how to brainstorm a crowdfunding campaign

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The group?

A community bakery and café, Doces Talentos, run by a group of women who live in Vila Brasilândia.

The place?

A rectangular room that had been the home of Doces Talentos for the past 1 year and 4 months. The space does not seem suited to the identity of the place- a restaurant, bakery and café. First comes the café when you enter, then the seating area, then deep in the room, the kitchen. Vehicular traffic of all kind- lorries, motorbikes, cars, buses- on Avenida Deputado Cantidio Sampaio outside periodically makes it hard to hear anything, and when an especially heavy lorry passes the floor moves. The neighbours on either side of the café are auto repair shops.

The question?

The current location is not good for business, very few customers frequent the café for lunch or baked goods, and it is too far from the community. As it is, the cost of rent does not match the amount of money they earn.

The answer?

To find a new home for Doces Talentos to move to, closer to the community and close to the homes of the women.

This proved easier said than done as most places were either too expensive or needed a month’s pre-payment. To solve this, renovating a space within the community that belongs to a friend of one of the women became an option.

The space had been unused for a long time and young people making use of it for funk music parties had invaded this space contributing to its disrepair. It will need renovation in the form of paint, floors, lights, pillars to hold up the roof, a door and a strong gate.

The hope?

That all this work will be managed collaboratively and with as little need for money as possible. Doces talentos have already begun to approach businesses to present their challenge and ask for help with materials for the renovation including cement for the pillars, tiles or cement for the flooring, paint for the doors, windows and walls.

The women are also searching for someone who would assist them with moving the baking and cooking equipment – to their new home. They will have to mobilise the community and their neighbours to help with the clean-up of the space and with painting. In return they could provide their helpers with a snack or lunch.

The process of setting up a project on the crowdfunding site, Benfetoria has already begun and this will hopefully bring in collaborators to enable the group pay for the cost of technical labour. The women could also make and sell pizzas for delivery on the weekends in order to raise the money for this. This could also be used to establish an exchange with businesses that contribute some of the needed materials. Another possible site, Curto prazo, is an option that would allow people to offer help in kind rather than cash.

The challenge?

  1. Facing all the nos from people that the group approach, and getting to yeses- getting over the shame/fear of asking.
  2. Someone who left her fridge, cupboard and oven at the present location and who has not been reachable- the group cannot be responsible for her items and these would be an additional cost for them to move.
  3. Preparing the new space for the group to move by the end of August.
  4. Moving.

The joy/relief?

The women of Doces Talentos had already analysed their situation and come up with a plan of action. They had decided to move, spoken with the owner of the space they were presently in and negotiated the terms of the move. They had looked for, and obtained a new space that would meet their needs and made a diagnosis of what would be needed in order to make it into a café and bakery. They had begun to talk to businesses to obtain the materials necessary for the renovation. And had called in Oficina da Sustentabilidade and Gertulio Vargas to talk about their plan and ask for help with thinking about how to manage the costs of materials needed and technical work.

The plan therefore

The group has to move out of their current premises by the 30th of August. Before then,

In order to enure the security of the space and items to be moved, a new gate needs to be installed. Joao had offered the group a door. For the cost of installing it, the women will negotiate with Oficina da Sustentabilidade for a ‘coffee break’. The women will call Joao to confirm about the door and when it will be installed.

Begin moving smaller things to the houses of the women and leave the bigger things for the bigger moving day.

The group will keep looking for businesses to help with renovation materials (mapeamento das lotas de matérias de construção).

Key words:

Troca, creatividade, sem dinero.

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