Earlier this year, we had the pleasure of teaming up with the Wellington City Council and some superstar social entrepreneurs, to run their Smart Energy Challenge. This was an initiative in which community-led projects ran crowdfunding campaigns on PledgeMe, which were then matched dollar-for-dollar by the Council. It was one of our first matched funding projects, and we though it was an awesome idea.
Clearly, we weren’t the only ones. At the NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards last month, the Wellington City Council won the Renewables Innovation Award, due to their innovative private/public funding model.
After this success, crowdfunding is being considered an option for the Council’s future – Council staff Zach Rissel said he would “highly recommend considering crowd-funding for implementing Council projects”, describing it as “a great way to validate ideas” because it makes the community’s backing and support of an idea clear. Senior Policy Advisor Nigel Taptiklis also saw this connection as a positive of crowdfunding, and suggested that it “puts the end-decision about whether the project goes ahead in the hands of the community”. We couldn’t agree more!
We want to say a huge congratulations to the City Council for this award, and we’re super stoked to see the NZI awards recognising the power of crowdfunding. Here’s to making a positive difference within our community!