A CROWDFUNDING scheme to make the things that matter locally a reality for more communities has been started by councils and the police in Devon.

Devon County County, West Devon Borough Council, Teignbridge District Council, Exeter City Council and Devon and Cornwall Police, are all working with Crowdfunder, to build opportunities for community groups to bid for finance to help local projects get off the ground.

The pilot scheme, called Crowdfund Devon, is being launched later this month and will help raise finance for local community projects and will explore crowdfunding as an alternative way to support communities.

Cllr Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Communities Cabinet Member, said: ‘We already do a lot to financially support local projects and local groups, to help pay for equipment, improvements, and to help get local projects off the ground.

‘Those groups also usually need to raise finance from other sources to support their ideas.

‘By bringing these applications for funding into the one platform, Crowdfund Devon will be the place where projects can be brought to the public’s attention in order to attract donations, and the authorities with discretionary community budgets can also choose to support bids with match-funding.’

Crowdfunding is a way of raising money from people who are happy to donate it to good causes, or it’s given in return for some sort of reward later on. It’s an idea that has grown in popularity each year, along with other alternative ways of raising cash.

Collectively, Devon’s councils already give thousands of pounds each year to support community groups and to help kick-start local projects that make a positive difference for residents.

Kay O’Flaherty, Teignbridge District Council’s Business Improvement Manager, told councillors on the overview and scrutiny committee last week that it would help look at sources of funding for less traditional projects or could help groups who are not used to going through the more established routes of achieving funding for projects.

Crowdfund Devon is set to launch with an event at Devon County Council’s County Hall, Exeter on July 12, to which community groups and interested members of the public are invited to find out more about how the crowdfunding scheme will work.