Generous folk throughout Staffordshire will soon find it much easier to raise or donate money - thanks to a crowdfunding website.
Backed by Staffordshire County Council, the Crowdfund Staffordshire website will provide specific space for charities, businesses or individuals from the county to showcase their fund-raising projects.
Based on website, crowdfunder.co.uk, the Staffordshire section will allow projects to be viewed and donated to by the thousands of people who regularly use the site.
The platform will also provide free advice, coaching and workshops to help those without experience of fund-raising and need a helping-hand.
Gill Heath, cabinet member for communities at Staffordshire County Council, said: "Thousands of people are already getting involved in supporting their local community, which is making a huge difference.
"But we know that hundreds more groups have great ideas, but need more money to get them off the ground. That's why we're really pleased to be launching Crowdfund Staffordshire and help people unlock the power of the crowd.
"We want Staffordshire to be a great place to live, with strong and resilient communities that work for everyone, and this is one of the ways that we’re helping communities to take the lead locally.
"Not only will Crowdfund Staffordshire help us get direct funding straight to groups but it also gives local residents the opportunity to support the projects they know can make a real difference in their area."
To start the website, Staffordshire County Council has allocated a £50,000 children and families fund, with up to £5,000 being eligible for any project that helps to support the health and well-being of vulnerable children and families.
Eileen Jordan, community organiser at the county council who has helped with a number of community projects in the county, said: "Crowdfund Staffordshire is a great idea. I love the process and from my experience in working with local community groups, this will give them a great platform to access extra funding and support."
The website is already up and running, so anyone interested in advertising their project or charity can visit here , where you can also register for the children and families fund.
What projects are already on the crowd funding website?
There are already two projects on the Staffordshire section of the Crowdfunder website, one aiming to save a pub in the county and the other looking for funding for equipment at an equine centre in Tamworth.
One project, entitled 'Help Save the Auctioneers Arms' raised £202,800 in 102 days, and was run by a group of investors who wanted to purchase and renovate a pub in the Staffordshire village of Caverswall.
A previously thriving and vibrant pub, it had declined over the years and was in need of new owners. A group subsequently came together to purchase the pub.
Another project called 'From the Horses Mouth', is looking to raise money for equipment needed at a psychotherapy centre in Tamworth, which uses horses to help treat children, young people and adults.
Treatments ranging from helping with anger, loss, anxiety and gender issues are available at the centre.
As the charity enters its tenth year of business, it is looking to offer more services and has so far raised £130 in 56 days.
Other projects can be found online here