Crowd-sourced funding model attracts €25k so far

15 Apr 2011

The Business 2 Arts-led crowdfunding site, modelled on Kickstarter, has so far attracted pledges of €25,000 from the general public for 10 projects and creative ideas.

Two of the 10 projects reached 100pc of their targets ahead of deadline.

The site was established a few weeks back to create an opportunity for creative ideas that need funding to go to their networks and pitch for support in return for great rewards.

The site works on the basis that creators submitting projects select the time period in which they wish to raise funds.

However, they must reach 100pc of their target in that time, or no pledges of support will be realised.

Successful crowdfunded projects

The Irish Museum of Modern Art hosted the first project to reach 100pc, which it did yesterday, a full five days before its deadline.

So far, the museum has raised more than €4,800 from 88 individuals who have helped it purchase a suite of four drawings by the artist Bea McMahon for the permanent collection.

Later last night, Le Cool Dublin exceeded 100pc of its fundraising target, with 13 days still to go.

Le Cool secured at least €2,500 from 86 micro-funders who want to support its idea for an evolving two-hour walking tour of Dublin which will highlight DIY culture, street art, fashion, music and the latest trends.

Business to Arts is the not-for-profit organisation concerned with supporting resilience in the cultural sector, and ‘Fund it’ is its latest initiative, which is aimed at creating a culture of micro-patronage in everyone, whether they be consumers or audience.

“It is fantastic to see people responding so positively to the opportunity to participate in projects and back good ideas,” said CEO Stuart McLaughlin.

“While Fund it is still in its infancy, the early signs are that the ‘crowd’ has embraced this new model of support and this creates a new range of opportunities and possibilities for both the creative community in Ireland and the consumers.” was partly funded via a Cultural Technology Grant of €20,000 from the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs in November 2010.

Having gone live just 23 days ago, the site has already created entirely new income for both the cultural and wider creative industries of 25pc more than that initial investment, and is being celebrated as a potentially important new fundraising platform for the sector as a whole, already challenged by reduced access to subsidy.

Fund it is also supported by Bank of America Merrill Lynch through the New Stream programme operated by Business to Arts, and the Vodafone World of Difference programme.

There are now 11 projects on the site, in a range of areas.

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