What have we learnt about the value and impact of supporting crowdfunding among community businesses?

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Between 2017 and 2022, Power to Change partnered with Crowdfunder UK to run Community Business Crowdmatch. We explore what we learned about crowdfunding and community businesses.
5 Jul, 2023
Laura Johnson

Laura Johnson

Clear Impact Consulting

The fund offered matched funding of up to 50% of a crowdfunding target, up to a maximum of £10,000, for new or existing community businesses providing services or activities that benefited their local community.

Since 2017, Community Business Crowdmatch:

  • Enabled Power to Change to deliver over £500,000 across 106 projects in funding directly to community businesses.
  • Supported community businesses to exceed their funding targets, raising 129% of their target on average.
  • Garnered significant support across communities, with an average of 218 backers per campaign.

For every £1 pledged by Power to Change through Community Business Crowdmatch, an additional £3.83 has been levered from the local community and other funders.

Some of our key reflections from the evaluation are:

  • Crowdmatch has had a significant financial impact on community businesses, helping many at a point of significant need or crisis.  
  • Most of the organisations we spoke to said that they wouldn’t have been eligible for other types of funding. 
  • The flexibility of the funding was welcomed. Community businesses were not given strict guidance meaning that if plans changed, funds could be repurposed.  
  • Crowdmatch enabled community businesses to continue to provide wide-ranging benefits for their communities, with funding often being used to maintain or expand existing activities, or to plug gaps in essential costs. 
  • Crowdfunding helped community businesses to deepen engagement with their communities. It helped to strengthen their local profile, develop valuable resources and comms materials, and resulted in offers of time or services from community.

Wigan Cosmos Football Club

Wigan Cosmos Football Club is a well-established not-for-profit sports and local community football club. The club has been going since 2004 as a small team and after several attempts to find their own pitches/club, acquired a site that was in significant need of repair. The aim of their crowdfunding campaign was to raise money to renovate and develop the site into a state-of-the-art sporting facility, that is affordable, accessible and inclusive. The funding has transformed the site and made a huge difference to the local community, making it a safer and more secure area with excellent facilities.

“It put us about five years ahead of where we could have been. We have been able to do things so much quicker rather than waiting for money to come in all the time – it pushed us hugely forwards… We’ve got a five, ten and 25-year plan – we are close to our ten-year plan now because of the funding.”

Based on these findings, we recommend that when providing matched funding for crowdfunding projects:


  • Offer community businesses the option of donation-by-donation matched funding or target matching
  • Ensure monitoring and evaluation is appropriate to the scale of matched funding
  • Consider offering funding on an annual basis to support community businesses, particularly those facing financial challenges, wanting to improve their facilities and services, and new and emerging businesses with lower turnovers and less than two years of accounts.