27 February 2015: The act. platform is a world-first crowdfunding and banking platform from Community 21’s primary asset, the not-for-profit specialist, Community Sector Banking. It was launched in November 2014.
To get a feel for the first months of this exciting development, we spoke to Amanda Watt, head of act. at Community Sector Banking.
What was the proudest act. achievement of the first few months?
There are two.
Firstly, getting to market as a world-first crowdfunding and banking model. And secondly, 50% of launch projects reached (and often exceeded) their funding target. The platform went from nothing to raising more than $14,000.
Why is act. different to other crowdfunding platforms?
The banking element – it’s generating new money (the banking profits that go in to the impact account) not currently in the fundraising bucket to support community projects. This, in addition to a streamlined fundraising experience for donors via credit card
We also think differently. act. is custom built for not-for-profits to generate an income stream, so we understand them and their supporter base.
Why Community Sector Banking is committed to pioneering it?
It’s a natural evolution for Community Sector Banking. We sprang from the sector and work very hard to support it. To offer this banking opportunity for individuals to work with us to support not-for-profits and social enterprises, just by doing their everyday banking, is exactly what we’re about.
Why is it good for the not-for-profit sector?
In the short term, it provides a crowdfunding opportunity for not-for-profits to build their relationship and share their story with existing and new supporters. Longer term, this can be built into a new income stream for the organisation’s work. The more supporters of a project become banking customers, the more collective impact they can create together. And the more financial support the not-for-profit gets.
So how does it work?
Steve from Newtown is a long-time supporter of a well-known disability not-for-profit and has just switched his banking to act.
Steve has an act. home loan of $400k, earning him $49.86 in Impact Dollars per month.
He also spends $3,000 per month on his act. credit card, earning $6 in Impact Dollars. Plus his act. transaction account with an average balance of $2,500 is earning him $1.05 Impact Dollars.
Steve currently earns $56.91 Impact Dollars every month through his act. banking products, which he gets to donate to act. projects he likes, including those of the organisation he has supported for many years!
If Steve is part of a larger supporter network and if they all switch over their banking, the impact would be boosted.
For eg: Let’s imagine there are 9 other wonderful folk, just like Steve, all doing what the real Steve is doing – they could raise over $6,800 per year just in impact dollars. Imagine the potential if they also made donations!
What do I do now?
Have you got a great story to tell and a project waiting in the wings? Are you ready to work hard and utilise your passion, connections and supporters to crowdfund? Then let’s act!