A report by innovation charity Nesta has found that matched crowdfunding boosted the amount donors gave to a pilot programme by 17 per cent.
The nine month pilot programme, which began in August 2016, used crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder to match statutory funding with individual donations from the public to fund 59 arts and heritage projects.
The report, which was backed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said that some £251,500 was provided by Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund, while £405,941 was donated from 4,970 individuals.
According to the report, the offer of a match boosted the average size of contributions by 17 per cent, from £63 to £74, compared to similar projects without matched funding.
The pilot largely attracted new supporters and finance for arts and heritage organisations, with 86 per cent of project backers had never supported the organisations they backed financially before, and 20 per cent had never backed any arts or heritage project before.
A group of just 1 per cent of the project’s backers gave 24 per cent of the total crowd contribution, the report says.
John Glen, minister for arts, heritage and tourism, said: "This is a very encouraging pilot that shows how arts and heritage organisations can successfully diversify their income through matched crowdfunding.
“By using crowdfunding platforms, groups can also access a range of additional benefits, including stronger partnerships, increased volunteering and public feedback on their campaigns."
Hasan Bakhshi, executive director, creative economy and data analytics at Nesta, said: “This pilot programme has given us unique quantitative evidence that arts and heritage funders can make public money work harder by matched funding.”