Crowdfunding site gets 143 creative projects going

3 Apr 2012

Stuart McLaughlin of Fund it pictured with the 'Monster Clock' production in Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin City. The production has been crowdfunded via Fund it

Fund it, the new Irish crowdfunding site, has managed to fund 143 creative projects in just one year, after it received pledges of more than €632,000 from the public. Music projects are the most popular funding pursuits from the public.

Interestingly, more than €100,000 of funds came from those pledging outside of Ireland.

The all-island crowdfunding website for Ireland’s creative projects was set up by Business to Arts and Martin McNicholl in 2011 to allow people to pledge funding for creative projects in areas such as art, design, fashion, film, technology, music and performance. The site follows a similar crowdfunding model to Kickstarter in the US.

Creative projects that were funded successfully recently using the Fund it platform include a new theatre company’s first production, Monster Clock, which is now running in Smock Alley Theatre. It also launched a free newspaper about cycling called Cycling in Dublin, set up by Cian Ginty. His target was to raise €3,000 in funding but the paper raised more than €3,500 in the end. Fund it also crowdfunded a second album from Master & Dogs, a band from Co Antrim.

Stuart McLaughlin of Fund it said today the high levels of pledges show there is a genuine need for alternative methods of financing creativity and the arts in Ireland.

He called on writers, bands, designers and people with all kinds of creative ideas to consider seeking funding for those ideas on the site from their fans and followers.

McLaughlin said a project must be 100pc funded within its fundraising duration. The lowest amount raised by a successful project was €410 for Fefu and her Friends and the highest was €24,375 for Solar Water Disinfection, he said.

A survey of activity on the Fund it website found:

  • 143 projects were successfully funded in the first year
  • 78pc of projects were successfully funded – a project is not considered successful or unsuccessful until its fundraising duration is complete
  • The number of projects going live on the site each month has risen from 10 to 30, and is growing
  • 20pc of the pledges made on the website were made from outside Ireland
  • The average pledge to successful projects is just more than €50
  • The music category was most successful, with more than €145,000 pledged in the first year, followed by performance with more than €136,000 in pledges, and film and TV with more than €80,000.

McLaughlin said many of these projects may not have came to fruition had this method of financing not been available.

“It is also striking that 20pc of the pledges made through the website come from outside Ireland and this represents a previously untapped source of financing for the creative community in Ireland,” he said.

In 2011, the Arthur Guinness Fund selected Fund It as one of 10 projects to receive support from its social entrepreneurship fund. Over the next two years, Fund it will get €50,000 along with business mentoring in order to advance the project further.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic