Civic crowdfunding campaigns- 20 successful examples

By Rocio Triboli

In a nutshell, crowdfunding is a method to raise money for a specific project from a large group of individuals. But it’s a lot more than that. 

Crowdfunding has gone from a financial niche concept to a far-reaching phenomenon that encourages community, collaboration and innovation. It makes the development of new ideas economically possible, but also allows the process to be more democratic and inclusive. 

For local authorities it represents an opportunity to build bridges between the authorities and their citizens, but also among citizens themselves. 

In this article we will take a look at 20 examples of civic crowdfunding campaigns that successfully reached their goals.

civic crowdfunding campaign playground
by: Wanstead playground Association

1. Wanstead playground

A small playground in Wanstead was in desperate need of some renovations. To take on this task, a group of parents created the Wanstead Playground Association. 

They used posters, flyers and social media to build their profile locally and attract more volunteers, and launched their first civic crowdfunding campaign in 2015 on the Mayor of London’s page

They received a lot of support and ran a total of three successful campaigns raising more than £85,000 from 380 backers.

The playground is located in the heart of Wanstead, surrounded by local businesses (shopping, eating, drinking). The improvement of the playground attracted more parents and their children to the High street, who usually combine their visit with quick shopping and some snacks, providing crucial trade to the local enterprises.

by: Tree Shepherd


Tulse Hill station was a neglected commercial area characterized by the predominance of empty shops. A social enterprise, Three Shepherd, came up with the idea of turning this area into a monthly pop-up market: TWIST. The project had a focus on supporting long-term unemployed local people to find a way into self-employment as stall traders.

TWIST provided a space for testing new business ideas while being an active part of the local community.

Those who wanted a stall in the new market pre-paid for it as a contribution to the campaign. This meant that the traders, together with those who supported the market and the volunteers, became part of the project team. This sense of ownership fueled the campaign and helped make the market an instant success, with traders ready to go on day one.


3. The PEER gallery

The PEER gallery has exhibited more than 50 world-class artists since 2002 on Hoxton High street. They also run different programmes for local schools and the community. 

Unfortunately, due to the modest property they were in, most of the time it went unnoticed and even locals weren’t sure if the gallery was open. 

With the crowdfunding campaignthey raised money for a facade makeover. They replaced the front with internal see-through panels that make their artwork visible – even after hours – creating a more welcoming presence on the High street. 

According to PEER, the changes not only benefited them with a new and broader audience but also brought life to that area. It became a place for the local community to come together.

By: Annika Samm

4. Oberursel High School

At the end of the school year, the students of Medical Service Oberursel High School have three intense training days where they put all the content learned over the year into practice. 

To make those days as varied as possible, they also invited external lecturers. People from the rescue services, civil protection and the fire brigade gave the participants exciting insights and presented further first-aid content.

Even though the majority was financed by the school, the crowdfunding campaign helped them cover the costs of travel for their external lecturers.

In exchange for their support, backers got a personalized thank you postcard or a small First Aid kit depending on the amount of their pledge.

Streekmotor23 unsplash picture

5. Wearside women in need van

WWIN (Wearside Women in Need) is an organization that provides refuge for women and children that have suffered abuse, trauma and isolation. During the corona pandemic they have become even more isolated and cut off from the wider community. They had almost no access to cultural and community attractions, outdoor spaces, classes and events.

With the donations received from their civic crowdfunding campaignWWIN was able to purchase a minibus that gave their refugees better access to the natural environment and community assets, improving their health and well-being.

At the same time, driving the bus around, increased their presence in the neighborhood. It raised their outreach and awareness work, making it easier to access domestic abuse support.

By: real-x skatepark

6. Less noise in skatepark

Real-X is an indoor skatepark where the young people of the neighborhood meet, skateboard, play music, games and more.

They wanted to give young bands and DJs more opportunities to perform, but the sound reverberated enormously in the room so it was not possible to skate and play music at the same time. To fix this, they crowdfunded the money necessary to buy sound-absorbing hanging panels to put in the hall.

At the end of the campaign, there was a big Rock & Board party for all of those who supported it.

Besides donating, backers could choose among several other rewards such as stickers, T-shirts, private skateboard lessons, and a skateboard.

