The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock — a locally-based crowdfunding platform in Keene — has raised over $86,000 from 600+ supporters for thirteen campaigns since it launched in April 2017. One-third of our campaigns supported farmers in our region. We wonder if we could build on this asset and make this platform available to support farmers and food system work throughout New Hampshire.
As our pilot project draws to a close at the end of September, we reached out to the businesses, nonprofits and community initiatives that launched campaigns on TLC Monadnock. We wanted to hear about their progress and gather their opinions on the potential of continuing TLC Monadnock in our region. Here are insights from two of them.
Archway Farm in Keene, one of the first campaigns to launch on TLC Monadnock, used crowdfunding to purchase a food truck. Farmer Mark Florenz travels to various community events with this truck, introducing his pasture-raised pork to new people throughout our region. “This has definitely given us a good way to get out and meet more customers,” shared Mark.
In terms of TLC Monadnock’s broader impact, Mark said, “Having a local crowdfunding resource, I think, helps local groups be more effective in their campaigns and provides examples of what effective campaigns look like. I see a lot of hastily thrown together campaigns on other platforms that never go anywhere.”
While Marty Castriotta of Village Roots Permaculture Farm completed his crowdfunding campaign in late April, he’s already used the funds to raise the roof of his barn and expects to finish construction in September.
“With the exception of a couple grants, the rule of our farm enterprise has been to pay as you go and invest back into the farm,” stated Marty. “With that said, when we started considering the potential completion date of a barn that we started building in 2013, it was hard to see an end in sight. TLC Monadnock made it possible for us to embrace the idea of asking our community to support our cause and our project. Within two weeks of launching our campaign, with the tremendous support of TLC, we raised the funds needed to complete our barn.”
Marty continued, “I would encourage other farmers in the Monadnock region to explore the potential of crowdfunding for needed infrastructure and new initiatives. TLC Monadnock is a valuable resource in our community and can help us build a more resilient food system by helping to build more resilient farms.”
What are your thoughts and impressions of TLC Monadnock? Do you think our community would support this crowdfunding platform if we continued to host it? Should it become a state-wide or New England-wide tool? Please contact us and let us know what you think.
For more information on all thirteen projects of our TLC pilot to date, visit monadnocklocal.org/TLC.