Innovative ideas for cultural and creative sectors in Europe

Crowdfunding for Culture (C4C)

Crowd 4 Small Art

"Crowdfunding for Culture" (C4C) is a web-based crowdfunding platform dedicated to small and medium sized local cultural institutions. Its aim is to provide affordable access to capital to local cultural institution by putting them in touch with investors interested in maintaining the local cultural scene as well as the local economy.

Innovation

In the context of the current European financial crisis, we are sorry to witness all over Europe an important decrease in public funding and public grants for cultural institutions and the arts in general. Small and even medium sized institutions are often the first victims of this dramatic development. Witnessing steadily increasing costs in a highly competitive context, cultural institutions find it more and more difficult to gain access to funding. As a direct consequence of this development, culture is becoming less accessible and less diverse in areas which are already largely deserted, creating even more inequity in smaller urban and rural agglomerations. Moreover, the loss of cultural activity has direct consequences on the local economy a well as the attractiveness of certain areas. In order to support local cultural institutions that find themselves in a difficult economical situation, “crowdfunding for culture” provides a solution to gain access to affordable capital, creating at the same time benefits for all actors of a clearly identifiable region. Both economic actors and private parties can donate funds to a specific cultural project in order to stimulate and/or maintain the local cultural life, and thereby the local economy of a territory.

Technology

The crowd funding takes place on a web-based platform that puts in touch institutions seeking funds with donators. Each cultural institution which is seeking a certain amount of funding has a profil page. Inside a profil page you will find : 1. Presentation of the cultural institution (activity, history, importance for the community) 2. Concrete presentation of the specific need (for expl : finance an artistic project, finance a renovation, buy equipment) 3. Presentation of the exact amount of funds required (max 30 000€) Donators choose the project they are interested in and specify the amount they want to donate (100€ minimum, 10 000€ max, benefiting at the same time of advertisment and tax deductions). The model is inspired by the "fan-funding" model that allows the general public to directly finance a project that they would like to see realised.

Target Group

Regarding the "receivers", C4C targets local cultural institutions such as museums, art galleries, theatres, cinemas, concert/dance halls, historical monuments which are looking to raise a certain amount of funding for a specific need. Fund-seeking institutions can be public or private, the national legislations being the main factor determining if a public institution can receive private funding. We target mainly institutions based in small to medium sized towns (max 100 000 inhabitants). Regarding the donators, C4C targets companies or private parties (corporate sponsors, foundations as well as the public) willing to contribute, in a philantropic perspective, to maintaining the cultural life of a territory, and thereby the economic network of a specific region.

Implementation

In a first step, market research has to validate our positioning. We will consult local political, public and private institutions all over Europe in order to determine more specificly the needs and the issues that local cultural institutions are currently facing. We will start by seeking public funding for the project. We will also contact tax authorities to work on a tax deduction scheme for the donations. As the first step in creating the actual platform, we will work with an IT developer and an UX designer to create a web-based platform that would be userfriendly and easily accessible. Once the web-based platform is ready, will we launch a publicity campaign targeting cultural institutions as well as the general public.

Sustainability

In the long run, C4C will have to be able to reach a large scale of institutions and donators all over Europe. Large European publicity campaigns (with the financial support of the European regional funds) will have to be lauched. The main ressource will be advertisments on the platform. C4C could also work in the long run with micro finance institutions in order to provide cultural institutions with micro-loans. This option would mobilise a larger scale of investors and the amount of money required could be more easily raised. Another future development of C4C could also be "competence donating". Potential partners are regional development agencies, cultural networks, DG Regio, DG CULT etc.