Community Capital Toolkit features Raising Dough and more from Finance for Food

Finance for Food is proud to have contributed the Community Capital Toolkit, recently unveiled by the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE).

The Community Capital Toolkit includes:

  • A Guide to Community Capital, a 20-page introduction to the ideas and language of community capital, filled with on-the-ground examples from local communities across North America. (Don’t miss my section on the three forms of crowdfunding on page 16!)
  • Seven FREE webinar recordings that highlight innovative examples of community capital.
  • Access to a Community Capital Library, a comprehensive list of related articles, recommended reading (including Raising Dough), and the leading organizations in community capital today.

There is plenty of fodder in these resources for people who are interested in harnessing the financial wealth that exists within a region to support local, community-serving businesses and organizations. Why not keep this wealth re-circulating for the benefit of the whole community?

Click here to access the Toolkit and learn how to foster community capital activities in your area.

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Radio interviews now available

ElizabethU-KQEDWhen the book came out last summer, I spoke with two dozen radio personalities about Raising Dough, what constitutes a “socially responsible food business” (the answer of course being, “it depends!”), why there are barriers to raising money for them, and how I got into this work in the first place.

Many of the stations recorded and archived these interviews, and I recently discovered that many of them are available online, either as podcasts or as streaming audio.

I’ve posted them all here in case you want to listen to any of them.

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Crowdfunding 101: understanding the many forms of fundraising from the masses

Crowdfunding is quite the buzzword these days… who wouldn’t want to raise money from the masses? Unfortunately, many people looking to raise money for their farms or food-based businesses don’t realize that there are many different methods of crowdfunding. Each comes with its own laws, pitfalls, and challenges, but depending on your particular  situation, chances are one of them could be a good fit for you.

It’s important to understand the different crowdfunding options out there so that you can assess them based upon your own skills, values, and proclivities. (As an example, community-supported crowdfunding models don’t make any sense for people who would prefer not to have to do a lot of community organizing, but the introverts out there might find peer-to-peer lending to be just the ticket.)

I recently gave this presentation at the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s 23rd Annual Farming for the Future Conference, and I share it here in hopes that it will help clear up some of the crowdfunding confusion out there. Though all the examples I used are farm-based, you can — and many people do — use all these forms of crowdfunding to raise money for other types of food businesses, not to mention any business that sells goods or services to the general public.

Crowdfunding 101 for Farms & Food-Based Businesses from Elizabeth Ü

Heritage Radio features Raising Dough

Heritage RadioHeritage Radio is committed to archiving, protecting, and advancing our country’s rich food culture through programs that give voice to America’s leading food professionals, farmers, policy experts, artists, and tastemakers.

Heritage Radio reporter Cathy Erway recently called to ask me several food financing questions for a live radio interview for the Eat Your Words show.

Listen to the half-hour show now to learn about the three different types of crowdfunding, my advice for combatting “crowdfunding fatigue,” the importance of a sound business plan, and more.

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ForeWord Reviews calls Raising Dough “invaluable aid”

ForeWord Reviews

The first official review of Raising Dough: the Complete Guide to Financing a Socially Responsible Food Business is in! Here’s what ForeWord Reviews has to say:

This guide is an invaluable aid for those who produce healthy foods and need a practical and socially responsible business model… The fact-filled, exceptionally well-organized book teaches food idealists how to crunch the numbers and market their product—from conceptual steps to the success that is the dream of every small business person.

The author makes clear that several strategies are needed in order to “raise dough.” First, she asks readers to consider their values and how important are considerations such as place, control, scale, pace, and financial success. She asks whether readers want to be tied to a location, constantly at the helm, or whether they want the business to grow larger, faster, or at a reasonable pace. Are they willing to take financial risks to achieve financial goals?

You can read the entire review here, and if you are interested in ordering the book, there are several options listed here.

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