6 Best Kept Secrets to Launching a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

Written by Ashley Black
Dyson School c/o 2014, Cornell University (Student Intern – Summer 2013)

With the rise of websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, crowdfunding has earned widespread hype as an effective way to raise significant amounts of money and gain greater visibility for a project or cause. But like anything new, learning the tricks of the trade can be daunting. While crowdfunding has been largely successful with young, tech-savvy entrepreneurs, PEAKS works primarily with non-profits that are embracing crowdfunding as a complimentary approach to traditional fundraising strategies, like grant-writing. With the unveiling of our 6 Best Kept Secrets, we intend to demystify the challenges of crowdfunding and offer a practical overview to hitting the trail, climbing higher, and reaching your peak!

1. Use your Passion as a Vehicle for Change

Your passion is the single greatest motivation for change: in order to have a truly successful campaign, support a cause you love with an activity you love. For instance: The Learning Web’s campaign was started by Sally Schwartzbach, a Changemaker that loves to ignite children’s passions so much that she’s worked there for 30 years! One of the Learning Web’s champions – Robyn Wishna – is using her passion for photography (and kids!) to raise $1,000 by taking portraits of 65 campers. The portraits will be free for download online, but she is suggesting a donation of $15 per portrait from her network to support The Learning Web and Southside’s Community Unity, Music and Education campers.

2. Pick your Summit and Climb Towards It

The best way to reach your total fundraising goal is by setting smaller, achievable goals along the way. Milestones are a great way to boost morale while showing your network that you are both prepared and committed to achieving your goal. For example: If you plan to raise $900 over the course of a 6 week Campaign, work towards raising $300 by the two-week mark, $600 by the four-week mark and reaching the summit by week six.

3. Assemble your Team and Fan Club

In the same way you wouldn’t embark on an expedition solo, it’s not wise to launch a Campaign on your own – nor as fun! Start a Campaign with a solid team of two or three people who can help manage daily promotion, thanking donors and other essential tasks. Encourage friends and family to Champion your cause, or cheer you on by making a contribution and sharing your Campaign with their friends and family. Share your Campaign or Champion page with EVERYONE you know in your network! Engage them with personal greetings, opportunities for active involvement and by using phrases like “Join Me/Us” or “Be A Part of _____’s community/allegiance, etc.” Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ASK for a contribution: even a “no” means free publicity!


4. Videos Speak Louder than Words (and Pictures)

Using ONLY words can get very boring, very quickly. Embed meaningful pictures and videos on your Champion and/or Campaign page(s), and be sure to illustrate your progress with images and live footage in your emails and Updates! If pictures are worth 1000 words, imagine the power of video! The Learning Web raised over $8,000 in 5 days, over a quarter of their goal to raise $20,000 – we believe it’s because every single Champion made a video.

5. Echo your Cause Across Cyberspace

Traditional ways of sharing news – like phone calls and handwritten letters – can be essential and effective – especially when your grandma isn’t on Facebook. However, if you want to get information to a crowd of people as quickly as possible, “cyberspace” is the way to go! Post your links and updates via Facebook, Twitter, other social media outlets and Email at the following times to spike the number of visitors to and contributions for your Campaign: Tuesday at 11am, Wednesday at 3pm or Thursday at 11am or 3pm. Make direct calls to action. On Twitter, include these words in your Tweets: “Please Retweet” and “RT.” On Facebook use “Please Share” or “Like” and for Email use “Please Forward.” Don’t forget you are fundraising: “Please Donate” rings loud and clear.

6. Shout THANK YOU from the Mountaintop

Thank every one of your supporters, contributors and donors at least twice! They are, and will continue to be, your biggest asset. To add a nice touch, consider writing personalized, handwritten thank you cards and including pictures from your successful Campaign.

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The Meat Locker: Genius Project for Sustainably Raised, Affordable Meat

Written by Boheng Su
MPA Candidate, Cornell University (Student Intern – Summer 2013)

This week’s Changemaker, Matt LeRoux, is committed to helping local, sustainable livestock farmers sell more meat while making their meat more affordable and more accessible for every consumer in the Ithaca and Corning areas. Let me introduce you to Matt’s Meat Suite and his exciting plana for a Meat Locker.

