In 2017, the Trust launched the Improving life for Londoners fund, a joint initiative with Trust for London which supported organisations based and working in London to deliver projects that address inequality and relieve poverty in the capital. This fund pledge to would match those donations raised through Crowdfunding, providing a huge boost to projects and an extra incentive to people wanting to donate.
The funded projects tackled poverty in the city and united communities by addressing local problems in creative ways. The fund also supported projects which address social issues by encouraging those on low incomes and their advocates to speak out. Through delivering practical solutions to local issues, the fund supported projects led by the communities who will benefit from the work.
A total of £100,000 was available with projects able to receive up to 50% of their target, to a maximum of £10,000, from the Improving Life for Londoners fund once they had raised the first 25% from the Crowd.
Following the conclusion of this fund, The Social Innovation Partnership were commissioned to produce a report on the benefits and challenges of this approach to provide vital learning for the future. This report, which has now been published, showed that £152,748 was raised from individuals, with an average donation of around £63. Added to the match funding pot of £100,000, this brought total funds raised across 22 projects to just over a quarter of a million pounds.
The report also showed that the majority of organisations funded were outside of both City Bridge Trust and Trust for London’s normal grantee pool, and so would not have received funding without this scheme. A number of challenges and learning points were also identified such as the amount of time required needed to set up the crowdfunding page and the need to provide additional support to organisations who lack the technological and communications skills to develop good crowdfunding campaigns.
A copy of the summary report can be found here.