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