That’s a good question!
To get started, we say you need to be:
– clear that there’s a costed project which needs money to make it happen
– in touch with a crowd to want to invest to help that project happen
– cool about being owned by that crowd
For most community projects, all three are easily met. There’s usually a project at the heart of why the group has come together, be that to save a local pub, or keep a community centre open etc. The community are self-defining: the people who live locally and who care and who’s lives will be impacted by the project, and finally, for these types of project, the idea of anyone else owning them seems daft.
The issue to me is about how big our project’s capital need is, and how many people are in your crowd.
If you want to raise £10,000, and you have a 1000 people signed up to your facebook group, or mailing list, then raising that through ‘normal’ crowdfunding might be easier and it’s an average of a tenner each.
But if you need to raise £100,000, that’s a tall order and you need a hundred quid, and so ‘normal’ crowdfunding might not get you there.
So, my rules of thumb are that I’d think it difficult to do a share issue all told for less than £20,000, and I’d think it works best for sums over that, and where the average you need from your supporters is above the £50 mark that is the maximum average for donation-based fundraising.