By: Singa

7. Calm like at home

SINGA is an organization that works towards creating more inclusive communities. They successfully crowdfunded and created an online platform called CALM (like at home).  Its purpose is to connect refugees seeking housing with private hosts.

More than just a solution to housing needs, CALM tries to provide an enriching human experience with the aim of preparing the future of refugees and their inclusion in the French social life.

An algorithm in the app compares the applicant’s and the potential hosts’ interests to couple them. Before the home-stay begins, SINGA runs a training session for the candidates to ensure that the home-sharing experience is successful.


By: Ama

8. Tilindula

“Tilindula: memories of an invisible woman” is a theatrical project that narrates the life of an intersex woman and her family in times when being different was punished with social isolation.

The cultural association AMA wanted to use the play to reflect on the reality and discrimination that intersex people were – and still are – subjected to and to help promote changes towards a more tolerant, equal and just society.

With the crowdfunding campaign, AMA gathered the necessary money to take this play to the theater. Backers could choose between rewards ranging from EUR 15 to EUR 120. Among them were: a special thank you from the team on social media, tickets for the premiere for up to 4 persons, a CD with the music of the play, a copy of the script, and even the possibility to attend rehearsals and hang out with the performers.


By: Aap

9. A dog in the care center

AAP is a non-profit organization that believes that bringing people and animals together increases the well-being of both parties.

The organization set up a team consisting of pets and trained volunteers that visit residential care centers in the Waasland region, providing companionship and fun to the elders living there.

The campaign collected EUR 8,535 which was used to increase the team, train the owners and the dogs, and support the program for at least 5 more years.

The visits include small walks around the neighborhood. Besides being healthy, it strengthens the connection between the residents and their neighbors, causing a general improvement in their well-being. 


civic crowdfunding campaign
By: Leichtflieger-Oberlausitz e.V

10. Stairway to heaven

An association that runs paragliding operations at Görlitz and Rothenburg needed a new winch to ensure continuous flight operations.

The winch cost € 6,000 and the association could only pay half of that, so they decided to crowdfund the remaining €3,000.

This civic crowdfunding project was quickly funded. The rewards they offered were exciting and cheap compared to the normal price if purchased otherwise.

The four rewards available were: a display of your name on their website, a t-shirt, a flight with a trained pilot steering the paraglider, and a lesson on how to pilot paragliders with the opportunity of going for one flight.

By: meves- hof

11. Green care together

Meves-Hof connects children with seniors who can share their experiences with the youngsters and learn about sustainability while gardening side by side.

Crowdfunding allowed them to buy all the elements needed to maintain the garden (fences, soil, tools, and a tool shed).

This multi-generation garden created real inclusion, closeness and connection: they dig, rake, weed, play and snack together. This way, older people feel needed and avoid loneliness. They had the opportunity to pass on their knowledge to the kids and to do practical things like harving, stockpiling, etc. 

By: Milano2035 and La Corda

12. Lab Barona, coffee repair

At Lab Barona – Repair Café they give new life to used home items. People come together to exchange, repair or transform them while sharing knowledge and experiences over a cup of coffee or tea.

La Cordata cooperative and the Milano2035 network came together with this initiative. The mission was to make00 Barona an increasingly cohesive and supportive neighborhood. A civic crowdfunding campaign was set up to buy a fully equipped multi-functional workshop and the necessary technological equipment.

Among the rewards backers could choose between stencils, creative kits, participation in different workshops, birthday parties for kids, etc.

Once the campaign reached its goal of €8,000, the Municipality of Milan pledged an extra €12,000 to support the initiative.

By: Geoffrey Delumeau

13. All united in the metro

The Petits Cafés du Métro project is an initiative of five young people who did not know each other but were surprised to spend a good time together while they were on the train – they were just missing coffee!

They decided to recreate this experience in the metro of Paris, where people hardly speak to each other and there is a general climate of mistrust.

The crowdfunding goal was only €250, needed to buy the coffee and cakes that were distributed by the volunteers for 3 hours on a Saturday evening.

Despite being a small project, it created a unique event. Parisians joined in laughter and conversation regardless of their origin, sex, age, religion or social background.

civic crowdfunding campaign art
By: Unique-Kunterbunt e.V

14. A platform for artists

Unique-Kunterbunt e.V is a local association with the purpose of bringing art and culture closer to the people of Oberhausen and its surroundings.

