We’ve met our match in the crowdfunding space… Matched funding.

    It’s amazing the motivational power that comes from promising to match funds raised – if a projects goal is met. We’ve been toying with the idea of matched funding for a while, after seeing it work on a few individual projects last year (Back the Bull being the biggest example). This year we partnered with two organisations to run group matched funding campaigns, and now we’re hooked. We really think it’s one of the areas where crowdfunding is going to make a big mark in 2014.

    Think group decision making meets pre-existing funding. So, what happens is if a project can meet it’s goal through the power of their crowd, they’ll double the funding they receive.

    We’ve seen this work successfully for two groups of campaigns this year so far – one in the documentary film making space, and once for smart energy solutions in the capital. The thing we found so exciting in this space was the increase in success rates. ALL of the projects that made it into the matched funding campaigns met their goals, and exceeded them. Here’s a bit of debrief on the two campaigns run so far:

    Loading Docs – Documentary Filmmaking

    Last year, the Loading Docs team asked film makers what home meant to them, and the resulting 67 short doco proposals they received were so varied they almost couldn’t be compared – everyone had a different way of showing Aotearoa to the world.

    From that bunch, 10 were picked to receive NZ on Air and NZ  Film Commission funding, and set to the task of match funding the rest through us over the month of February. The response was amazing – 3 projects were funded in a matter of days and all of the projects overfunded. Considering our normal success rate is 49%, the fact that all of the projects met their goals blew us away, and really showed us the power of both matched funding and a support team.

    The docos funded covered stories from an intellectually disabled man, Wayne, owning a home of his own after 44 years of shared housing, through to what home means to a wide crowd in the queer community.

    Watch all of the documentaries that were created here: http://loadingdocs.net/films

    Smart Energy Challenge – Wellington City Council

    Earlier this year, Wellington City Council teamed up with us and some of Wellington’s brightest social entrepreneurs from Enspiral and Generation Zero, to bring local Smart Energy projects to life. They wanted to find and support community-led projects designed to reduce energy use and increase clean energy in Wellington, and called it the Smart Energy Challenge.

    Three projects came through in the first round – from putting solar panels on Aro Valley’s community centre, through to solar powered heating units, and a car share scheme in the city. Each project met and exceeded their goal again, showing that Wellingtonians are interested in different ways to power our capital. Wellington City Council matched dollar for dollar the target amount of each successful project.  “It was kind of like being at the horse races watching the projects”.

    What do you think about matched funding?

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