Meat Suite – Find your Farmer!

Matt led the creation of the Meat Suite with a team of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s (CCE) Agriculture Educators. The web platform is designed to increase “freezer trade,” otherwise known as the direct sale of animals to consumers in whole, half, and quarter shares. The Meat Suite’s goal is to provide consumers with a directory where they can “find their farmer” and “fill their freezer” with bulk purchases of high quality meat. The Meat Suite lets consumers search by zip code or species, and learn how each farm raises their livestock.

Meat Locker Pilot Project!

While the Meat Suite gives consumers a place to find farms and products, the Meat Locker offers a place to store bulk purchases. I was curious about how the Meat Locker would work, so to answer my questions I attended a meeting Matt organized at Silver Queen Farm.  Matt introduced his PEAKS Campaign to eight farmers who had gathered to learn how they could Champion his efforts to raise the final $20,000 needed to make bring the Meat Locker to Ithaca and Corning, NY.

I had the opportunity to interview Matt, a local meat lover, and learn about the Cornell Alum’s role as the Agriculture Marketing Specialist at CCE and Meat Locker project leader. Matt is 100% dedicated to identifying win-win marketing channels for farmers and consumers. After careful research, he discovered that freezer trade was the best solution. Farmers can set prices that are better for them but also more affordable for consumers. This is because bulk purchases relieve the farmer of marketing risks, labor and other expenses incurred when selling through more conventional channels like the supermarket.

In order for freezer trade to work, you need a freezer, or, a meat locker. The “Meat Locker Pilot Project” will raise funds for two freezers, one in Ithaca, one in Corning. Matt already won a USDA grant for $81,000, covering 80% of his anticipated costs. Matt is using PEAKS to raise the remaining 20% to make this project come to life. The $20,000 he raises on PEAKS will be used to build, install and hook up the lockers.

The Meat Locker Project will give consumers a way to find and order the products they want in bulk, wholesale quantities, using www.meatsuite.com. Next, consumers get their meat delivered to the locker where it is stored.  Just like a CSA, consumers can access their “share” during pick-up hours once or twice a week. Not only will the Meat Locker save consumers money, but it will also save precious freezer space at home. For this amazing service, consumers will only pay $3.00 – $5.00 per month for storage space.

Matt’s Meat Locker and Meat Suite projects are built to tackle the biggest barriers to increasing sustainable livestock production and consumption. Matt would love to see local small-scale livestock producers thrive, and believes that investing his energy in the growth of freezer trade will help him reach that goal.

Get involved

To help make the Meat Locker a reality, be a champion to support this great project. Support healthy farms and healthy, delicious food!

Here is how you can support the Meat Locker:


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A playground for everyone!

Written by Boheng Su
MPA Candidate, Cornell University (Student Intern – Summer 2013)


Get out and play to support the Stewart Park Playground!

Since 2011, the Friends of Stewart Park (FSP) have lent a big hand in creating the new vision for Stewart Park and its current magic at the tip of Cayuga Lake. Last week I interviewed Allan Delesantro, a Cornell student and administrative assistant of FSP, in hopes of sharing their exciting work and PEAKS campaign with our community of changemakers. What could be more fitting than having our interview right in the Stewart Park playground, while learning about the new playground project.

Allan is a Cornell junior, majoring in architecture. His academic interest is focused in urban development and landscape design, which is part of the reason why he is so passionate about Steward Park. Allan explained that FSP evolved out of a Tompkins County-funded study for the Steward Park Rehabilitation Action Plan. When the plan was completed in 2009, the research team continued to be passionate about rehabilitating the park and over a weekend gathering, decided to start FSP. Allan came on board with his former employer, Rick Manning, who had previously sat on the board of the study and is now the Executive Director of FSP.

