Crowdfunder has helped a local Manchester football club exceed an ambitious crowdfunding target and netting the UK based platform its biggest project to date. The club, FC United of Manchester sought just £26,000 from supporters for the cost of a community centre but after a two month campaign secured over £50,000 to meet further expansion costs which include a fully fitted commercial kitchen.
FC United of Manchester was founded in 2005 and is currently playing in the Evostik 7th level Premier Division. Located in Morton, north of the city of Manchester, the club receives funding and support from fans and members who also run the club. The Broadhurst Park grounds in Morton sought expansion for a commercial kitchen and function room. The club decided to raise the funds through crowdfunding in the hopes of garnering fan support and chose Exeter-based Crowdfunder to facilitate the campaign. Since it was founded in November 2010 Crowdfunder has helped raise £1.7 million for over 2000 community projects, social causes, businesses and start-ups.
The club's crowdfunding campaign, called "Kit-it-Out" initially aimed to raise £26,000 to help pay for the building of a function room that would act as a community centre. The facility would be available to local people and club members alike to host functions, volunteering committees and social gatherings with access to be provided seven days a week. Within one month of launching, the campaign exceed its funding target which was subsequently extended to £20,000. The extra funds were proposed to pay for the the fitting of a commercial kitchen. After two months the revised target was exceeded with 872 pledges raising £51,395 and for Crowdfunder, the biggest funding total for a single project to date.
“It has been an exciting time watching the FC United campaign launch and become so successful. This project is one of our most brilliant examples of how communities can come together to change the future for something they believe in. Crowdfunder and it's supporters, Plymouth Uni and NESTA have enabled this fantastic group of people to achieve something incredible. It's not just about the startling amount they fundraised - it's about the legacy for the community and the proof for grass-roots communities across the UK that together - they can change the world." - Phil Geraghty, Managing Director of Crowdfunder
The crowdfunding campaign was far more successful than anticipated enabling FC United to build its new facilities. It is hoped that the community centre will serve as a central hub for the clubs community and volunteering activities that will help an economically deprived area of Manchester. The club will be open to local people as well as members to promote sport participation and education courses in the area.