Community Economist Michael Shuman Presents
Rebooting Your Economy After COVID

Introductory Webinar: Rebooting Your Community After COVID – How to Invest Locally Using Self-Directed IRAs and Solo 401ks

The Local Crowd will host an online introductory webinar with community economist and author Michael H. Shuman called “Rebooting Your Community After COVID – How to Invest Locally Using Self-Directed IRAs and Solo 401ks” on Thursday, October 15, 2020, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. This event is free, but registration is required.

Register today!

“When the pandemic recedes, we all will be called upon to take extraordinary steps to revive the local businesses that serve as the foundation of our communities,” shared Shuman. “One critically important step will be for you and other members of your community to move your investment capital from Wall Street to Main Street.”

The event’s target audience includes community members with tax-deferred retirement accounts, whether a 401k or IRA, interested in moving a portion of their money to local businesses, projects, or people. Others who might benefit from this event are local business people looking for new sources of capital, community economic developers, and those looking for new ways to solve local economic problems and strengthen local resiliency.

Shuman, a leading visionary on community economics, serves as Director of Local Economy Programs for Neighborhood Associates Corporation and Adjunct Professor at Bard Business School in New York City. He is also a Senior Researcher for Council Fire and Local Analytics, where he performs economic-development analyses for states, local governments, and businesses around North America. His three most recent books are Put Your Money Where Your Life Is: How to Invest Locally Using Solo 401ks and Self-Directed IRAs; The Local Economy Solution: How Innovative, Self-Financing Pollinator Enterprises Can Grow Jobs and Prosperity; and Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street.

Event partners include Green Energy Options, Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Monadnock Food Co-op, The Local Crowd Monadnock, Vital Communities and Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship.

Questions? Please contact Jen Risley at jen@thelocalcrowd.com or 603-283-5401.


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Did you know only one in five crowdfunding campaigns reaches its full fundraising goal? If you want your campaign to be one of the successful ones — that reaches (and even exceeds) its goals — you will need to know your numbers confidently.

Creating a budget for a crowdfunding campaign not only looks at your financial goals and projections, but factors in your contacts from email, social media, and other networks within your community. 

We know that 85-90% of the backers that give to your campaign are driven to do so by calls to action by you. This means that the desired number you wish to reach at the end of your campaign must correlate with the length and diversity of your contact list. It is essential to strategize realistic goals that factor in all the necessary costs to manage your campaign.

When you calculate your numbers, keep in mind that about ten percent of your contacts will convert — meaning, on average, one in ten of the people you reach to and ask for support, will follow through. 

As you crunch the numbers, you may find your target funding goal to be too steep to be fulfilled by the length of your contact list. Fortunately, now you know.  You can then be better prepared for a slam-dunk campaign by spending more time focused on growing your network or strategizing a project of achievable size. 

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Digital platforms plug into our human desire to fall into pockets of like-minded people and benefit from the extensive perks of our specific community.  We look to our neighbors for trends, emotional responses, opinions, and guidance, mainly when we are unsure of what direction we want to fall. This assurance that our friends, family, and peers are making similar choices for a product, an opinion, a color for their new sweater, is called social proof

No different from any other facet of life, social proof is relevant in marketing and an element that is critical to launching a crowdfunding campaign with a bang. 

Imagine scrolling through campaigns and finding a product with zero raised funds, and then imagine finding a similar campaign with an active list of backers, local organization collaborations, and proof that the campaign host has put some skin in the game. 

Which campaign are you more likely to pull your wallet out for?

Crowdfunding data tells us that the most successful campaigns launch with 30% of their goal already funded, confirming for new faces that your project is well received.

You can establish these pre-launch funds by sending personal asks for early financial pledges from your peers, making your contribution, or perhaps looking to funds received in grants for the campaign project at hand.  

As you navigate the remainder of your campaign, keep the concept of social proof at the top of mind, and publish updates in your emails and social media posts that highlight the traction your project is making. Testimonials, behind the scenes content, and photos of loyal customers engaging with the product or service are great ways to create proof that you’re offering an opportunity that’s not only beneficial to you but to the greater, like-minded community you reside within as well. 

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August is Eat Local Month in New Hampshire and Massachusetts (and maybe in your state, too).  Regardless, if it’s official or not, August’s cornucopia of crops presents us with the perfect time to celebrate local farms, food producers and local food systems.

Many TLC communities leverage our program to gather their local food crowd and invest in parts of their local food system.  We love supporting these communities in their work and envision these investments deepening over time.  Each new crowdfunding campaign cultivates connections that lead to change throughout the entire system — to benefit not just individual farmers and food entrepreneurs, but all the pieces needed to bring local food from the farm to our plates: the soil, farmworkers, transportation networks, markets and more.  We want to support everything required to grow, harvest and distribute local goods to us.

So, in honor of Eat Local Month, we’ve highlighted some popular local food-related campaigns to feast on.  Perhaps these campaigns will inspire your community to explore working with us in the future. (We sure hope so!)

Di, Kim, Jessica, Amanda, Jen & Katelyn

P.S.: If you haven’t visited our website lately, please check out our new design. We really love it.