A research project looking at how community organisations can raise money by issuing shares and bonds to the public is looking for five organisations to act as case studies.
The research project, being run by Co-operatives UK together with the Development Trusts Association and the Social Return on Investment Network, will provide consultancy and funding in exchange for the opportunity to monitor a group as it raises money from the community.
Hugh Rolo, head of assets and investment at the DTA, said the success of community share issues in the past showed people's enthusiasm for investing in something tangible.
"We are already supporting five community enterprises, one of which has successfully completed a community share offer to rescue a village store," he said.
"Round two of this programme will allow us to work with more enterprises and demonstrate the huge potential of using community investment to raise capital for local projects."
Organisations must be intending to raise at least £10,000 for a community project, by issuing shares or bonds to at least 20 people. Applications are available at www.communityshares.org.uk/findoutmore. The deadline for applications is 21 September.
The five organisations already taking part are:
Cybermoor, Alston, Cumbria
Hastings Pier & White Rock Trust, Hastings, East Sussex
FC United, Manchester
Slaithwaite Cooperative, Colne Valley, Huddersfield
Ashington Community Development Trust, Ashington, Northumberland