FSP recently launched a campaign to fund “the new playground.” The project aims to improve Stewart Park’s current playground facilities with a dream team of playground designers. The current playground is in a sad state. Grass is pushing up between the cracks and the terrain between play features has become larger and more uneven, making it difficult for grandparents to walk between the different play areas to keep a tender, watching eye over their grandchildren. Parents also struggle to supervise multiple children at once. The new designs aim to create a space that is smaller to navigate but more social for children. In addition, the new playground will have added educational components that highlight the park’s natural and cultural history.

Allan hopes to raise $10,000 on PEAKS for the new playground as seed money for more concrete designs. FSP has been working with their playground dream team and community members to collect great ideas for the playground and incorporate them into the plans. They would love for children and their parents to also support the design process: FSP is taking a step towards this goal with their first mom community design meeting.

Allan left me with a few ways to get involved. I’d like to ask you to consider joining me and PEAKS in supporting this wonderful cause.

Here’s what you can do to get involved!

·Become a Champion and organize a play date

·Community design meeting

·Donate on PEAKS

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GreenStar Community Projects: Feeding Our Future

Written by Ashley Black
Dyson School c/o 2014, Cornell University (Student Intern – Summer 2013)

Building a stronger community and tackling food justice is just the tip of the iceberg (lettuce) for this week’s featured Changemaker! Let me introduce our passionate PEAKS community to GreenStar Community Projects (aka GSCP) and its recently appointed Project Coordinator, Luke Jones.


A little over a week ago, Luke and I had a great conversation about the past, present and future of GSCP while escaping the summer rain in the GreenStar Co-op’s rustic DeWitt Mall location, Oasis.
Luke, a Brooklyn-native Ithaca lover and recent Cornell graduate, spoke ardently about GreenStar Community Projects, its mission and how they plan to bring that mission to life in Greater Ithaca.

Luke describes GSCP – founded by GreenStar Co-op in 2006 – as an organization determined to not only meet community needs by lessening the disparities in access to fresh food in lower income neighborhoods, but by connecting Ithaca’s huge network of non-profits to promote collaboration and wider outreach. GSCP, guided by a mission to fulfill the needs of those facing inequality (which also happens to be one of Luke’s passions), is working to “solidify the local economic network for food” and better address the social justice aspect of “Food Justice” through community programming and network building. Ithaca Community HarvestSince 2010, GreenStar Community Projects has teamed with the Village at Ithaca, Southside Community Center, the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC) and the Ithaca City School District to provide seasonal produce to youth and families in Ithaca’s public schools through Ithaca Community Harvest (ICH).


GSCP is also planning their  3rd Annual Food Justice Summit (FJS) for September 21st, 2013 at Southside Community Center. The Summit, which traditionally begins with an (up to) 5 mile Walk-a-thon fundraiser and culminates in a Community Celebration, will be a FREE event jam-packed with family fun!

The Walk-a-thon not only gets you moving and  fundraising for a great cause, but provides the opportunity to visit neighborhood and school gardens.

Plus, last year’s Community Block Party Celebration featured live music, organicBBQ (and Vegetarian) Fare, youth activities (like the Junior Iron Chef Competition), workshops, educational displays and guest speakers!! Learn more about FJS  here.


To help make GreenStar Community Projects’ vision a reality, Luke and his colleagues need Champions to support their efforts. If you share GSCP’s passion for food justice and community-building, here are a few ways you can get involved:

  • Join a Board! GSCP currently has three boards – The main Board, The Food Justice Summit Board, and The Networking Board (to help connect organizations) – they are currently open to new members! Luke promises the time commitment is minimal. Plus, you get a 17.5% discount at GreenStar Co-op. Contact info@greenstarcommunityprojects.org for details.
  • Volunteer with the Food Justice SummitSeptember 21st, 2013 is the next Food Justice Summit and GSCP is looking for committed, passionate volunteers! Want to join? Contact info@greenstarcommunityprojects.org for more information.
  • PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE! Luke stressed the importance of spreading the word about GSCP’s work – “If people know and don’t give, it’s better than people just giving and not knowing what we’re about.” So, get on your screens, write a letter, and tell someone about this amazing community organization: GreenStar Community Projects!
  • Donate! GSCP loves volunteers and promoters, but your tax-deductible donations are also most welcome! Visit GSCP’s Campaign page right here on PEAKS and make a contribution today: link.

