Crowdfunding gains pace in horticulture

Crowdfunder managing director Phil Geraghty says more community garden projects are using the fund-raising platform because of council grant cuts.

Crowdfunder managing director Phil Geraghty says more community garden projects are using the fund-raising platform because of council grant cuts.

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, usually offering a rewards in return. Sites such as Crowdfunder, Kickstarter and Indiegogo make a cut. Crowdfunder fee is five per cent plus VAT. 

Geraghty said Walthamstow in Bloom raised more than £1,000 because "the local community saw the benefit". Rewards include sponsorship of plants.

He said projects like that needed cash because of "a reduction in grants following the downturn. Projects may not have happened because of grants reduction."

In 2014, the Eden Project raised £1.5m via a bond for an educational facility in a day, which "shows real commitment from their supporters," said Geraghty.

The Walled Nursery in Kent wants £130,000 to repair Foster and Pearson glasshouses. You can sponsor a pane for just £10 or a glazing bar for £30.

Geragthy said projects that were a mix of business, social enterprise, charity and community groups did best. Anyone can ask for cash on the platform but he said a business that did not give any rewards or community gains is unlikely to succeed, while a veg box business that gained funds had shown to itself it had community support and a potentially viable business.

He said crowdfunder had supported 30,000 projects in the last three years and expected to support 150,000 in the next three. He said the crowdfunding industry was quadrupling year-on-year.

Geraghty said larger stately homes with community gardens could be among them but had been slower to ask so far.

Projects such as Otter Farm kitchen school want £60,000 with free courses offered as benefits. Other gardening projects include The Crop Club, Sutton Community Farm, Newquay Community Orchard and Stepney City Farm.

 

 


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