When we launched One Manchester in April 2015, we also launched our One Manchester Community Fund to help support individuals and organisations to develop and deliver socially innovative projects, which use creative approaches to make a real difference in our communities.
In its first two years we have invested £200,000 in 111 fantastic community projects which have benefited more than 5000 local people. These projects have made a huge difference, improving the local environment, bringing the community together, reducing social isolation, and improving people’s wellbeing through all kinds of different activities and support ranging from sport to creative arts, DIY to community shops.
The second year of our investment saw us get even more members of the public involved in making decisions about funding via our community soups. Based on a project that’s had brilliant results in Detroit, we invited people and groups with creative ideas that make a real difference in their communities to pitch their ideas to a community audience at one of four events held in different parts of the city. After enjoying a bowl of soup (or some equally lovely hot food) and listening to the pitches, the audience got to vote for the projects they thought should get the funding. Take a look at which projects were awarded funding in our last round of Community Soups here.
We’re really aware that grant funding isn’t always the best way to gain support for projects. Sometimes it’s more valuable to help community groups and organisations to crowdfund to get their projects off the ground or take them to the next level.
That’s why we’ve recently run workshops and provided one-to-support to more than 30 community groups interested in learning about how crowdfunding can help them raise funds and support for their projects and activities.
Crowdfunding is a way of raising money by using internet platforms, social media and local connections to ask lots of people each for a small amount of money. People choose to give money because they believe in the cause, so it can be a great way of raising money for community projects that are making a positive difference to places and people. Projects can choose to thank people for their contributions by providing rewards such as tickets to events or public thank yous. While raising money via a crowdfunding campaign it can also create great publicity for your project and there are often match funding pots available. One Manchester can help you put together your campaign and for projects that meet our priorities may also agree a match funding pledge before you start to give your campaign a boost.
If you have a project in our communities you think might benefit from a crowdfunding campaign but don’t know where to start, you’re wondering whether you should apply to pitch at one of our Community Soups or you want to see whether there are other ways in which One Manchester can support your project, please phone our Customer Involvement team on 0161 230 1013 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We would love to hear from groups or individuals with innovative plans to make a difference in their community and are particularly focussed on ideas that make a lasting difference to our neighbourhoods. This can be making the best of local resources or public spaces and addressing environmental issues; it may also be helping people develop confidence or skills and creating local enterprise. We want everyone in our communities to have the opportunity to access positive activities that promote health and wellbeing, bring the community together and help reduce loneliness and isolation. We’d really love to hear about them all!
Applications will be internally assessed in order to shortlist for soup presentations on how well the project aligns with One Manchesters vision, whether the project is sustainable and how well the project demonstrates social innovation.
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