A strong local food system keeps communities vibrant, economies growing, and landscapes healthy. When we buy and eat local food, the benefits ripple out to our community, helping small businesses thrive.

Many TLC communities leverage our resources to boost farmers and other businesses integral to their local food system. What better time to shout this out than during the inaugural nationwide Eat Indie Local campaign happening this August and September? It’s not too late to join in!

 

The Local Crowd is transitioning to a member-owned cooperative and the first 50 members to join will be the Founding Members.

What does it mean to be a member of the TLC Cooperative?

Membership is Ownership! As a member, your community will enjoy all the features and benefits of a localized crowdfunding platform; plus, your organization will receive a percentage of the platform fees. You will also have a voice in the ongoing management and future of TLC, so you can grow it from the grassroots—and keep it focused on real, local needs.

Founding Members will be part of the formation of this new and powerful cooperative. Their input will build the foundation and shape the future. Founding Members will be recognized as the visionaries who created the initial structure and set the intention for the work to come. These Founding Members will be part of a permanent web page noting their contributions.

Some Founding Members may also want to serve on the Transition Team to develop organizational documents and an initial operations plan. Much work has already been done, so this process won’t be as demanding as starting from scratch. It will be a great way to get to know your fellow TLCers from around the country and share your talents. Some members may want to serve on the cooperative board once elections are held. Fill out the Co-op Interest Form now to let us know how you would like to participate.

The opportunity to become a Founding Member happens only once. The time is now!

If you are new to TLC or would like a refresher, here’s a quick two-minute video that will bring you up to date.

TLC Cooperative Intro from The Local Crowd on Vimeo.

We hope to hear from you soon!

 

This May, celebrate Small Business Month with The Local Crowd. We’ll highlight all the ways small businesses contribute to strong communities and vibrant local economies. Follow our Facebook Page today!

We also have incredibly exciting news to share. The Local Crowd is taking its first steps to shift to a member-owned cooperative! We invite you to learn more at this upcoming event:

TLC Cooperative Membership Event

Tuesday, June 8 at 12:00 PM Mountain Time via Zoom

We will share the excitement and benefits of becoming a Founding Member and bringing a localized crowdfunding platform to your community. As a Founding Member, you will be recognized as a groundbreaking pioneer in business finance and social capital. You will also have the opportunity to shape the future of the cooperative, receive program income as a percentage of funds raised, build your entrepreneurial ecosystem, connect with other cooperative members, and cultivate social capital in your communities. This is BIG! Join us: Register here!

This year’s Earth Day theme is Restore Our Earth, highlighting innovative ways to regenerate our ecosystems worldwide.

From EARTHDAY.ORG
When life around the world returns to normal, our world cannot return to business-as-usual. We have the ability to make a difference in every industry, but that can only happen when we work together. More than 1 billion people in 192 countries now participate in activities each year, making it the world’s largest civic observance. Today, we invite you to be a part of Earth Day and to help further climate action across the globe.

Celebrate Earth Day Virtually with The Local Crowd

TLC Monadnock invites you to the Monadnock Earth Day Film Festival, April 22 – 24, a free virtual event featuring films and panel discussions to celebrate and cultivate a more resilient world.

Curious about our film line-up? Please read on.

Seeding Change Film | Long Trailer (2:45) from Seeding Change on Vimeo.

Seeding Change

This film features “triple bottom line” businesses that consider the social, environmental, and financial impacts of their companies addressing some of today’s most challenging issues. This award-winning documentary empowers viewers to be part of the solution by voting with their dollars and supporting the brands and products that align with their environmentally conscious values: seedingchangefilm.com.

First We Eat – Trailer from Suzanne Crocker on Vimeo.

First We Eat

What happens when an ordinary family living just south of the Arctic Circle bans all grocery store food from their house for one year? Add three skeptical teenagers, one reluctant husband, no salt, no caffeine, no sugar, and -40° temperatures. Ultimately the story becomes a celebration of community and the surprising bounty of food that even a tiny community in the far North can provide: firstweeat.ca.

Why we cycle from Nieuw & Verbeterd on Vimeo.

