe their are real opportunities for nature to benefit as well. We just need to get the right mix of people and projects together and inspire public to get involved. I am looking forward to the Froglife crowdfunding campaign coming out and seeing the video too – it is going to be fun!
I will be sure to blog the crowdfunding campaigns on this website and on Twitter as they go live – all help in promoting the campaigns once launched we be gratefully appreciated.
Photos: ©Pete Johnstone.
Main picture: Katie with video, Cat Duerden centre and Richard with Lionel the Frog.
Well done to the charity greenspace scotland for having the initiative and for being brave enough to trial out environmental crowdfunding as a way of funding improvements to local green space in Scotland. With funding and support from Nesta’s Rethinking Parks programme and the Heritage Lottery Fund they have created their own bespoke crowdfunding platform for Scottish parks and greenspace.
The eventual success of MyParkScotland will no doubt lie in the hands of local communities coming up with the projects and finding the funds to make them happen themselves. However, could the wider UK (and even further afield?) parks and greenspace community give them a helping hand and support them on their way by making a small donation online? If we as a community can prove that environmental crowdfunding can work then friends of parks groups and greenspace organisations across the UK and elsewhere will learn and may gain from this success.
Julie Procter, CEO of greenspace scotland explains the background:
“With funding pressures, finding new and innovative ways to make the financing and management of parks and greenspace sustainable is vital to ensuring their future. We need to make sure we maintain and keep our parks in good heart today and for the benefit of generations to come. MyParkScotland is our response to this challenge.
MyParkScotland provides a new way to raise funds for projects in parks today and to develop endowment funds to safeguard these national treasures for future generations.
Park users often told us they would like to be able to support their local park but there wasn’t an easy way to do this. That’s why we developed MyParkScotland as a safe and easy way for people to donate to support park improvement projects developed by Friends of Parks and other local groups.
What makes MyParkScotland different to many traditional crowdfunding platforms is that, as an independent Scottish charity, we are able to reclaim Gift Aid on most donations. This ‘extra funding’ is being used to build sustainability and endowment funds for Scotland’s parks. If there isn’t a current project in their favourite park, park lovers are also able to make donations through the website to a specific park or city park endowment fund.
We’re pioneering the development of MyParkScotland in Edinburgh and Glasgow, with the intention to extend across Scotland. We hope that MyParkScotland will make an important contribution to the future sustainability of our parks and will encourage people to think about using crowdfunding as part of the project funding mix.
We would be delighted if supporters of environmental crowdfunding would take a look at the MyParkScotland website – we’d love to hear your feedback – and you might like to make a small pledge to support one of the projects!”
MyParkScotland is the only Scottish project within Nesta’s Rethinking Parks programme and is funded by Nesta and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Rethinking Parks aims to support organisations to develop new approaches to sustaining and making the most of the UK’s parks.
Pete Johnstone is an advocate of environmental crowdfunding and his case study on the subject can be seen here
Images: © greenspace scotland