This study examines the impact of matched crowdfunding as a new means of getting ideas and projects off the ground, through analysis of a £251,500 matched crowdfunding pilot for arts and heritage projects.

Study highlights and key findings:

  • Matched crowdfunding can help leverage additional funds. The £251,500 in match funding provided by Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the pilot helped leverage an additional £405,941 from the crowd of 4,970 backers.
  • The pilot largely attracted new supporters and finance for arts and heritage organisations, rather than drawing from existing philanthropic sources.
  • Matched crowdfunding goes beyond increasing financial contributions. 85% of fundraisers reported receiving non-financial contributions such as voluntary work offers and campaign design advice.
  • Crowdfunding improves skill levels for individuals and organisations: More than two in three fundraisers reported that running the crowdfunding campaign significantly improved their pitching and fundraising skills.
  • While crowdfunding can help fundraisers easily attract a global audience, in the majority of cases backers live less than 20 miles from the project they supported and the majority stated that they were going to see or experience the project in person.
  • While matched crowdfunding attracts a diverse mix of backers in terms of age, education and average income, it risks being dominated by a few large donors, with the top 1% of backers giving 24% of the total crowd contribution.