€100,000 pledged to Fundit crowdsourcing site

13 Jun 2011

Fundit, Business to Art’s Kickstarter-style crowdfunding website, has attracted pledges from the public of more than €100,000 for creative projects after just 80 days.

More than 40 projects have so far gone live on www.fundit.ie, spanning the creative processes from art, design, fashion, theatre, film-making, gaming, festivals, publishing and more.

Some 17 projects have passed their fundraising goals, with up to 189pc of target achieved so far in one case.

The site was launched 80 days ago to create an opportunity for creative ideas that need funding to go to their networks and pitch for support in return for great rewards.

Fundit allows creative ideas and projects with a specific fundraising target to be promoted on site for a defined period of time.

The creators behind the approved projects promote the idea to their own networks, online and through traditional media, with a view to attract pledges in return for creative rewards. Pledges to date have ranged from €5 to €1,000, with the average giver pledging more than €39 per project. More than 2,500 individual pledges have been made.

Projects fund raising to date have come from across the four provinces, featuring Derry, Cavan, Mayo, Galway, Kerry, Wexford, Cork, Sligo, Wicklow, Kilkenny, Meath, Tipperary, Donegal and Dublin.

An all-or-nothing approach

Fundit is based on an all-or-nothing approach. When the deadline for a project is reached, if the target is not met, funders’ pledges are cancelled and the project does not get funded. If the target is reached or exceeded by the deadline, all pledges are processed, and income raised is credited to the project creator, less a small commission towards costs. 

The website was created by Business to Arts, a not-for-profit organisation working to support resilience and transformation in the cultural sector through research, innovation and partnership. It is funded under the New Stream programme, supported by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and via the support of a technology grant from the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht, and the Vodafone World of Difference Foundation.

Fundit has been set up as an island-of-Ireland initiative, accepting projects with a euro or GBP target. However, funders of projects can be from anywhere in the world.

“After the first 80 days of Fundit, the ‘crowd’ is showing a tremendous appetite for supporting those initiatives which inspire and excite audiences and consumers,” Stuart McLaughlin, CEO of Business to Arts, said.

“We have been inspired by the quality and quantity of projects submitted to the site and we hope that project creators across the island of Ireland are building their own networks to ensure that www.fundit.ie becomes a platform which enables the creative industries to reach their true potential,” McLaughlin said.

Photo: Stuart McLaughlin, CEO of Business to Arts

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years