Santander to crowdfund social enterprises

Written by Rebecca O'Connor on 4th October 2016

Santander has launched a £200,000 fund to support social enterprises and community projects across the UK.

The UK division of Europe’s biggest bank has earmarked the funds to support “inspirational community projects” that seek support on Crowdfunder, the crowdfunding platform.

Projects including small charities, community groups and social enterprises that help disadvantaged people, can raise up to £10,000 each in “matched funding” at a time from the new Santander Changemaker Fund.

The move into crowdfunding for social purposes is a first for a leading high street bank in the UK. Santander said the partnership “not only bridges the gap between traditional and alternative finance but also paves the way for closer relationships between banks and the crowdfunding sector.”

Eligible projects seeking funds of up to £20,000 that receive funding of up to £10,000 from “the crowd”, will receive 50% of their funding requirement from Santander.

Phil Geraghty, managing director of Crowdfunder said: “The new partnership between Crowdfunder and Santander is a key milestone for the crowdfunding industry – opening up powerful networks and opportunities between the banking sector and the next generation of ’changemakers’. It also offers long term economic impacts by supporting social enterprises alongside the immediate benefits of helping people make their great ideas happen.”

Sue Douthwaite, managing director of Santander Business Banking, said: “Our purpose is to help people and businesses prosper and we recognise the important role social enterprises and charities play in helping communities to thrive. With the power of the Crowd, our £200,000 Changemaker Fund will help bring great ideas to life and enable social enterprises and community ventures to grow.”

Changemaker is part of Santander’s flagship community programme, The Discovery Project, which aims to inspire people to have confidence in the future through projects that build skills, grow knowledge and support innovation.

As well as access to the £200,000 matched funding from Santander, projects will benefit from the crowdfunding team specialists with education, enterprise and coaching support to unlock the further funds and create lasting impacts in communities across the UK. Further funding will be released in 2017.