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Match funding for creative projects in Scotland

Crowdfund Creative Scotland

This summer we're teaming up with Crowdfunder to launch a new crowdfunding initiative to support creative projects in Scotland.

Crowdfund Creative Scotland is a competition in which creative individuals, groups or collaborations can submit their project to be in with a chance of receiving up to £5,000 in match funding towards their crowdfunding campaign.

We spoke to Jason Nuttal, Programme Director at Crowdfunder, and Jackie Stewart, Creative Industries Officer at Creative Scotland to find out all about it.

Tell us a bit about your roles

Jason: My role as Programme Director at Crowdfunder has two aspects to it, firstly I develop partnerships with a wide range of funders -  we are currently working with people like Sport England, Trust for London, Aviva, Natwest and many others. The other part of my role is more internal, my background is in the charity sector as a grant-maker, thus I have responsibility for ensuring our fund distribution systems are robust.

Jackie: In my role as Creative Industries Officer at Creative Scotland I support three key areas of our work. Firstly, as part of the Creative Industries Team, my main role is to support the delivery of the Creative Industries Strategy which has the principal aim of growing more sustainable creative businesses in Scotland. The other areas of my job relate to supporting organisations within our network of Regularly Funded Organisations and the delivery of our Open Fund through support for applicants, assessing applications and decision making on funding panels.

Where did the idea for this initiative come from?

Jackie: We are in the third phase of work in this area since launching the Creative Industries Strategy in 2016, and the campaign responds to recommendations highlighted during the previous two phases of our work supporting creative businesses to access alternative sources of finance.

Phase one was all about raising awareness and building knowledge across the creative industries. We ran an event in February 2017, in partnership with Social Investment Scotland and Creative Edinburgh, called ‘More than Money: Access to Finance', to help people understand alternative financing and financial models. Feedback told us people wanted to know more about Crowdfunding. So, we commissioned creative consultancy Paved With Gold to produce a guide to Crowdfunding, The Next Generation of Creative Crowdfunding, explaining the different models and platforms. The report recommended further enquiry into the potential of crowdfunding, the impact and challenges.

Phase two focused on developing skills and testing a match crowdfunding model – we ran the Crowdfunding Creativity match funding and mentoring programme with Paved With Gold and supported six businesses to get their ideas and projects off the ground. Collectively those six projects raised just over £42,000 from their crowd supporters.

Working with Crowdfunder gives us the opportunity to build on our work so far by further investigating models of matched funding and increase accessibility of crowdfunding to more creative businesses across Scotland. We agree that crowdfunding has real potential in the creative world, and set against the backdrop of increased competition for funding and shrinking resources and now the COVID-19 world we live in, businesses and individuals are looking at ways to support their ideas and projects.

Why are you launching this now, during the Coronavirus pandemic?

Jason: With galleries, museums, theatres and other cultural venues closed, crowdfunding provides opportunity for artists to reach out to their networks and engage their supporters in their projects. Crowdfunder is a rewards-based platform, this means artists can offer rewards in return for donations to their crowdfunding campaign. The rewards could be tickets, artworks, they could also be more innovative such as the opportunity to co-write a script or to have a character in the play named after the donor.

Jackie: Crowdfunding is a fantastic way for creative practitioners and organisations to raise funds for creative projects, as well as grow awareness of their work, and develop relationships with audiences. We hope this project will support a range of creativity across the country and offer Scottish audiences new opportunities to connect with the arts, screen and creative industries.

What do you need to do to enter the competition?

Jason: During the call for entry period from 19 June 2020 to 06 July 2020 you will be asked to tell us about your crowdfunding project idea in no more than 100 words, and give us a few additional details so we can get back in touch with you. It really is that simple!

What is the selection criteria for shortlisted campaigns?

Jason: Full details of the criteria can be found on the website, however the competition is open to most artists and creative practitioners – whether working individually, in groups or as part of organisations. We will be looking to shortlist a group of projects to go forward and run a crowdfunding campaign. As this is a pilot project we are looking to hear from as wide range of different organisations as possible.

What type of projects would you hope to come out of this?

Jason: Crowdfunder has worked with hundreds of different artistic projects over the years - film, street performance, ceramics, theatre, poetry, circus, music, literature, graffiti, festivals, dance – just have a look in the Arts category in Crowdfunder’s search tool and you’ll see them all. I’m excited to see what ideas Scotland’s creatives have for us!

Tell us about the online workshops you’re running in June

Jason: I’d encourage everyone to join one of the webinars that are taking place on the 19 and 23 June. You’ll hear more about the competition, and how crowdfunding works including insights from someone who has recently run a successful crowdfunding campaign. It’s a short session, to inspire people to find out more. You’ll also be told about our new online course, through which you can learn everything you need to know to run a successful crowdfunding campaign.

For more information, to sign up for the workshops and to submit your idea head to: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/funds/creative-scotland

About Crowdfunder

Crowdfunder believes that everyone in the UK is a philanthropist in the making and that they should have the power to make positive change in their communities. Crowdfunder is the UK's #1 rewards-based crowdfunding platform, where over £72 million has been raised by thousands of businesses, social enterprises, charities, community groups, and individuals across the UK. Crowdfunder helps connect people with the resources they need to make their idea happen.

This article was published on 12 Jun 2020