Pumpkins and Mammoth Sunflowers

A short list of crowdfunding links for Eastern Oregon

As most know our community has recently successfully crowdfunded two projects, the Eagle Creek Orchard frost equipment campaign and the PineFest Music Festival campaign.  Pinefest is still going strong – Come through this Fall for a great day!

So I thought I would give some more general information on crowdfunding and the new economic models emerging in the wake of the banking collapse in 2008 which constricted the ability to get anything done if it required a bank’s approval.

 

Crowdfunding Platforms

There are thousands of platforms popping up which are specific to different types of crowdfunding from the very personal (weddings, medical emergencies), to creative (writers, film, musicians) community infrastructure and local projects (solar projects, school gardens, art or hack spaces) and scientific research projects. Here is a very short list of what is out there.

Some of us are familiar with the big name sites in crowdfunding, Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Here’s a comparison of these two sites.

How to Raise Funds with Crowdfunding

A successful crowdfunding campaign relies primarily on our social media connections online. While traditional funding is face to face or on the phone – crowdfunding relies on our networks online – and how active we are in those networks supporting other people and projects. The people, businesses and organizations we connect to, share and support online are the same folks who will share our story and celebrate our successes. We are much larger than the 1200 or so people here in the Pine Valley area in Baker County, Oregon. Our personal and professional networks online combined together are very large and our reach is very far when we use the internet to let people know about what matters to us.

Here’s a great article on understanding just how big the extended network of 1000 people might be:

How large is your network: the power of second and third degree connections.

What is Equity Crowdfunding?

Equity crowdfunding is a method to fund traditional businesses and innovative start-ups. Equity crowdfunding is regulated by the SEC and requires that funders be “accredited.” This simply means that to invest via an equity campaign you must be a sophisticated investor who does not require as much protection. You or you and your partner combined must have a high income and high net worth. More info on accredited investors.

July 25, 2016 – UPDATE – SEC rules have been updated and expanded to open up equity crowdfunding to a wider community of investors. Here’s a good write up by Christopher Mirabel at Inc. Magazine – 2016 Crowdfunding Rules, More Complicated Than You Think.

More information at National Crowdfunding Association which covers the new equity or investment crowdfunding rules in place to protect consumers.

Equity Crowdfunding for bringing wealth back to Oregon

Eastern Oregon has North East Oregon Economic Development District working with Springboard Innovation to build a regional plan for localizing the economy. More details on that here.

Briefly from Lisa Dawson at NEOEDD:

By working together as organizations and individuals in three northeast Oregon counties, and taking advantage of external expertise, we will:

  • Provide support for local businesses that need investment capital and are profitable or have profit potential, but are not likely to be attractive to angel investors, venture capital investors or commercial lenders
  • Create options for individuals to invest a portion of their capital within the region
  • Work together on an economic development project that will increase the vitality of the region and our ability to work together

Their project ChangeXChangeNW is “a resource for communities in the Northwest. Our goal is to bolster local economies by connecting the dots between socially-minded investors and locally-owned businesses.”

Go to their site for details on all of these exciting changes happening. Springboard Innovation is working with NEODD to bring the same model eastward. Contact Lisa Dawson at NEOEDD for details.

Crowdfunding for Projects

Startsomegood focuses on projects with clear benefits and have strict criteria for using the platform.

“StartSomeGood is a peer funding platform for broadly-progressive social impact projects and organizations. While our focus is on social entrepreneurship as a vehicle for creating change we support all forms of changemaking: entrepreneurial, advocacy and activism, community organizing, research and information provision and inspiration.

“Our vision is a world where everyone can be a changemaker, where communities can create the future they want and governance is citizen-focused and responsive.”

“Our goal is to build the world’s best mobilizing platform for changemakers, allowing them to raise the funds, grow the community and gain the skills and contacts they need to make a difference.”

Local Projects

Crowdfunding for Rural Organizations
Crowdfunding for Civil Projects
Crowdfunding Renewable Energy Projects

 

Crowdfunding is a huge topic which we can’t cover in one post so please come back!   I encourage everyone to explore what’s out there and what has already been made real via crowdfunding, microlending, crowdsourcing, and equity crowdfunding. Let’s get to work on imagining what is possible!

If you have any questions or would like us to focus on a particular crowdfunding topic in the future, let me know in the comments.

 

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