Report Published on Impact of LEAP Investment in Local Communities Through Civic Crowdfunding
19 March 2021
The Mayor of London and LEAP have been at the forefront of empowering communities through civic crowdfunding. This approach has been used to pledge money and support to a wide range of community-led projects from street art, to community gardens and kitchens, to workshops open to everyone. Nearly 20,000 Londoners have been involved, raising £4.85 million for 130 local projects, making it one of the longest-running and largest initiatives of its kind in the world.
Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, has looked back at the impact and achievements of the programme. Through new evidence, case studies and a film sharing the stories of the people behind the projects, this work showcases the impact of Crowdfund London over the last five years.
The research explains how crowdfunding can empower people to participate in the future of their neighbourhood. It reveals the way the programme design has set the foundation for community collaboration and new access to skills, resources and connections to get things done. It demonstrates how a platform for citizens to test, deliver and own ideas themselves drives grassroots innovation, strengthens local capacity and supports resilience.
As a result:
- 77% of those involved feel more empowered and confident as a result of crowdfunding for their project
- 72% of projects said the experience increased community cohesion
- 86% of projects said that this process significantly improved the skills of members of the team
- 65% of projects funded things that could not be funded elsewhere
- 73% of project leaders had plans to start another community project in future
The insights gained over five years of Crowdfund London’s continuous development provide lessons for those interested in new ways of involving communities in local decision-making and the process of neighbourhood change. The report shows what worked and what people on the ground valued most about the opportunity.
For communities, the research demonstrates the wider value of this crowdfunding process to maximise the benefit of local projects and the reach that they have.
The Mayor is taking this work forward through the new Make London programme, learning from these stories to build a platform that works for all Londoners.