Grow Your Own

Let's say you've organized a neighbourhood green group, built a community network and published a community action plan. Now you're ready to engage your community through an integrated campaign. This is a great time to set up a community action fund to raise funds for your plan.

The idea of a community fund is that the community network comes together to raise funds for the benefit of all. It may only raise a few thousand dollars, but even that amount will cover expenses and can be accounted as matching revenue for grant applications.

Here are the key steps:

  1. designate a host organization (charity) that can receive and disburse funds for community projects
  2. set up a funding committee to raise funds and decide on how community funding will be dispersed to the approved projects
  3. Find major sponsors within the community of funds or in-kind donations
  4. host fundraising events - a dinner, restaurant crawl, or music event
  5. pass the hat at community events
  6. set up an online crowdsource appeal, with posters and cards distributed throughout the community

Crowdsourcing is a way to raise funds from friends and neighbours. It's an approach that lends itself well to community projects and community action plans. If you are looking for an environmentally-focused crowdsourcing site, take a look at the Small Change Fund. They specialize in community projects and have an advisory board that reviews all projects before they are included on the site.

If you have a local community foundation, contact them to see if they can help with fundraising for a neighbourhood or community action plan.

Good luck!