• Holding organisation: Fondation Fuentes Abiertas
  • Status: Fondation
  • Financing: Commissions (8% on transactions)+ Training sessions on the model+ support NB: the commissions are only activated once the project has reached the minimal set amount
  • People involved in the project: Team of 7 persons; 10+collaborators (individuals and organizations)+ co-financiers/partners/ promoters/contributors for the online projects
  • Public Partners: Ministerio de Cultura, Consell Nacional de la Cultura i de les Arts de Catalunya, ColaBoraBora(Centro de Innovación Social de EUTOKIA), Instituto de Culturade Barcelona Medialab-Prado,CCCBlab(Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona CCCB)
  • Private partners: Organizations taking part in the Social Investment Market
  • Creation Date: 2010
  • Contact Persons: Olivier Schulbaum
  • Main project links:

The idea

Goteo is the first social crowd-funding network to support free, open philosophy initiatives. Projects are chosen as they contribute to developing the commons, free knowledge and/or open source. Whetever is being financed, it becomes common good. The idea behind GOTEO is to keep the access to the Commons at a time when many common goods are being privatized (culture, money, water, food). « Goteo’s approach is that crowdfunding should also imply crowd benefits or community benefits, if you prefer. These benefits might be social, educational or economical in character. We want to look at these things together, rather than as different dimensions separated from one another. Thus, our projects need to have a strong connection to the commons. » Olivier Schulbaum, cofounder.

The starting point

Pragmatic approach: The project started as an alternative to the main American Crowdfunding platform which didn’t allow individuals to participate if they didn’t have a bank account located in the USA. It also didn’t have any safeguards regarding investors ‘ values and targets for projects whose processes and DNA were not all the time transparent and common interest based. Focus on the Commons:The Founders of Goteo were convinced that crowdfunding should support communities and enable better cooperation between individuals: "projects based on sociability" ensuring skills to interact well with others, on a peer-to-peer basis. . The projects should be selected not on an individual resort but for their social, educative or economic benefits as well as their comitment to the Commons. Experiment: In that, Goteo was conceptualized as a R&D initiative focused on how to support open projects and citizens, based on the social innovation paradigm. During a year the founders invesigated different models (i.e.microcredit)and tested during workshops with users the design principles of the future platform. They also used real projects to validate their hypothesis: the objective was to have a platform co-designed by the community. The central question was how

How does it work today?

The platform is configured as a social network for collective funding (monetary contributions) and distributed collaboration (services, infrastructures, micro-tasks, and other resources) to serve an autonomous development of initiatives that generate new opportunities for enriching common goods and resources. Goteo has developed with producers, jurists, economists, and fiscal experts a simple and effective tool for both contributors as well as recipients to make transparent the core principles they are committed to in the project and how these lead to reinforcing the commons and assuring shared community benefits. Here are the 10 steps to help you find synergy and get the help from the Goteo Community.

Participation and Governance

Founders Goteo is an initiative managed by Fundación Fuentes Abiertas (Open Source Foundation). The main catalyst behind Goteo isPlatoniq an international organization of cultural producers and software developers, pioneers in the production and distribution of copyleft culture. Goteo also has a significant support network, comprised of various agents. They include numerous entities such as: Ministerio de Cultura, Consell Nacional de la Cultura i de les Arts de Catalunya, ColaBoraBora (Centro de Innovación Social de EUTOKIA),,Instituto de Culturade Barcelona,Medialab-Prado,CCCBlab(Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona CCCB)


  • Promoters: collaborate in a new model of financing by giving a project more visibility and getting help and support from the community from the very beginning
  • Co financiers: access a wide range of prejects, deisgned in an open source perspective in which to contribute monetarily in exchange for collective returns and individuals rewards
  • Collaborators: provide the community with resources, time, energy and skills

Added value of the project and making resources available

Goteo has 5 core differences compared to other crowdfunding platforms:

  1. Collective returns: the projects are offering individual rewards for different contributions but they should also offer collective returns in digital forms (manuals, files, codes) under some open form.
  2. Resources weaving/ collaborative proccess: in addition to monetary contributions, the crowdsourcers must express tasks or others needs and open them to the community so that the process is more collaborative and transparent.
  3. Two rounds of financing: when they calculate the cost of their project the crowdsourcers must set a minimum amount (to be obtained in 40 days) and an optimal amount. If they only get the minimum amount, they can ask for another financing round. It allows more accessibility to the project and better information in the process.
  4. A feeder capital: Goteo has created a social stock market for investing organisms (public institutions or private institutions) to generate a multiplier effect on the individual donations to Goteo projects and encourage co-responsible investment in projects that rely on the support of the civil society.
  5. A network of local nodes: Goteo has developped different regional and thematic nodes to ensure better support of projects at the local level such as Goteo Andalucia and Goteo Euskadi



Achieve critical mass and support

Future perspective

Pursue the co-construction of the platform:

  • Ensure stable communities of support
  • Receive feedback for accomplished projects and collective returns from which people can learn and help others progress

Sources and links

English: Interview of Goteo cofounders on the P2P Foundation Interview with David Bollier: Articles from the Crowdsourcing platform, source of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding information, insight and research. French: Goteo, le crowdfunding au service des biens communs: Floss Manual: a complete review and description of Goteo model: Spanish: German: