You put the Fun in Crowdfunding

By Dawn Brown

You put the Fun in Crowdfunding

This story’s been told before. As they say, it’s an oldie but a goodie—and it’s true. When I was 14 I was in high school and still sharing a room with my little sister. Sharing a room also meant sharing a closet, which my sister believed also meant sharing clothes. This did not go over well with me; however, my mother had a different opinion. So, share I did, unwillingly, yet obediently…until one fateful day. I happened to be at the mall—we had one back then. And I ran into one of my sister’s friends…wearing my favorite sweater! Holy cow, I was mad. It was the kind of emotion you get at a relative-you’re-forced-to-share-a room-and-clothes-with mad. So, I found a loophole. While my mom required me to share with my sister, she did not require me to share with the world. That’s when Wardrobe Wearabouts (pun intended, of course) was born.

Wardrobe Wearabouts was an organizational system that I created to track the location of my clothes at all times. It was the 80’s version of Find My Phone, only tech-free, for my best pair of jeans—probably Jordache. While I can’t recall how long it took me, I crafted this Dewey Decimal System for my clothes. They were sorted, categorized, and numbered. There was even a checkout system, so I knew where everything was at all times and when things were returned. My sister hated it. I loved it. My mom tolerated it. And it worked.

Fast forward to today, and I’m still creating systems. Some at home, yes—I did just clean out my closet last week and it’s mwah, *chef’s kiss*, right now. But most of the systems we develop at the Community Foundation are all about making giving easy. I’m reading a book right now, recommended by one of my Board Members, called Influence is Your Superpower by Zoe Chance. In fairness, my favorite book is usually the one I’m currently reading. So last week it was Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert; this week it’s Influence is Your Superpower. And I’m learning all over again, via Chance, that people tend to take the path of least resistance. And that means, our job at the Community Foundation is to make it easy to do business with. The transaction of giving to the Foundation should be super simple and the impact of the gift should be straightforward and visible. In fact, in the world of marketing there’s even something called a Customer Effort Score that measures how easy something is.

And that’s one reason we hold a Crowdfunding grant cycle every year. We literally put the fun in Crowdfunding by getting the whole community involved in acts of generosity toward a big common goal where we can all collaboratively be a part of an amazing transformative outcome. And it’s so easy! You give a dollar, and the Community Foundation matches that with a dollar. See what I mean? Easy!

This isn’t like that complicated Toilet Paper Math where you must figure out which number of rolls is actually the best bang for your bum. Seriously, who came up with that idea? I’ve got a master’s degree and I still scratch my head when I get to that aisle in the grocery store—ever dang time.

This is our 5th year of offering a Crowdfunding Grant option and so far every campaign has been wildly successful—and we want to keep that track record at 100%. This is where you come in. Currently, we have two Crowdfunding grantees working diligently to raise their matching dollars. The system we set up for the nonprofit applicants was easy. They applied for $20,000 with their grant request. Once their request was granted by our Board, the clock started with 60-days to raise a matching $20,000. When they succeed, they get everything they raised and the $20,000 grant. Like I said, over the past 5 years our community has risen to the occasion and met every single match! And it’s glorious! It sort of feels like an Amish barn raising where everyone contributes what they can and when it all comes together in the end, you have this beautiful outcome that couldn’t have happened without the generosity of everyone. It’s remarkable!

This year, the two Crowdfunding campaigns currently running are for the Marion Parks Department and Habitat for Humanity.

The Marion Parks Department only has until Monday, July 11th at Midnight to raise their matching $20,000. This one is down to the wire! Your donations to their campaign will fund the dredging and renovation of the Matter Park fishing pond, as well as correcting the inflow streams and enhancing the area with natural stone and native plants. Obviously, Matter Park is a jewel in Grant County and seeing little ones learn how to cast a line with their loved ones is a rite of passage.

As I pen this, the Parks Department is only $2,180 away from meeting their $20,000 goal. But they must meet it in order to get their $20,000 grant! Plus, any amount raised over this goal will also be directed towards the project as well. Won’t you please donate before Monday, July 11th at midnight to support this local effort: GiveToGrant.org/MarionFishing 🎣. Or, if it’s easier for you, just Venmo us! Venmo donations can be made directly to Community Foundation of Grant County with a note telling us which campaign you want to help make a reality!

Just like the Parks Department, Habitat for Humanity of Grant County was also approved for a $20,000 Crowdfunding grant to fund the construction of Habitat’s 56th build. Whoo-hoo, homeowner #56! Now, Habitat has a bit more to raise:  $7,755. However, they also have more time. They got started a bit later, so their deadline is Friday, July 22nd at midnight. Just as easily, you can visit GiveToGrant.org/HabitatCF 🏡 to donate and learn more about the impact of making home ownership a possibility through sweat equity for a local Grant County family. Or just as simply, you could Venmo us—whatever works for you!

 

Certainly, this system of dollar-for-dollar matching is far easier than Wardrobe Wearabouts ever was. But it impacts our community in far bigger ways. Systems are great to create order, efficiency, and effectiveness, but are useless without you, our donors.

I no longer have to worry about my Wardrobe Wearabouts, as I have only lived in a house with boys who never much cared about my Jordache jeans. But I do worry about improving the quality of life in our community through major, high dollar, higher impact projects like those of the Parks Department and Habitat for Humanity. We need you to do what you do best, dear donor. Won’t you donate today?

 

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