Crowdfunding has a heart. It beats like a drum—ba dum, ba dum, ba dum. It calls us to community—to help each other, build each other up, raise each other’s barns.

Crowdfunding campaigns carry the heart of our stories out to the world—broadcasting our aspirations, visions and needs. Through crowdfunding we invite our community to help out and become part of the rhythm of connection. And that’s where the miracle begins. Scientific research tells us that an innate characteristic of being human is to find pleasure in helping others (see TED Talk below). That means that every time we give to a crowdfunding campaign the results are three fold: 1. we support a tangible project; 2. we connect with our community and 3: We open our hearts to joy. Pretty cool, huh?

selfie of Diane Sontum and Kim Vincent in front of a heart

Kim and I are always on the lookout for hearts. We found this one in Chicago while there for the 2019 Social Enterprise Alliance Summit.

brick wall mural detail with stating when people get together miracles happen

Detail from the Cottonwood mural. Yep.

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It’s great to be in Chicago at the SEA Summit touring social enterprises, learning and meeting people doing The Great Work.

Darius Ballinger kicked off the conference and encouraged us to approach our work from both the micro and macro levels. He said the micro level represents the tangible things we can do today—the actual work of creating social change. The macro is more complex. It represents the big picture—like 4th sector ecosystem development—that requires conversations with “someone else, and someone else, and someone else, and someone else….” It takes time and conversations with many people to make macro changes occur.

These are the conversations we are excited to have. I like to start with a vision of what is possible—and I would love to hear yours. What does a robust social enterprise sector look like to you?

two women standing in a garden talking

Growing Home Urban Farm produces 25,000 pounds of food on one acre in the city! They also train individuals who are eager to work but need a supportive environment to develop skills. Thanks for your great work and awesome tour!

In the summer of 1997 I sat in a circle of woman who had come together to explore the intersection between leadership and womanhood. We spent time in silence on a Wyoming mountainside, and it was there that I saw a vision unfold of a world transformed through business. I saw entrepreneurs working together to care for people, for Earth, and for healing. I wrote the vision into a book, and took it on as my assignment to make it come true.

Over the next 22 years I tried—and I had some success in bringing sustainable business ideas to Wyoming SBDC, Wyoming Women’s Business Center, ASBDC, and the University of Wyoming. Yet, I was always a bit disappointed that the ideas weren’t catching on fast enough to be considered mainstream. I now recognize that the idea of business-as-a-force-for-good needed time to ripen—and all of the early activists like me were contributors to the ripening process. Today, signs of ripening are beginning to show; for example, last month 181 influential CEOs signed on to a new “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation” that includes creating value, not just for shareholders, but for ALL stakeholders: customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders. Game on!

green box with quote about power