Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Fundraiser (Draft Document)

Below is an excerpt from "First and Foremost, We Must Care," used as a way to introduce Our Good's current projects for those of you unfamiliar with my work, my intentions and my vision. The full blog post at the link expands upon what I have learned over the last 8 years with Wishadoo! (the Community Good Social Network), the creation of the concept of Caregiverism, and what I need in order to move forward and expand this work.

Currently, Our Good (a Community Development Social Enterprise) offers the following projects which support the movement toward more caring, sustainable communities and meaningful lives:

  Offering the space to connect and put caring consciousness into action as a community is why Wishadoo!, the Community Good Network was created eight years ago. To connect as individuals and as communities and networks and as a Caring Citizenry. Can you imagine the impact if Facebook, Ebay, Craigslist and other popular platforms were created with these express intentions? Wishadoo is a social network platform which combines all of these features and more, built upon a foundation of respect, integrity and care.

 Offering hope, inspiration and care-based solutions by sharing examples of Caregiverism is why the online Community Good Magazine was created. "Local Good" will be an exemplar for a community-based, community-owned "good news" multimedia enterprise.

*  Providing a truly comprehensive directory where one can find existing avenues of care and assistance, as well as find inspiring projects and ventures which are examples of Caregiverism is why the  Community Good Directory was created. 

All of the above projects currently exist – I am not speaking in hypotheticals. They are global projects, with an initial national focus (US), and each complement one another and are symbiotic.

In addition to fostering more caring, compassionate action, they serve the purpose of integrating the many fragments I perceive in community development work and activism (fragmentation and the resultant inefficiency is something which drives me a bit crazy). The projects and initiatives are in various stages of development, with Wishadoo! having achieved proof of concept over the last 8 years, through several incarnations. It worked so well that I now must hire help in order to continue. 

Other initiatives waiting in the wings under the Our Good umbrella have all been  designed to cultivate and support our evolution toward a caring consciousness and Culture of Care. 

I am currently exploring partnerships and funding opportunities for job creation to support expansion of my vision of Doing Good. 

Please note that collaboration in support of other organizations, projects and endeavors has always been central to my intentions and vision. I am especially passionate about social enterprise, cooperatives, and women-owned ventures which foster the mission of cultural transformation.             http://findhelp.i nfo            



When people find their way to Wishadoo! (The Community Good Social Network), The Community Good Magazine, or the Community Good Directory, they will discover the other interconnected projects.  

If they first land at Wishadoo!, they will find a social network platform offering the tools to create more caring communities. Included in member activity is the sharing of content (similar to Facebook). They will see articles from the Community Good Magazine shared in their feed, inspiring discussion, action, and visioning. The member activity at Wishadoo! can also be the source of articles at the Community Good magazine, as well as the source of resources added to the Community Good Directory.

If they first land at the Community Good Magazine, they will find a free digital media resource with original and curated content intended to inspire, raise awareness, prompt discussion and solutions. They will learn about Wishadoo!, where we gather to have ongoing discussion about articles, projects and issues mentioned in the magazine articles. Wishadoo! is also where we connect to others with similar interests, expanding and deepening community. The organizations, agencies, projects and enterprises mentioned in the magazine articles are often added to the Community Good Directory.

If they first land at the Community Good Directory, they will find the first comprehensive resource directory encompassing social services as well as "good" finds, such as community gardens, cooperatives, community banks, and so much more. From here they will discover both Wishadoo! and Community Good Magazine.

See? It's all connected.


In order to move forward with these projects, all of which are still desperately needed, I must have help. While volunteers and interns can supplement this help, I need a reliable team before I can consider relaunching. As mentioned earlier, Wishadoo! is a proven model; it worked so well that it became overwhelming for me, even with volunteers.

I have always envisioned creating job opportunities, especially for those who are homebound for any number of reasons, including those on disability who need supplemental income as well as homebound caregivers who also need extra income.

Over the last year I have explored a variety of funding mechanisms and legal structures for Our Good (in order to make use of various funding mechanism)s, but I come back to where I was at the very start:  Raising funds via cooperative membership. From there, with a team in place, the revenue-generating models for each endeavor can work to be implemented, making Our Good a self-sustaining social enterprise, with both member-owned and worker-owned cooperatives in place.

•  Because Our Good (nor any of its components) is not a start-up, impact investors are nowhere to be found.

•  Because I am a woman, who is over 30, impact investors are nowhere to be found.

•  Philanthropic foundation funding is either unavailable because Our Good has a broad agenda, not niche, or it will take at least one year to be approved for said funding.

I envision raising the initial funding via cooperative membership for individuals. (I am also exploring business membership.)

First, please know that most of the tools at Wishadoo! will remain available to anyone who joins. Being a co-op investor would offer additional benefits (to be explained in my next communication) and a voice/vote.

While I anticipate membership being only $25/year (with funding for those who cannot afford that but wish to participate in the co-op), this initial seed funding will be for $150.  The ONLY reason I am doing it this way -- $150 instead of $25 -- is to weed out anyone who may want to disrupt this caring community. (Sadly, this type of disruption exists, which is why transforming online culture, given the influence of online activity, is a key area of focus for me.)

The minimum contribution of $150 provides 6 co-op memberships; the investor can select the other 5 people to participate in growing the community, or donate the membership to the general fund offering free membership. Renewal will only be $25/year henceforth.

IDEALLY, I would like to raise at least $100k, and here is the breakdown:

$60k     -           (3) part-time administrative support positions, one for each project, @ $15/hr

$10k     -           IT upgrades and support; mobile app development for the projects

$5k       -           Expenses for one year (web hosting, domain renewals, marketing, legal)

$25k     -           I have bootstrapped everything for 8 years, but have been helped by several people who have 
granted me personal loans, and I desperately want to pay them back. Additionally, the IT team who has helped me all these years has done so out of the kindness of their hearts. I would like to be able to offer them $5k as a token of gratitude, even though they have no doubt provided at least $20k worth of services thus far. 

Even though people can invest more than $150 (to provide even more memberships for others), less than 700 people would be needed to invest $150 in order to achieve the $100k goal…or 333 people at $300…or 200 people at $500…or 100 people at $1000.  I will structure the fundraiser accordingly. 

However it manifests, the end result is relaunch of a much-needed service, job creation, and exponential expansion of a new type of community, one which values a Culture of Care and puts it into action.

Before I create a fundraiser, I will create a survey to try to determine how many people may be interested in being part of this seed funding investment. 

~ Dena

PRACTICAL COMPASSION | Sharing thoughts, ideas, and visions of a more caring, collaborative, joy-filled world.

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