Why We Cycle

To the Dutch, cycling is as normal as breathing.  Take a ride with ordinary cyclists and specialists from a variety of fields. These conversations uncover some obvious but even more hidden effects of cycling on people, societies, and the organization of cities: whywecycle.eu.

The Falconer Trailer from The Falconer on Vimeo.

The Falconer

Meet master falconer Rodney Stotts on a mission to build a bird sanctuary and provide access to nature for his stressed community. This film is a story of second chances: for injured birds of prey, for an abandoned plot of land, for a group of teenagers who have dropped out of high school, and for Rodney himself. The Falconer weaves Rodney’s present-day mission with the story of his past, both of which are deeply rooted in issues of social and environmental injustice: thefalconerfilm.com.

Microplastic Madness

Meet 56 fifth graders from Public School 15 in Red Hook, Brooklyn, living in the frontline of the climate crisis. Their actions on plastic pollution morph into extraordinary leadership and scalable victories. With stop-motion animation, heartfelt kid commentary, and interviews of experts and renowned scientists engaged in the most cutting-edge research on the harmful effects of microplastics, this alarming yet charming narrative conveys an urgent message in user-friendly terms: cafeteriaculture.org.

Earth Day Film Festival Banner

It’s challenging to know how a business really does business: How do they treat their employees? Do they try to reduce their impacts on the environment? Are they striving to contribute more to their community? A certification process called B Corp makes answers to these questions more transparent. “[It’s] like the Fair Trade label but for a whole company, not just a bag of coffee,” says Jay Coen Gilbert, B Lab Co-Founder, the nonprofit that certifies B Corps businesses.

March is B Corp Month, a perfect time to give a shout-out to these fourth sector businesses.

From B Lab: Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good.

We’re proud that one of TLC’s communities in the Upper Valley of NH and VT boasts a high concentration of B Corps. In fact, Vermont is second on the list of states with the highest number of B Corps per capita — just behind the District of Columbia. Go Vermont!

During Black History Month, we invite you to reflect with us on how crowdfunding can support more Black-owned businesses. The financial innovation firm RUNWAY has a powerful vision and approach to relationships that will serve as a starting point for our February reflections.

RUNWAY’s Vision

We envision a world where Black entrepreneurs thrive in a reimagined economy rooted in equity and justice.

RUNWAY’s Approach to Right Relationship

RUNWAY is guided by the principle that capital can be used to heal, repair, and connect Black businesses and the communities surrounding them. This principle informs all aspects of our organizational culture; from our lending and credit processes with our entrepreneurs, to the interpersonal working relationships within our team and with our partners. What makes us unique is the value we place on transformational relationships over transactional ones.

Our reflections will grow into practice here at The Local Crowd.  How can we help manifest RUNWAY’s vision in the work that we do?

One way is to hold up crowdfunding campaigns supporting Black-owned businesses.  The campaigns highlighted below are from FundBlackFounders, Rewards Crowdfunding for Black Entrepreneurs founded by Renee King.  Please take time to explore all the current and past campaigns on their platform.

Supporting Vision for Black History Month Supporting Vision for Black History Month Supporting Vision for Black History Month

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We ask campaign teams who work with us to start with their WHY. It’s a practice that helps teams ‘peel the onion’ and get to their core mission. It gives them a solid foundation to build their campaign upon by getting to the HEART of what matters. Ultimately, their WHY will inspire more community support for their campaign.

Simon Sinek’s TED Talk highlights the power of starting with the WHY:

“Every single person, every single organization on the planet knows what they do, 100 percent. Some know how they do it … But very, very few people or organizations know why they do what they do. And by ‘why,’ I don’t mean ‘to make a profit.’ That’s a result. It’s always a result. By ‘why,’ I mean: What’s your purpose? What’s your cause? What’s your belief? Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care? As a result, the way we think, we act, the way we communicate is from the outside in; it’s obvious. We go from the clearest thing to the fuzziest thing. But the inspired leaders and the inspired organizations — regardless of their size, regardless of their industry — all think, act and communicate from the inside out.”

Why not start with your WHY as we begin a new year. What is your WHY, and how will you express your core mission in 2021?

