Alternative fundraising platform Crowdfunder has conducted research which has revealed that Britain's senior citizens are more likely to pledge money on projects than any other age group.
Utilising the website's analytics data, Crowdfunder discovered that in the month of March 2015, over 12.5 per cent of those who backed projects on the site were aged over 65. The biggest contributors to the platform overall were the 45-55 year-olds, with 27.5 per cent pledging online. Some 9.3 per cent of commitments came from 18-25 year-olds.
Around 500,000 people visit Crowdfunder's website each month, and over 40 per cent of the users from the March analytics were over 45.
Phil Geraghty, managing director of Crowdfunder said: “It's a really interesting trend we're seeing. Although crowdfunding is widely perceived as a relatively 'new' digital activity, crowdfunding has a broad appeal across every age band. It's great to see the older generations getting behind great ideas.”
While the analytics did not provide detail into what specifically the older demographics were more inclined to invest into, Geraghty added: “Our sense is that older pledges are attracted to local community projects, and like ideas that might make a difference to their areas.”
As one of the UK's largest crowdfunding network in the project space, Crowdfunder has raised over ￡4.5m for over 4,000 businesses, charity and community projects across the UK since merging with Peoplefund.it in 2012. The process of crowdfunding, where a project's funding is supplied by raising contributions from a large number of people, usually online, has gained traction following the launch of ArtistShare back in 2003. Data from The Crowdfunding Centre, an online platform monitoring the development of the industry, suggested that there are now on average over 456 new projects launched each day.
Geraghty said that the constant development of the industry, along with its cross-generational impact, indicated that crowdfunding is likely to keep on expanding in the coming months. “The UK crowdfunding market grew by 388 per cent last year, and these figures also suggest there is huge growth potential for crowdfunding as more generations discover how to turn their ideas into reality,” he explained.
Plymouth University's crowdfunder-in-residence Heather Forster suggested that older demographics are becoming increasingly digitally aware. “The figures support some of the anecdotal evidence we have seen. In my role as a crowdfunding coach, I have visited some residential homes and seen lots of older people become really interested in crowdfunding – using their iPads to get them connected," she explained.