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.

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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.

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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.

Don’t forget to sign up for The Local Crowd newsletter with the form below, and follow along on Facebook to stay connected and learn more!

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Community placemaking has become a critical tool for transforming underutilized public spaces into safe gathering places.

 

As COVID-19 pushed dining, performances and other primarily indoor activities outdoors, community placemaking has become a critical tool for transforming underutilized public spaces into safe gathering places. Think of the public spaces you live, work or travel by every day — parks, streets and other publicly owned spaces. Placemaking turns those public spaces into places that boost our health, happiness and well being.

True placemakers listen first. They ask questions and learn how people currently live, work and play in a space — and explore what needs or dreams individuals have for that space and their community.

Then, placemakers design spaces that build upon community assets, serve a diversity of needs, build social networks and forward multiple initiatives. Placemaking includes adding permanent or temporary elements such as seating, public art, gardens and crosswalks.

The Local Crowd invites communities to use our tool to listen and gather their community to support their placemaking efforts. Take a look at what communities have done to transform their public spaces on the campaign page.

Don’t forget to sign up for The Local Crowd newsletter with the form below, and follow along on Facebook to stay connected and learn more!

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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.

Rebooting Your Community After COVID


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Leverage your community to gather a regional food crowd, invest in sustainable food systems and celebrate local food with crowdfunding.

 

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, farm workers, 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

Celebrate Local Food with Crowdfunding, Farmented Foods
Celebrate Local Food with Crowdfunding, Village Roots

Celebrate Local Food with Crowdfunding, Summer Weekend Meals for Kids

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Crowdfunding can “democratize” access to capital–fueling entrepreneurs locked out of traditional funding like women and BIPOC entrepreneurs.

 

Crowdfunding can “democratize” access to capital — fueling entrepreneurs locked out of traditional funding channels such as women, and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs. The Local Crowd continues its work to bring the power of crowdfunding to more and more communities. One such community, represented by OmniWorks, serves BIPOC entrepreneurs in Los Angeles. Their online incubator program just attracted their largest cohort yet.

“By focusing on entrepreneurs that are often overlooked by other incubator and accelerator programs, we are democratizing access to capital, markets, and financial and business education, resulting in more sustainable community-based businesses, quality jobs, and wealth generation,” said Brent Imai, OmniWorks Founder and CEO.

TLC’s intentions include melding this benefit, access to capital for individual entrepreneurs, with another crowdfunding outcome — strengthening social capital, beyond each individual entrepreneur, and into the whole community.

At TLC, we believe that humanity is at its best when we care for one another. We work hard to make sharing and caring easier for you.

 

Learn more about how The Local Crowd is working to support all entrepreneurs and neighborhoods in our newsletter with the form below and follow along on Facebook to stay connected.

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We are focused on envisioning and implementing new solutions with the Fourth Sector—that create an economy and society that work for all.

 

We write to you today with open hearts—full of love, compassion, and care. We stand with those fighting for justice. We grieve for the loss of life and economic wellbeing caused by the COVID-19 crisis. We recognize that we are living through a time when the “reset button” has been pushed on our society—rebooting the way that we live our lives.

Institutions, practices, systems, beliefs, and values are all being challenged in huge ways, and in real-time. We know that the unjust and unsustainable systems of our past need to be reset, and now, more than ever, we are focused on envisioning and implementing new solutions—that create an economy and society that work for all.

This is the purpose of the Fourth Sector. We are excited about a new initiative organized by The Fourth Sector Group that envisions building “a better post-COVID-19 economy that leaves no one behind, overcomes the structural barriers to equality and transparency and puts purpose first so that our planet and society can thrive for generations to come.”

This is a multi-stakeholder effort that brings together fourth sector activists from all walks of life. Check out the COVID-19 Fourth Sector Response website and take special note of the “Action” tab. Respond to the call for involvement from government workers, policymakers, business leaders, investors, academics, media, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and citizens.

Di, Kim, Jessica, Amanda, Jen & Katelyn

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