The association serves as a platform for small artists to exhibit their work and make them visible to the rest of the community. At the same time, they offer all sorts of workshops, courses, events and activities for people of all ages.

After corona, they were struggling to sustain their multiple offers as much as before. With the money raised in the campaign, they were allowed to secure materials for workshops and a free creative program for underprivileged families.

In exchange for their support, people could choose between a variety of small items like postcards and bracelets, or vouchers for any workshop run in the association.

By: Sv Merkur

15. Digital chess boards

In the SV Merkur sports club from the Hanerau-Hademarschen community, there are currently more than 340 chess students and only two mentors to support them. To help the coaches with the job and optimize their training work, they needed to acquire 16 digital chess boards with corresponding chess clocks to keep a record of all the player’s moves, so they could later analyze them.

Because it was considered a “luxury problem”, they couldn’t get the full amount of money needed from the State Sports Association. As a result, they turned to crowdfunding and private sponsorship that allowed them to successfully collect the desired amount.

By: VZW Pluck 9230

16. Pluck 930

Pluk 9230 is a project that aims to reduce food waste. 9,230 euros was the amount they needed to raise in the campaign to pick 9,230 kg of fruit in the Wetteren area during the summer of 2021.

The idea was to take advantage of the orchards that the region has to offer (apples, cherries, blackberries and nuts), donate part of the harvest to local social organizations, and use the rest to make delicious local products.

The money was used to purchase an electric cargo bike and for picking and processing materials. People could support the initiative either by becoming a volunteer or through donations.

At the end of the season, there was a harvest festival organized for all the partners, volunteers and supporters.

The project became so successful that they are planning to launch a new project in 2022.

By: Oranjefeesten Foundation

17. Koningsdag Apeldoorn

The Oranjefeesten Foundation annually organizes the traditional celebration of King’s Day in the city center of Apeldoorn. This was always a big orange party with free entertainment for all the residents. Unfortunately, due to the corona pandemic, the party was cancelled. 

A group of local residents came up with the idea of organising an alternative program that fitted within the health and safety guidelines.

The plan was designed with the help of local entrepreneurs and other civic associations, and financed with crowdfunding. It consisted of surprising residents and employees of all residential care centers and nursing homes on King’s Day with Orange Pastry and coffee. 

As a reward, the people that supported received a tin of cookies in exchange.

By: iago eiros

18. Pinhole van, on the road

On the road is a photographic project where the artist, Iago Eireos, wanted to convert a van into a giant camera that seeks to capture the individual and collective memory of the road landscape: architecture, people, transport, customs and habits.

The project needed money to start. The fund was going to be oriented to adapting the so-called Pinhole van and adding a laboratory inside to carry out the development and printing process.

Simultaneous to the crowdfunding campaign, the artist started a crowdsourcing initiative. This way, he could receive help from the crowd in tasks such as making the design of the catalogue, translating, and gathering materials that he could reuse.

Based on the amount of money contributed, backers got either a photographic workshop on the van, a signed catalogue of his recent work or a serigraphy. 

By: Alice & Muolaye

19. Muranero wants to live!

Alice & Moulaye are known as the Muranero team. Together they run a small shop in the Castello district in Venice where they sell beautiful items made of glass.

The corona pandemic and the social-economic paralysis that came with it forced them to ask the crowd for help to avoid closing the shop they had run for 20 years.

They managed to raise € 3,525 in exchange for pendants, bracelets and earrings and used the money to pay off their debts and reorganize the workshop-shop.

Mulaye was the first African to become a glassblower in Venice. He is well-known in the community for his work training orphaned boys and girl to become professionals in the glassblowing sector. His popularity helped him gain quick support from the community.

By: CivicWise

20. Civic Practices

CivicWise is an international community that promotes the development of collective intelligence in the field of urbanism, civic innovation and citizen empowerment. So it only made sense that they decided to start a civic crowdfunding campaign to get the funding needed for the publication of the book Civic practices. The book documents all the work done in the CivicWise Community meeting in Paris. 

People could pre-purchase the book in its digital or physical version and have it shipped 3 months after the campaign ended.

The project aimed to be the first step toward creating a lively and accessible database that can help anyone find civic references.

Besides monetary help, supporters could help out with proof-reading in four different languages, video editing and promotion. 

civic crowdfunding campaign people
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