About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

DigVentures - Crowdfunding archaeology and heritage projects

Lisa Westcott Wilkins is the co-founder and managing director of DigVentures, a crowdfunding platform set up to help raise finance for archaeology and heritage projects. 

We met up with Lisa to talk about crowdfunding for heritage projects and how DigVentures aims to democratise archaeology, traditionally a closed discipline, to make it more accessible to all.

Why should charities, community groups and social entrepreneurs be excited about crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is the most compelling way to reach new audiences, launch your ideas into the world, and raise much-needed funding for new endeavours - especially in sectors like heritage, which have been hit hard by budget cuts. Crowdfunding breaks down geographical barriers through the power of digital communications, and most importantly crowdfunding helps to articulate and promote a socially-minded triple bottom line: people, profits, and the planet.

Why was your platform set up and what are you hoping to achieve?

Through our platform, we mobilise public fascination with archaeology and heritage, by giving everyone the chance to become involved with exciting projects around the world. Archaeology has previously been a closed discipline, but our goal is to democratise participation in archaeology, heritage and citizen science projects through the use of digital technology and crowdfunding.

How can your platform help people or organisations interested in fundraising for a good cause?

Our crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platform connects projects with a worldwide audience of active participants. Partners benefit from diversified income, increased revenue, visitor footfall, and digital profile. Participants get to join in, try archaeology, and be a part of internationally important excavations, either in the trenches or online. Local communities benefit from the long-term sustainability of their heritage resources.

Are there any unique features of your platform we should know about?

DigVentures operates a niche platform focused on archaeology and heritage projects worldwide, particularly those that use crowdfunding to stimulate public participation.

If you could give three tips to someone using crowdfunding for a good cause what would they be?

1) It’s not just about the money: be strategic when setting campaign goals. Consider non-financial outcomes as markers of success. What have you gained?

2) Break your idea: Raising 30% from friends and family doesn’t make a successful campaign. Invite people to sense-check for where it doesn’t click. Plug the holes before launch.

3) Be a nimble communicator: your crowd will have questions. They will want answers. How present are you in the conversation?

You can read more about DigVentures and the types of projects it supports at: digventures.com

Read the other interviews with crowdfunding platforms.

Photo Credit: Virginia State Park, Creative Commons 2.0 license

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