Reddit is investing $1 million in its Community Funds program, the company announced on Monday. The company has been experimenting with its Community Funds program for the past six months and provided financial support to help Reddit users bring their ideas for events and projects to life. Throughout the duration of the experiment, Reddit funded 13 projects that were nominated by communities on its platform. Among the 13 projects was a digital conference for history buffs and a community-designed musical artist billboard in Times Square.
With this new $1 million investment, Reddit says it's making the Community Funds official in order to to create more opportunities for its users. Starting in June, Reddit will invite communities to submit ideas for projects, events, contests and more. The company will accept nominations for projects needing between $1,000 to $50,000 in funding. Projects will be selected based on their creativity, feasibility and community impact. Reddit plans to build out more submission details and guidelines in the future.
"We want to foster more opportunities for connection by making Community Funds official, with $1 million in funding," Reddit said in a blog post about the announcement. "Community Funds aligns with our mission of bringing community, belonging, and empowerment to everyone in the world. We believe that empowering communities to do more by awarding funds to support their best ideas is one way we can accomplish this."
As part of the initial experiment, Reddit provided $5,000 to fund a photography competition and another $5,000 to fund a comic-creation competition. The company also provided $5,000 to gift 25 children whose families were facing financial hardship with $200 worth of gifts on Christmas. Reddit also provided $5,000 to fund a nomination-based gifting event for r/pan streamers.
It's worth noting that Reddit isn't the only digital platform to launch a community fund, as Facebook launched a community fund in 2020 to provide funding to support "local communities’ efforts to build their resilience and social cohesion around the world."
Today's announcement comes a few weeks after Reddit rolled out out the ability to search comments, alongside a few other search-related features. With the new comment search function, users no longer have to click on several comments to find threads when looking for a particular conversation. You can now search for comments directly via a new “comments” tab in the search bar. Reddit also introduced a simpler design for search results based on user feedback on both desktop and mobile.