Free crowdfunding workshops are being held next month to help anyone in need of a grant to make their local dream or project a reality.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) are holding the sessions for voluntary groups and other not-for-profit organisations in the area, including town and parish councils, which want to raise money online, in one place.

So far EDDC has funded 11 community projects through Crowdfunder, so far giving out more than £51,000 in grants.

If you’re involved with a not-for-profit group and want to find out more, EDDC is running two free sessions to help you:
• Tuesday, 23 November from 5pm to 6pm
• Thursday, 25 November from 9.30am to 10.30am

If you’d like to book a place on either of the sessions please email stating which one you want to book onto.

Money available is in addition to a large amount of county-wide crowdfunding money available from Devon County Council and Devon and Cornwall Police, as part of the Crowdfund Devon partnership. Crowdfunder, based in Cornwall, is the crowdfunding website chosen by Crowdfund Devon partnership. To find out more:

Groups can put their project onto the Crowdfunder website and start raising money anytime, including from Crowdfund Devon. The basics of crowdfunding are:
1. A group has an idea for a project. This could be constituted voluntary and community groups, town and parish councils, registered charities, registered community interest companies or constituted not for profit organisations.
2. They fill in a form on the Crowdfunder website and make a simple video giving details about their project. Their idea is published on the online crowdfunding website.
3. They publicise this project and its presence on Crowdfunder as widely as possible; they tell their ‘crowd’. The crowd can include the local community, visitors, businesses, users of the service, local and national organisations and funders, East Devon District Council, Devon County Council and Devon and Cornwall Police.
4. The crowd pledges cash to the project, and shares information about the project more widely.
5. If the project reaches its target it receives all the funding that has been pledged to it.

Some of the fantastic projects given Crowdfund East Devon grants so far include:
• £2,000 to No Toy Left Behind, an Axminster based Community Interest Company that aims to challenge the cultural norms of consumerism by offering clean, good quality second-hand toys of giftable quality. An environmentally friendly alternative to buying new stuff.
• £4,867 to the Budleigh Salterton Community Workshop project. This project aims to create a workshop and other recreational facilities in Budleigh Salterton for the community to enhance skills, confidence and social inclusion.
• £9,000 to a project to provide beach wheelchairs for the disabled in Exmouth. This will provide custom made wheelchairs to allow people with mobility issues to access Exmouth’s wonderful beach and sea.

Councillor Jack Rowland, East Devon District Council portfolio holder for Finance said:

I’d encourage people to register for these free sessions as the successful examples shown illustrate what can be achieved by crowdfunding and the additional grant from EDDC when targets are achieved.”