Community groups and businesses across rural Scotland have raised over £1.2 million through crowdfunding.

Following the success of a 2 year contract between Crowdfunder and LEADER to implement Crowdfund Scotland, a further 5 months of support has been made available until the end of July to projects who would like to engage with this method of funding.

The aim behind the Crowdfund Scotland initiative is to raise awareness and experience of crowdfunding as a means of alternative finance amongst businesses and community groups in rural areas. With a greater knowledge of how to finance local projects, rural areas have the opportunity through crowdfunding to develop their social infrastructure and economies in increasingly new and more sustainable ways. 

The Crowdfund Scotland portal is managed by 3 crowdfunding coaches, set up to support projects in 8 LEADER areas; Forth Valley & Lomond, Kelvin Valley & Falkirk, Perth & Kinross, Fife, Tyne Esk, Scottish Borders, Renfrewshire & West Lothian. 

The £1.2 million raised from 276 successful crowdfunding campaigns, has amplified LEADER’s investment in the programme to an extent to which for every £1 spent, £3.37 has been raised in return.

“Our LEADER support has focussed on coaching on how to run a successful Crowdfunding campaign, so we are absolutely delighted that so many groups across the participating LEADER areas have done so well with their campaigns. Crowdfunding offers an alternative to direct grants from funders, and can be used to match fund grant funding where this is sometimes needed. Having seen over £1m raised so far we’re delighted to have been able to extend the  programme through to the Summer, particularly given the additional challenges that many small community groups and charities are facing as a result of the Covid crisis.” 

Douglas Johnston, Chair of Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER

In light of the widespread problems induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, crowdfunding has helped rural areas to become more resilient. Of the 755 projects that were set up in total, 23% were generated in response to Covid 19, raising £711,425 of the total £1.2 million achieved across the 2 years. The Crowdfund Scotland team has worked hard since March helping local businesses and communities to make use of crowdfunding as an online tool to help raise awareness, find strength in numbers and secure the funding needed to adapt and cope.

“I believe that Crowdfund Scotland has been a huge success – the knowledge that has been shared as a result of the partnership has equipped many people with the know how in how to Crowdfund successfully, which is reflected in the amount of money that has been raised in the rural LEADER areas over the course of the project. The extension is an exciting opportunity to continue to help transform rural communities in Scotland.”

Jenny Fenwick, Senior Crowdfund Scotland Coach 

Birnam Arts, a community arts centre in Perth & Kinross, was able to use crowdfunding to great effect at a time when COVID-19 forced their doors to close. To aid them in their recovery from a loss of an entire programme of theatre, music, dance, comedy and much more besides, over £41,000 was raised by 432 people to keep them going.

Birnam resized.png

 "We are absolutely delighted with the impact Crowdfund Scotland has made. The coaches showed real dedication to helping projects in rural areas develop new skills and make their ideas happen by raising vital funding – even during challenging times. To raise over £1million for remote and rural projects is a staggering achievement and is validation of the LEADER team’s vision for what crowdfunding can achieve for grass roots ideas and early stage projects – helping build a sustainable legacy.”


Dawn Bebe, Co-founder, Director,


If you’re based in one of these 8 LEADER areas and have a great idea or project that could benefit a rural business or community, start crowdfunding today and receive 1-2-1 coaching from the Crowdfund Scotland Team.


Crowdfunder works with a wide range of funding partners to distribute money from councils and corporates to projects crowdfunding to support their communities and businesses. If you would like to partner with crowdfunder, please contact our account management team at


The Crowdfunding Coaching project is being funded by LEADER and the Scottish Government as part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. 


This blog has been authored by Bertie Herrtage from Crowdfunder UK who run Crowdfund Scotland for us.