Up to £2000 in funding is on offer for community-minded projects thanks to an innovative online scheme launched.

Winchester City Council has teamed up with Crowdfunder to provide non-for-profit organisations, business start-ups, voluntary groups and social enterprises with the chance to bid for match-funding of up to £2000.

Crowdfund Winchester will initially select five ‘pilot’ projects to receive expert advice and coaching through the Crowdfunder process. The digital fundraising platform will then be open to any projects that are eligible.

Applicants will be challenged to raise a minimum of 25 per cent of the total costs of their funding target, in order to unlock the additional funds from the council. The council has allocated £120,000 to support the initiative.

To be eligible, projects must be able to demonstrate that they can contribute to the council’s priorities, such as tackling the climate emergency or driving the local economy. The aim is to help to make great ideas a reality by raising both money and community support from the offset.

Cllr Malcolm Prince, Cabinet Member for Sport, Leisure and Communities, said:

“Crowdfund Winchester aims to provide support for inspiring projects that will improve life in our district. We want to give a helping hand to great new ideas by taking this innovative online approach. I look forward to seeing what dynamic projects, services and activities come forward.”

Dawn Bebe, Founder and Communications Director at Crowdfunder, said:

“We want to hear from anyone in Winchester with an innovative idea that will have a positive impact in the city. Crowdfunder is all about supporting creative ideas that tackle social challenges – and we’re supporting the best ideas in Winchester with £2,000 extra funding and coaching advice.”

Applicants for the pilot scheme – Projects that Matter – can apply from Monday 10 February until 24 February.

The five successful projects will be announced on 28 February. After which they will each enter into a five week coaching programme ahead of going live with their crowdfunding campaigns on 6 April to raise the money required to unlock the £2,000 council funding.