•  
  • Vital Communities Seeks Proposals from Social Enterprises for Community-Based Crowdfunding Program

    Vital Communities invites emerging and established social enterprises to submit project proposals to The Local Crowd (TLC) Upper Valley, a new community-based crowdfunding program.
     
    Vital Communities is one of five sites nationwide selected to participate in the National Science Foundation grant-funded project with Wyoming-based company The Local Crowd. TLC combines a world-class rewards-based crowdfunding platform with business and campaign technical support for the emerging fourth sector of the economy—social enterprise. This initiative is designed to uncover the best ways to support social enterprises—mission-driven organizations that use business principles to make their communities and the world a better place.
     
    “TLC Upper Valley is about us—our region, our community—and our goals for economic development and prosperity,” says Vital Communities’ Local First Coordinator Nancy LaRowe. “Many people don’t know who the innovators and entrepreneurs are in the Upper Valley and the cool things they’re doing. Our region is replete with social enterprises, and TLC Upper Valley empowers individuals to support the businesses, organizations and initiatives that grow vibrant and healthy communities. It leverages the power of crowdfunding to cultivate a stronger ecosystem of investors, social enterprises and local economy champions to support a local, green and fair economy in the Upper Valley.”
     
    For this proposal cycle, TLC Upper Valley seeks Upper Valley-based projects with a budget under $10,000 and that support community goals and/or an improvement to community members’ quality of life. All for-profit businesses, nonprofits and community initiatives meeting campaign guidelines within Vital Communities’ 69-town service area are welcome to apply; particular attention will be given to projects based in the White River Valley, Bradford/Cohase and Hanover/Lebanon areas.
     
    TLC Upper Valley will select up to six projects to participate in this crowdfunding cohort, based on the potential of each project to positively impact their local economy and community. Accepted proposals will launch their campaigns in November, with guidance and assistance from TLC Upper Valley Advisors.
     
    More information and the request for proposals are available online at vitalcommunities.org/tlc. All proposals must be received by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 4, 2019.
     
    Crowdfunding is the process in which an entrepreneur, business, or organization asks a large number of people (usually through the Internet) to contribute a certain amount of money for a specific project. By leveraging the power of crowdfunding, TLC Upper Valley’s fundraising platform offers an innovative way for community members to support the businesses and organizations they care about right here in our region.
     
    TLC Upper Valley partners include Green Mountain Economic Development Corporation, Space on Main, Cohase Chamber of Commerce, Vermont Small Business Development Center, BALE (Build A Local Economy), Hanover and Lebanon Chambers of Commerce and SCORE. For more information, visit vitalcommunities.org/tlc or contact Nancy LaRowe at 802-291-9100.