The Fund

Financing for Society will tender a total ‘Pilot Fund’ of £300,000.00 open from 15th January 2018.

Public sector organisations can apply for up to a maximum of £75,000.00 worth of ‘pilot funding’ to be spent on a broad range of development activities to help build the business case and/or to help implement a crowdfunding event (e.g. a finance raise).

The ‘pilot fund’ aims to support the development of specific public infrastructure projects – be that in renewable energy, housing, social care, or another sector of benefit to a given local community – that have been signed-off by the appropriate person within a local authority / organisation. The ‘pilot fund’ is also available to support public sector bodies that are at the inception stage of exploring the possibility of building a ‘crowdfunding event’ into their development programs.

Examples of eligible projects include:

  • Internal upskilling of officers – to manage the project and future projects;
  • Business case support – engaging consultancy services for the due diligence and financial structuring to build a robust business case and/or assess crowdfunding alongside an existing business case creation process;
  • PFI / PPP procurement models – to support local authorities develop models to procure PFI / PPP projects which include crowdfunding. This could be with third party consultancy support (e. legal & accountancy) for “pathfinder” local authorities, as well as support for the first PFI / PPP contractors adopting a crowdfunding model;
  • Project delivery costs – to provide third party legal, financial advisory and accountancy support. Specifically, the fund could be used to cover the costs associated with a project being “first of a kind” – i.e. pathfinder projects.
  • Communication costs – to produce new webpages and general awareness-raising
  • Supporting development of best practice models and peer learning – to support the communication of this learning to other Councils and interested parties.

Applicants will be:

  • Local Authorities
  • Public sector organisations
  • Arms length public sector organisations
  • Universities

Evaluation Criteria:

Successful applicants will demonstrate clear evidence that:

  • the public sector body want to explore / use crowdfunding as a way of financing or part-financing a public infrastructure project;
  • crowdfunding is a viable way potentially to finance that infrastructure project.

The successful Public Sector body will need to have provided:

  • Sign-off by an appropriate senior person in the lead public sector body, stating the project is real;
  • An outline of the public infrastructure project;
  • A full budget request and precise details of how and with whom the budget will be spent;
  • A scope of work that the budget will cover and the expected outcome (named deliverable) of the work – e. to cover costs of a feasibility study to enable the public sector body to make a decision on whether to include crowdfunding; or to cover transactions costs that lead to a crowdfunding event (i.e. a finance raise);
  • A letter of support from the sponsoring crowdfunding platform, validating that the project is feasible from a crowdfunding perspective;
  • A commitment to spend the funds allocated before 30 March 2018 as a preference, and not later than June 2018;
  • At least one named person involved in the project who will participate in the research process – i.e. a stated agreement to be interviewed at different phases of the project’s development.

Each application will pass through an independent evaluation process assessed against criteria established by the Bauman Institute in consultation with the Project Team.

Applications will be invited from Monday 15th January 2018.

Download the application form here

All applications will be considered on a ‘first come, first served’ basis and will be evaluated at three Review Panels held during the grant period:

  • Wednesday 24th January
  • Thursday 15th February
  • Thursday 1st March

Applications will be considered at the next available panel so should be submitted in good time.

Outcomes of the evaluation will be communicated to applicants not later than two weeks after submission. Regardless of the outcome, all applicants to this ‘Pilot Fund’ will remain eligible to apply to any future fund that may be launched by the Project Team.

Please register your interest in the project.