A re-tooled purpose for The Local Crowd Upper Valley
By Cameron Huftalen, Vital Communities Project Manager, Climate and Economy
Vital Communities’ Economy team is initiating an intentional shift in how one of our long-running projects functions.
The Local Crowd Upper Valley has been a crowdfunding platform that connected community members for peer-to-peer fundraising when businesses or organizations had financial need. Historically, this has been open to any and all types of projects and campaigns and relied on a high level of involvement and work from the recipient organization. We counted on participants to generate content and fundraising materials to promote the campaign.
Having seen the successful way that crowdfunding can redistribute resources, and moving into better alignment with our JEDI Principles, we are changing this project in a few ways.
The biggest shift is that this project will now run only four campaigns each year, and each campaign will be chosen based on its explicit ties to cultivating community care. Campaigns will be held by participants who experience systemic oppression when trying to access funding due to race, class, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, and ability.
We know that money alone does not solve systemic problems, and we recognize that there are limitations to Vital Communities’ role in building a more just and equitable Upper Valley. We can, however, focus our resources on those who are in the best positions to build a more just and equitable community. We look forward to learning more, and practicing more, how we can use the privilege Vital Communities holds to uplift the work that many people in our community are already doing to help each other live and thrive.