Harringay Green Lanes Traders Association

Civic Crowdfunding Programme

The Mayor’s Crowdfunding Pilot offers local groups a digital platform to propose and crowdfund projects that improve their neighbourhood for the benefit of the wider community, with direct support and pledges from the Mayor.

The pilot programme is being delivered with partners Spacehive – an online civic crowdfunding platform and London startup, which enables anyone to propose an idea in public and anyone to ‘pledge’ towards a project’s funding target.

If enough people back an idea, and the target is reached, then the project goes ahead.

The programme was recently singled out by the World Government Summit as one of the leading government innovations from around the world.

Civic Crowdfunding featured in IBM People for Smarter Cities

The Mayor pledges up to £20,000 (and no more than 75% of the total project budget) to the best ideas as ‘one of the crowd’. Projects are selected based on:

  • innovation 
  • deliverability
  • local support

The Mayor’s involvement makes the crowdfunding model more inclusive by lowering barriers to participation.

This represents an innovation in the way GLA funding is administered, by empowering people to make a difference in their community, whilst exploring new models of collaborative and participatory democracy between City Hall and citizens.

The pilot demonstrates the potential for citizen-led initiatives to support strategic regeneration and give local people meaningful involvement in the development of the city; both understanding the challenges and collaboratively proposing new and creative solutions.

The pilot has so far delivered two rounds of funding throughout 2015. To date, £600,000 has been pledged by the Mayor to 35 local projects, which have in turn raised more than £830,000 from more than 2300 backers.

The Mayor’s pledge has proved a key catalyst in legitimising ideas and ensuring campaigns succeed. Of the projects we pledged towards, 95% achieved their crowdfunding target, compared to a 47% average for Spacehive and 25% global average.

In the second round alone, the Mayor’s pledges of £260,000 towards 18 projects attracted match in excess of £430,000.

The Pilot is set to run to the end of 2016/17 with a further two rounds with a total allocation of £730,000. Round 3 has just closed, with 60 projects seeking a pledge from the Mayor.