Contact Luke Jones, GSCP’s Project Coordinator at info@greenstarcommunityprojects.org if you’re interested in getting involved. And be on the lookout for their new website!

GSCP chose PEAKS because our missions aligned and they know that working with PEAKS means supporting Tompkins County. Visit their PEAKS Campaign page and become a GSCP Champion.

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Community Foundation of Tompkins County: Our Endowment Fund

Written by Boheng Su
MPA Candidate, Cornell University (Student Intern – Summer 2013)

Join CFTC in helping our community excel!

Want to help make your community in Tompkins County a better place to live? To find out how, I interviewed George Ferrari, an outstanding Changemaker and the Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Tompkins County. A simple way to start is by visiting the Community Foundation of Tompkins County  on PEAKS, where you can support one of three exciting campaigns as a Champion or contributor.

Your Community, Your Community Foundation

The Community Foundation of Tompkins County (CFTC) is thirteen years old, and determined to inspire and support enduring philanthropy. Philanthropy means the act of people volunteering their time, talent or treasure to solve problems and to improve the quality of life in their community. According to George Ferrari, Executive Director of CFTC, “our vision is that Tompkins County will thrive thanks to the engagement of philanthropists. We receive donations from donors, and we use them to create a permanent endowment. The earnings of the endowment are used to make grants back to the community in the non-profit and public sector.”

George emphasized that CFTC is “passionate about helping people accomplish their goals better than they thought they could do on their own; we also would love to make connections among people who have ideas in common about how to improve the quality of life in Tompkins County. We believe in teamwork. Better solutions are always made when we work together as a team.”

The Community Foundation of Tompkins County focuses on five main grant-making areas:

1. Art & Culture
2. Community Building
3. Education
4. Environment/Sustainability
5. Health & Human Services

A story: how CFTC’s philanthropists change lives

Arthur Kuckes& Martha Wright – long time Ithacans, accomplished business professionals and enduring philanthropists – came to the Community Foundation to express their generosity and encourage others to join them in giving back to their community. They had been generous annual donors for a long time, and wanted to take their their commitment to the community a step further by setting up a permanent charitable endowment fund worth half a million dollars at CFTC. The profits of the funds are now being used to support meal programs at two community centers in Ithaca: Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC) and the Southside Community Center. The programs provide nutritious meals for children from low-income families, who would otherwise go hungry from food scarcity at home. Arthur and Martha have made it possible for children in the GIAC and Southside community centers to have a better chance to grow and learn healthily. Their support will continue to be a long-term resource – they hope others will also contribute.

Donors and agencies seeking to create endowments benefit from the Community Foundation’s investment expertise, competitive fees, community knowledge and excellent donor advising. When donors partner with the Community Foundation for endowment management services, they are insuring perpetual grants dedicated to their core values, while supporting an entire community and inviting others to join their efforts.

Women, Philanthropists and Children: Weaving a Difference

Women’s Fund ($5,000): Created in 2004, the Women’s Fund at the Community Foundation seeks to make a significant difference in the lives of individual women and the work of organizations in our community. Tompkins County has a history of female philanthropists who brought food to the needy, nursed the sick, and contributed funds to those causes close to home. For example, groups like the Ladies Benevolent Society (formed in 1870, now the McGraw House) provided a safe place for elderly women to live. Working together, women founded the Children’s Home, a refuge for youngsters in need, and helped create such institutions as the Reconstruction Home, the Women’s Opportunity Center, The Cancer Resource Center, and many others. The Community Foundation aims to continue supporting female leaders in the community by establishing the Women’s Fund Endowment. The Endowment will seek to promote educational, economic and social equality for women in Tompkins County. Support this initiative today!

Community Foundation Fall Grant Cycle ($10,000): The mission of your Community Foundation is to inspire and support enduring philanthropy for Tompkins County. The Community Foundation of Tompkins County awards grants to groups that will fuel changes through arts, building civic engagement, enriching education, protecting the environment, advancing healthcare, and serving individuals in need. Through the Community Foundation, community resources can be preserved, nurtured, and deployed in grants approved by the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors. Every fall, the Community Foundation hosts “Listening Learning” sessions to determine donors’ and grantees’ giving priorities.  The Community Foundation is dedicated to engaging in strategic partnerships with donors, service providers and committed residents of Tompkins County to identify assets, challenges, and ways to improve the quality of life for all in its beloved community. Support this initiative today!