Start With Your Why


TLC Campaigns That Start With the WHY

A Stone Mill for Mill Hollow

In communities all across America, bakeries are introducing their customers to the increased nutritional value and flavor of baked goods made with freshly milled flour.

LEARN MORE

 

 

The Hilde Project: Empowering Wyoming Women

Help us provide a community for women that includes a safe, inspiring space, project supplies, and skill development that lead to gainful employment.

LEARN MORE

The success of GivingTuesday this year gives us so much to be grateful for. Thanks to all who participated–and for all that you do, day in and day out, to support your community.

Read more about GivingTuesday’s success in their press release:

From GivingTuesday to Giving Month

In an unprecedented year, GivingTuesday, the largest global generosity movement, reports an unprecedented showing of giving, kindness and connection by millions of people worldwide.

The GivingTuesday Data Commons estimates that 34.8 million people participated in GivingTuesday 2020, a 29% increase over 2019. Further, reports total giving increased from $1.97 billion to $2.47 billion in the United States alone, representing a 25% increase compared to 2019.

With lots of TLC,
Di, Kim, Jessica, Amanda, Jen & Katelyn

From GivingTuesday to Giving Month: United Way of Albany County

PS: Thanks to all who participated in our GivingTuesday with TLC virtual event. Here are two folks from our team: Amanda helping United Way of Albany County, WY launch their crowdfunding campaign (see more below) and Jen amplifying nonprofits’ GivingTuesday campaigns in the Monadnock Region, NH.From GivingTuesday to Giving Month: Monadnock Region

Month of Caring

Join United Way of Albany County (UWAC) this December for a “Month of Caring.” Now more than ever it’s important to remember what makes us a community. Every Tuesday in December UWAC is challenging Albany County residents to pause and take a moment to care for others, our community, and ourselves.

From GivingTuesday to Giving Month

When you shop local more money returns to your local economy than if you spend that same dollar at a chain store.

Even with a smaller budget, you can give more this holiday season. How? By shopping local. Join the Shop Indie Local movement!  We’re purchasing more of our holiday gifts and celebration needs from our friends and neighbors — locally owned business owners.  Please join us!

Why Shop Indie Local?

When you spend your dollars at locally owned businesses more money returns to our local economy than if you spend that same dollar at a chain store.  That dollar recirculates through your economy, generating ripple effects that strengthen jobs, charitable contributions and community prosperity.

Shop Indie Local and Give More (Fill in the Blank)

Think about the people you love. Instead of stuff, what do you truly want to give them?  Perhaps it’s more hope, inspiration or connection.  Now, consider each person, place and thing that plays a part in growing, making and getting that gift to your loved one.  When you Shop Indie Local, you give more to everyone.

For example, I want to give more hope to a dear friend.  I find a one-of-a-kind handmade lamp, one that I know will make my friend’s day a bit brighter.  The artist who made the lamp, closed out from their regular holiday events, feels a bit more hope that they’ll make it through 2020 and my friend feels more hope every time she clicks the lamp’s switch on.  What do you want to give more of this year?

Join a virtual town hall event to address critical issues facing small businesses and share solutions for rebuilding economies while leveling the playing field.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and CNBC + Acorns’ Invest in You: Ready. Set. Grow. will host a virtual town hall on Wednesday, September 30, from 1:00 – 2:00 pm EST. The event aims to address critical issues facing small businesses and share solutions for rebuilding economies while leveling the playing field.

“Our communities are reeling from an economic halt while facing racial justice issues that strike the core of our nation,” stated town hall organizers. “As we rebuild in a post-COVID world, we need to ensure small and new businesses not only survive but thrive. Businesses less than five years old create nearly all net new jobs in the country, yet they continue to be left out of the national dialogue. This is especially true for people of color, women, and rural entrepreneurs.”

The Local Crowd will ask a question relating to how we can best leverage the Shop Indie Local movement this holiday season.  The Local Crowd, along with the American Independent Business Alliance and others, will lead this year’s Shop Indie Local effort starting on November 1.  By gathering ideas from industry leaders, we hope to discover new ways to amplify this movement.  We can’t wait to hear answers from their panel of speakers.

Registration is free. Please reserve your seat today!

 

Take a look at what communities have done to rebuild their communities on the campaign page.

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