Fund It, Ireland’s first crowdfunding website, has attracted pledges of over €632,000 for creative projects in its first year with €3,025 pledged to County Westmeath based performance project,‘Fidget Feet’. The start-up facilitates pre-sales and micro-philanthropy for creative projects in areas such as art, design, fashion, film, technology, music and performance.
Fund It was one of 10 projects selected in 2011 for support from the Arthur Guinness Fund and over the course of two years will receive €50,000 along with business mentoring in order to advance the project further.
Since March 2011, there have been over 11,600 pledges made in return for unique rewards such as products and experiences that only the project creator can offer. Fund It is calling out for writers, bands, designers, and people with all kinds of creative ideas from County Westmeath to consider seeking funding for those ideas on the site from their fans and followers.
A successful project must be 100 per cent funded within its fundraising duration and in the past year, 143 projects were successfully brought to life through financial pledges made on the website.
Stuart McLaughlin of Fund It has commented that the high levels of pledges and successful projects funded through the website in the first year should encourage more project creators from County Westmeath to seek financing in this way.
“We are delighted with the success which Fund It has experienced in its first year. Fund It is a truly innovative service because many of these projects may not have been able to take place if this method of financing was not available. It is striking to note that 20 per cent 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 which project creators in County Westmeath should take advantage of.”
“The level of activity on the website has been increasing substantially over the past year and the first quarter of 2012 has been our busiest period to date. Despite the various challenges facing the economy, Fund It has proved that there is genuine enthusiasm about bringing creative projects to life through small financial pledges – the crowd decides. We are looking forward to continued success in supporting the creative sector and hope to encourage an increase in projects from County Westmeath throughout 2012.”
Some of the most recent projects to be funded successfully were a new theatre company’s first production, Monster Clock, in Smock Alley; a free newspaper about cycling in Dublin; and a second album from the band, Master & Dog’.
Fund It is an initiative launched by Business to Arts in partnership with Martin McNicholl in March 2011 with the aim of exploring the area of using crowdsourcing to support the creative sector. It is the first initiative of its kind in Ireland.
The Arthur Guinness Fund, which supports Fund It, rewards social entrepreneurs and those using innovation to make a positive impact on society. In 2011 the fund awarded €650,000 to 10 projects across Ireland and an evaluation process is currently underway to assess the applications that have been made for support from the Arthur Guinness Fund in 2012.