Children and youth fund (2,500): The Community Foundation’s Children and Youth Field of Interest Fund was created to promote the healthy development of children and youth in ways that complement existing services. In recent years, the Children and Youth Fund has reviewed proposals submitted by youth-serving agencies to the Community Foundation. As demands in youth services increase and available federal and state grants decrease, local support makes up the difference. You can Fund the Future by contributing to the Children & Youth Fund today!

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Keynote: Passion as a Vehicle for Change

For the Community Foundation of Tompkins County’s Annual Celebration Keynote Speech, Emma Frisch (PEAKS Founder) shared her story about using passion as a vehicle for change, and inspired the audience to think about how they could transform their community through their own passions. A refreshing approach to crowdfunding as a new way to raise money through creative philanthropy and community engagement.

(Apologies: the speech was not recorded until the very end. However, the speech is translated below with the concluding remarks after the “video montage”).

Today I want to share something I’ve learned that has changed my life and that could change yours. You can use your passion as a vehicle for change, and a new website* called PEAKS, can help you do that.  As I’m talking, I want you to think about how this approach could help you become a philanthropist in your local community or how to build your philanthropy in a way that can be fun and impactful.

First I want to thank George, Janet, Amy and the Board the Community Foundation for inviting me to speak at this year’s celebration. I’m truly honored to be here. I also want to give a shout out to Ken Schlather who saw the potential in PEAKS and is helping me bring it to Tompkins County and to Pat Haggerty our web developer extraordinaire.

I had the opportunity to see Cory Booker’s inspiring commencement address this past Saturday at Cornell. The mayor of Newark, New Jersey left the graduating class of 2013 with a simple message about the power of individuals to awaken others with love, and the power of people to create change together. He boomed over the loudspeaker: “I tell you now …your generation will be determined by how you come together as lovers – lovers of peace, lovers of justice. The fires that must be burning are the fires of love and justice, the fires of our hearts and our compassion, the little fires of individual actions that every day add up to an inferno of change.”

This resonated so profoundly with me, because I believe every single action I take will make a difference in the world. I can make a difference by biking up the hill to a meeting and buying my vegetables from Lucy and Chaw at the farmers market. But what took me longer to realize is that I could also make a difference in the world by be using my hobbies and passions, the things I do for myself in my spare time to make me happy.

What is passion?

A passion defines something we love to do.  I imagine that each of you sitting here today can think of at least one passion that you have: sitting in a special place in nature, cooking a gourmet meal for friends, creating an ecological housing design, or in George’s case, listening to Diana Ross.

Now, do me a favor and take a moment to share one of your passions with the person sitting in front or behind you. I want to hear a sea of passion out there!

Let me hear some examples – shout them out!

Each of you, like so many leaders before us, is a Changemaker. People have been using their passion as a vehicle for change for a very long time. The award-winning photographer James Balog has used his passion for photography to raise awareness about the tragic reality of climate change in his documentary Chasing Ice. Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews, Neil Young and John Mellencamp – all passionate musicians – have banded together to create Farm Aid, an annual concert that raises money for small family farmers and better food in America.

The story of PEAKS

I want to share a story with you about how I used my passion as a vehicle for change. This is the story of how PEAKS began.

Before moving to Ithaca, I lived in Ecuador, in the heart of the Andes. I was working with a small non-profit called EkoRural. We helped indigenous family farmers overcome the devastating effects of climate change on their land and their livelihood.

On the weekends, I was happy as a clam. You see, I’m a mountain girl. I am passionate, in fact crazy about climbing rocks and peaks. I spent every weekend in the mountains. I was one of thousands of international tourists who poured into Ecuador with high-tech gear in pursuit of adventure. As I became more familiar with the mountains and the people who lived there, it became clearer to me that few climbers recognized that their trails were actually farmers’ footpaths. In fact, there was virtually no way for tourists to connect with mountain farmers, who are the stewards of a “playground” that is quickly being eroded.

