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Posts Tagged tinyhouses

Chosen funding strategies

At the very beginning of our contact with the NGO we found out they had many unmet needs. The first one about zoning laws (concerning the minimun size a house should have); the second was about funding; and the third, about a certification program for tiny houses.

We chose to work with the second one, that was described by the NGO as follows:

"Funding: As a group, we need to be able to develop a company to invest in and manage a tiny house community. Purchasing an existing space zoned for small houses seems to be the way to go, but we have not been able to get it off the ground because there is not a central management entity.”

Therefore, the different kinds of funding was the topic we learned about that most fitted the needs of the NGO. Studying the case, we chose to suggest three funding methods to the tiny housers:

1 - Crowdfunding;

2 - Sponsorship;

3 - Rent of tiny houses for living and as offices.

Working with 3 different types of funding was our strategy to diversify the NGO’s sources of income so they are well covered in this area.

The first reason I find the funding subject interesting to learn is because we were able to get to know many different types of funding and, from there, choose which ones could be successful for the NGO.

The second one is that it is impossible to any NGO to survive without some kind of funding, specially in the case of the tiny housers, that had the wish to build a physical comunity. It was a must for our group to research and inform ourselves better on funding to provide them with good solutions for their challenge.

Finally, I have to say it makes me happy to know that with the knowledge acquired by the NGO in this whole process, they will be able to, after purchasing the space to create the community, maintain it and conquer more in the future, as other desires will appear when the actual community starts running.

P.S.: Thank you to my partners from “Most Wanted” group. It was an enjoyment to work with you guys. Very proud with the final result!

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Posted in Community, Group 1, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Leticia Fernandez - Project Communities 2014

Is crowdfunding a good option for my NGO?

The Tiny House Enthusiasts have the main goal to build a community, where they could each have a lot to build their tiny houses plus shared facilities, such as a pool and an internet cafe. To accomplish that they obvsously need funding. Would crowdfunding be a good option for them? Let’s see.

First, it has to be considered that tiny houses are not a social cause per se, and for that, it does not have the emotional appealing that would make people donate. For instance, a campaign for helping homeless pets touches people’s heart, thus, they open their wallets.

Second, not so many people are familiar with the Tiny House movement, their cause, and their purpose. If people new why those people want to live in tiny houses, they would feel closer to the idea, because their are familiar with it.  If people knew that costs are much lower if you live in a tiny house and that it it environmental friendly, they would be much more willing to donate.

In that moment comes crowdsourcing. You have to let people know what’s happening, what is your project about and get them involved. A marketing strategy and a good website are indispensable.

The truth is each case has to be analysed individually. Approaching the characteristics of that particular enterprise will give a good answer of which kind of crowdfunding or IF crowdfunding is suitable for your project.
In regard to the Tiny Houses, there is a platform that fits really well the purpose of being a community. It is called “Tilt” and it works kind of a group crowdfunding, e.g.:
Imagine someone in the community has the idea of building a garden. Then they:
1 - Creat a webpage explaining the purpose of the funding. A deadline and the desired amount of money raised should be predetermined;
2 - Invite people to donate via Facebook;
3 - If, by the deadline, the goal has been achieved, donors will be charged in their credit cards. If not, it means the funding has failed and nobody will be charged. Of course the goal is not the limit, the donations can go above it.
In Tilt there is no reward like in traditional crowdfunding, but the benefit will stay in the community, so everybody wins (in this case, a new garden).
Nothing is perfect, so there is a fee of 2,5% charged as administrative costs from the website.

Between the pros and cons, I say crowdfunding well used is a great tool.

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Posted in Community, Group 1, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Leticia Fernandez - Project Communities 2014