We’re excited to announce that The Community Shares Company is linking up with the UK’s largest crowdfunding platform, Crowdfunder, to launch a new way for community groups to manage and launch community share issues.
We’ve been working behind the scenes for a while and today the first offer goes live on the platform for Positive News.
Crowdfunder have loads of experience helping people use the power of the crowd to do good things. When we were at their offices in Newquay, we noticed just how much overlap there is between the basics of a good crowdfunding campaign and a good community share issue. The help Crowdfunder will be able to give groups doing share launches will be incredibly valuable.
We’re delighted to have linked up with Crowdfunder – it’s a game changer for community shares for three really powerful and simple reasons.
Firstly, we’ve seen groups wrestle with the whole process of taking the money. It can be a complicated and stressful process. If you take cash or cheques, you either hold those back until you know if your share issue has been successful, with all the risks of having thousands of pounds sitting in your house, or you keep the money safe by paying it into a bank account.
But if you don’t hit your target or you’ve done so well you have to reduce everyone’s subscribed amounts, then you’ve got to get that money back to people, with all the cost and headache that involves.
This is where Crowdfunder’s platform comes in. It automates the whole process, so money is queued up but only paid over to you if and when your offer is successful.
The second big benefit is in having a platform that’s been built for the social media age. If you’re a small village looking to buy your pub, you know everyone who’s likely to invest. You can probably just go and knock on their door.
But not everyone has the crowd right on their doorstep. Most projects have some supporters locally and some far away, even overseas. Thanks to social media, it’s never been easier to connect with the supporters you know, near or far, and those you don’t know. Not only can you promote your offer using Crowdfunder’s built-in tools, so can your supporters, so they can do their bit to spread the word across their own networks.
‘Social proof‘ is such a powerful tool and it’s one of the great benefits that Crowdfunder brings to the world of community shares. It’s what our aforementioned village do. They create a norm where potential investors see that backing the pub project is something other people just like them are doing and, so, like those other people, they are more likely to do their bit and become actual investors too.
Positive News are the first project using the Crowdfunder platform, a group we’ve been working with for the past two years, leading up to launching their offer today.
It’s a great first project and will hopefully demonstrate the power of using social media to drive their offer.
Positive News is not your ‘standard’ community shares project; they’re not a start-up, having been around for 22 years, they’re not specific to a particular location and they have an international following. There’s no building or asset involved, and they demonstrate just how versatile community shares can be and what types of organisation can use them
And that’s the final benefit. The NESTA survey on Alternative Finance revealed how just 7% of those surveyed had heard of community shares. We believe that by partnering with Crowdfunder to create an easy-to-use community shares platform and process, that figure will change. And thanks to Crowdfunder’s profile and service, more groups will come to know about community shares and benefit from using them to be owned by their crowd.