One day on the trail, my colleagues Steve and Chris, suggested we raise money for every foot we climb to support the work of a non-profit. We calculated how many people we each knew, and how many dollars we could ask each of them to donate for every foot we climbed. What if we climbed something really big?

So that’s how I ended up on the top of Cotopaxi, a volcanic peak that soars nearly 20,000 feet high and is the second closest point on earth to the sun because Ecuador is on the equator.

No matter how passionate I am about climbing mountains, it still didn’t make the climb, or actually reaching the summit, very easy. It was easy, however, to feel like I really made a difference and to exceed my fundraising goal. I needed a partner in crime, and so I recruited my childhood friend Matt to join my expedition. We spent a month tracking the moon so it would be full and bright enough for us to be able to leave for the summit at midnight so that we could reach it by dawn. I worked around the clock with my friend Tony to build the first version of PEAKS’ website, so that we could publish our pictures and stories online and share them with friends and family back home. We would ask for their support in helping us reach our goal of $9,000.

The climb itself was grueling. If anyone of you has been at high altitude, you’ll know that it sucks everything out of you. Half way up the altitude was taking its toll on me and  I threw up, cursing my ridiculous thrill for summits. I walked at a snail’s pace. Then I thought about Elena, Alfonso, Bertha, Francisco and all the farmers I was raising money for. I thought about my mom, my sister, my best friend, my high school teacher and all of the people who believed in me, and who were supporting me with their donations and their wishes.  And finally, as the sun peeked over the horizon and the shadow of Cotopaxi was plastered against the sky, the summit came into view.

When I stood on that summit I realized for the first time in my life that I could use my passion to call on others to help me make a serious impact in a community I care about.

How PEAKS is helping Tompkins County reach new heights

My climb sparked many. Karyn and Eric Greenwood flew from Bozeman, Montana to Ecuador for their honeymoon, raising over $2,000 through their summit of Cotopaxi. Eric Dalski flew from Brooklyn and raised over $1,300. A team of three guys, including my friend and co-founder Steve, raised over $1,500 by running the 7 Hills Race of the Netherlands. The Brush Goats team raised over $700 by climbing the high peaks of Colorado. 

At the beginning, PEAKS was born as a way for mountain climbers to give back to the mountain farmers. But as we grew, people with other passions and causes started to ask how they might also use PEAKS to raise money. I realized that PEAKS had the opportunity to support a much broader community of passionate, caring individuals.

I teamed up with Ken Schlather and three program leaders at Cornell Cooperative Extension, who tested PEAKS in the Fall of 2011. A year later, nearly 30 Changemakers in Tompkins County had launched campaigns on PEAKS and raised over $100,000 dollars in new revenue from expanded donor networks. The campaigns included the Cornell student group Sustainable Neighborhoods Nicaragua to raise money for their trip to build ecological low-income housing in Nicaragua, the Dewitt Middle School Orchestra for a high school field trip and instruments for students who could not afford them, The Center for Transformative Action just launched a campaign to celebrate social entrepreneurs, and even Mayor Myrick and his team used PEAKS to raise money for the Tough Turtle race this past April to raise money for the Ithaca Children’s Garden.

When we took a closer look at where funds were coming from, we discovered that on average 66% of the money raised on PEAKS came from people’s out-of-state networks. PEAKS has the ability to help local Changemakers overcome the competition for local resources.

How crowdfunding works on PEAKS 

I imagine you’re wondering how a website can help you turn your passion into a real fundraising vehicle. Well PEAKS uses a process called crowdfunding, which is all about what Cory Booker is preaching: the power of people coming together to make change. Crowdfunding is the process of raising lots of small amounts of money from a big crowd of people. The person reaching out to the crowd combines personal appeal and passion with a great idea or cause.

Today, PEAKS mission is to provide easy and affordable crowdfunding resources and services to help changemakers fund the change they wish to see in the world.

