Following the launch of the new innovative Crowdfund Derby campaign, Councillor Amo Raju, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, explains how the new campaign will support local community groups.

The Crowdfund Derby campaign is a fantastic opportunity for local groups to raise money for the important work they do.

Derby’s voluntary sector plays a key role in the life of the city. We know there are a wide range of groups across Derby who work tirelessly to deliver projects of huge benefit to the community. It’s important we recognise this and support them in every way we can.

Due to budget cuts and pressures faced by the Council, we realise our ability to provide financial support has been limited.

That’s why we made one of the Council’s 50 pledges to launch the crowdfunding platform this summer to allow groups to access funds for schemes that matter and create a Strong Derby.

Crowdfunding is an innovative idea which works by people donating small amounts of money to a project. It also helps groups to raise awareness and shout about the exciting things they’re doing.

We have allocated £60,000 to support local projects that will benefit our local community.

The concept has already proved successful in other cities including Plymouth, Birmingham and London so we are looking forward to seeing the campaign build momentum in Derby.

Prior to the launch on Monday we had more than 12 groups wanting to get involved. We have already got five groups who are either in the pre-launch stage or who have listed their project which is a fantastic start.

These range from projects to help people get back into education to a specialist Diabetes support programme. The diversity of projects is extremely encouraging.

We are also delighted to be working with local charity Community Action to help deliver this campaign. Community Action has fantastic links with groups in the community and really understands the project work being undertaken by individual groups.

Their role is to help organisations with the application process so they can successfully put their projects into practice. We’re happy to have them on board and feel their input will be hugely beneficial to the interested groups.

The other great thing about the platform is that anyone locally from Derby can list their project onto the platform, even without receiving funding from the Council. Therefore, it’s also a good opportunity for small business and start-ups to promote their work.

The campaign would not be possible without the willingness and support from community organisations. So we thank them for getting involved. We also offer thanks to Community Action and Crowdfunder UK who we have worked closely with to launch the online platform.

We now look forward to building momentum on the platform and supporting a range of worthy causes.

For more information on Crowdfund Derby, please visit: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/funds/crowdfund-derby