Request for Proposals: Crowdfunding Campaigns

  • Do you have an incredible project just waiting to happen — one that would strengthen your business, our community, and the local economy — if only you had the funds to make it happen?
  • Is your business a “social enterprise” that addresses social and/or environmental issues and have a mission beyond the bottom line?
  • Will your project support community goals, while keeping to a budget of $10,000 or less?

If you said yes to these questions…THANK YOU!  You are part of the emerging Fourth Sector economy — a sector that uses the power of business to do good things for people and the planet.

The Local Crowd (TLC) Upper Valley believes in people like you.  That’s why we’re participating in a new research project in conjunction with the National Science Foundation and The Local Crowd designed to uncover the best ways to support social enterprises. We are pleased to invite you to participate in this project.

Proposals due Wednesday, September 4, 2019 at 5 p.m. Apply here.

Introduction/Background

Crowdfunding is the process in which an entrepreneur, business, or organization asks a large number of people (usually through the Internet) to contribute a certain amount of money for a specific business or community development project.

The Local Crowd Upper Valley combines the power of web-based crowdfunding with an educational and technical assistance component designed to increase participants’ capacity to use crowdfunding to both raise money and support from their communities.

This program has the potential to develop a stronger funding ecosystem in a community — ultimately revitalizing local businesses, encouraging entrepreneurial activity, and creating a new way for community members to support projects they care about while building community.

We invite entrepreneurs, businesses, and organizations in the Upper Valley region to take advantage of this innovative program by submitting a project campaign proposal.

Learn more about The Local Crowd Upper Valley

Project Qualifications

To qualify, you must:

  • Be interested in raising $10,000 or less for your enterprise.
  • Have a simple, achievable fundraising campaign that will generate excitement in our community. Your proposal can be part of a bigger project, but it should have stand-alone value.
  • Show how your campaign will create an economic benefit to your business and the community you serve. How will the proposed project expand your customer base, deliver a better (or expanded) service, or strengthen your existing business?  How does this ultimately benefit your community?
  • Be ready to begin working on your fundraising efforts in September. See below for the time needed work with TLC UV to increase funding success. 

Benefits

When you participate, you will:

  • Raise money for your enterprise using The Local Crowd’s crowdfunding platform.
  • Participate in TLC’s dynamic, expert coaching program to help you achieve crowdfunding success — and enhance the outreach of your enterprise.
  • Receive a free marketing assessment (valued at $85) to ensure you receive coaching and materials that best fit your needs.
  • Connect with other social entrepreneurs in your community and other Local Crowd Communities around the country.
  • Ride the Fourth Sector wave to a more sustainable future for us all!

Participant Responsibilities

Your participation will require your time, energy, and thoughtfulness to increase the likelihood of campaign success and to help us understand the needs of social enterprises.

When you participate, you will be expected to:

  • Compete a pre- and post-project assessment and survey.
  • Follow crowdfunding best practices as described by your coach.
  • Form a campaign team that will actively promote your fundraising project to their personal networks.
  • Work closely with TLC Upper Valley’s team to leverage training, marketing, and community outreach tools.
  • Help us spread the word by sharing your success story through various media and social media outlets.

While there are no upfront costs, TLC Upper Valley charges a 5% admin fee that is applied to all contributions.  This fee is used to pay costs associated with hosting, administering and promoting the platform and for providing direct assistance to campaign creators.

How to Apply

To have a project campaign considered for The Local Crowd Upper Valley funding, please fill out this online form* or submit a 1-2 page proposal to nancy@vitalcommunities.org.

Please include the following:

  • Name of individual at business/organization who will be the primary person responsible for the project;
  • Project name, town/city and business/organization’s name;
  • Your business mission and how it meets a social need;
  • Project description and cost;
  • Business/organizational need;
  • Who will benefit from this project?
  • Why you want to be part of the Fourth Sector wave of social enterprises.

*Online form is also available below.

 

Buisness and Campaign Resources

Support and technical assistance for campaign creators to increase the likelihood of buisness and funding success are available from TLC and Upper Valley service providers. Project partners include Green Mountain Economic Development Corporation, Vermont Small Business Development Center, Space on Main, Small Business Association, and SCORE can provide business development support to new and growing enterprises.

TLC has a dedicated staff person to support the campaign community to ensure success and is willing to host conference calls to support the development of successful campaigns. TLC’s Campaign Planning Accelerator and Campaign Marketing Plan Workbook are excellet resources that guide creators through the steps of successful crowdfunding.

 

Questions? Please contact Nancy LaRowe at nancy@vitalcommunities.org or call 802-291-9100 x106.