place2help Rhein-Main ceases operations- 40 successfully financed projects with a financing volume of almost 600,000 euros, a cross-sector partner network, various awards and a lot of recognition are the success of an idea that can be summed up in a simple formula:
Join forces to financially make good ideas and sustainable projects from the region possible!
The concept behind it: Projects from various crowdfunding platforms are bundled on an online platform and made visible in the region through targeted marketing measures and events. Convincing projects receive a financial grant from the regional fund — a funding pot that is filled by committed companies in the region.
Despite the positive balance from place2help Rhein-Main, the initiative will not continue for the time being — for financial reasons. “The decision was not an easy one for us,” explains Dr. Alexandra Partale.
The founder of place2help UG started the initiative in 2018 in the Rhine-Main area and continues to believe in the innovative idea behind it: “When implemented correctly, crowdfunding can provide lasting impetus for good ideas and thus strengthen the creative power in the region.” However, the initiative itself lacks funding to develop. After the non-profit status was not granted, the development of a sustainable business model has proven to be an impossible task to this day. In particular, the funding from sponsors and services did not succeed to the required extent.
The corona pandemic made matters worse in the past year.
While crowdfunding proved to be a valuable instrument to support affected shops and locations on a solidarity basis, potential partners of place2help were no longer available and planned projects were put on hold. With a lot of time invested, the founders themselves remained the main sponsors of the project. Your summary:
“An initiative like place2help Rhein-Main cannot develop its potential on the basis of an entrepreneurial approach, but needs support.”
A look at other regions confirms this. Numerous crowdfunding platforms have emerged across Germany in recent years — as a regional commitment by banks, savings banks or energy providers, as a component of local economic development or as a nationwide support measure. Mostly they focus on social or creative projects. The holistic concept of place2help Rhein-Main as an independent metaplatform that bundles projects, co-financing and partners was unique and was considered exemplary. What all platforms have in common is that they are not financially viable, but are understood as an investment in social impact and a better future.
“We could have continued our activities with a small annual grant,” says Alexandra Partale. She had hoped for funding from the State of Hesse or an order from a regional institution — in vain. This is where recognition comes from, as well as from many advocates presented on the platform, including several members of the Bundestag as well as representatives from municipalities and business associations. However, the place2help employees cannot live from that.
Since financial support has not yet been found, the makers are now drawing the consequences.
The plan is to cease operation of the platform on March 31, 2021. In order to exhaust the available resources from the regional fund by then, the funding rate was increased. Crowdfunding projects now receive a grant of up to 1,000 euros if they succeed in convincing the crowd.