For an example of crowdfunding, let’s say I want to raise money to support healthy snack programs in low-income elementary schools. I start a campaign, asking everyone I know to host a dinner party in their home, and invite their friends and family to attend with a $20 donation. On average, each person knows about 250 people. If 10 people agree, and get 10 people to attend their dinner – well I’ve just raised $2,000 dollars. Let’s hear what a few other local Changemakers have done, and see what it looks like on PEAKS:

Video montage

I would be happy to answer any questions about the finer details of how PEAKS works after my presentation or at the end of the event this evening. If you want to dig in even deeper, the Human Services Coalition will also be hosting my workshop on Crowdfunding next Tuesday at the Tompkins County Public Library. I know it’s almost full, but if anyone wants to attend you can speak with me after the event.

Announcing the Community Foundation of Tompkins County Campaigns!

I want to share exciting news with you. The Community Foundation of Tompkins County, also a big believer in PEAKS’ potential, just launched 3 brand new campaigns on their PEAKS platform: philanthropy magnified, funding the future and women, weaving a difference. I’d like to ask each of you to take one small action tonight:

- Take out your phone and make a donation to one of these campaigns via the Peaks website
- When you get home, check out their campaigns and sign up to champion one of them
- Email George and suggest how you might be able to use one of your passions to help the Community Foundation raise money for the incredible work they are doing in our county

I want to leave you with a quote by Howard Thurman, which my dear friend Katie shared with my yesterday. “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” I hope you all agree with me that Tompkins County – this beautiful, diverse place rich with passion, love and the desire to create change – is ready to reach new heights!


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Crowdfunding Workshop: A Proven Way to Raise Money

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Crowdfunding: A Proven New Way to Raise Money
with Emma Frisch

Tuesday, June 4, 2013
9:00 am – 12:00 pm   
Fee $50

Borg Warner Conference Room, Tompkins County Public Library, 
E. Green St. at S. Cayuga St., Ithaca (driving and access directions below)
Co-sponsored by the Tompkins County Public Library


Could there be something completely new in the world of fundraising?  And if so, could it enable hard-pressed agencies and causes to find a new source of money?

PEAKS is that completely new thing. First brought to Ithaca by Emma Frisch and now in full swing in conjunction with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, PEAKS helps Changemakers use easy online tools for raising money and building a network through “crowdfunding.”

A Crowdfunding Campaign is the process of raising large amounts of money from lots of small donations. PEAKS’ robust Toolkit supports Campaigns with tips, templates and expertise on getting started and reaching your target goals.

PEAKS has been proven by others to be effective. At the end of this workshop you will know exactly how to put it to good use.

Over the past six months, PEAKS has worked with more than fifteen Changemakers in Tompkins County.  During that time, over $60,000 has been raised on the site through new Campaigns, with 66% of the funds from outside the state, helping to overcome the competition for local resources. PEAKS can help you build expanded donor networks and save time spent on fundraising and administration.

PEAKS offers a unique crowdfunding process tailored to your needs and built to harness expanded donor networks. Through a “Champion” fundraising model, Changemakers can attract new revenue from wider networks of people. See this video:https://vimeo.com/52956935

In this workshop, you will learn everything you need to know to get started:

1.      The basics of crowdfunding

2.      A tour of PEAKS’ benefits for your cause

3.      A guided session on setting up your own Campaign

About the Presenter
Emma Frisch is the Director of PEAKS. She has an entrepreneurial spirit and a big vision for making change happen in her community. She has ten years of experience working as a Changemaker with small-scale non-profits, companies and programs with a social mission, primarily in food systems research and farm-to-city initiatives. PEAKS was born in 2010 out of her love for mountain climbing and agriculture. She worked with a small team of friends to build a website where they could publicize a climb-a-thon in Ecuador, share their stories and collect donations for impoverished mountain farmers. Visit her full profile on LinkedIn: http://goo.gl/cfZfZ

Register now by emailing registration@hsctc.org or call 607.273.8686. Mail a check made out to Human Services Coalition to 171 East MLK Jr./State St. #133, Ithaca, NY 14850.  To pay by credit card call 607-273-8686 or present your card at check-in.  The Coalition accepts payment from organizations after the workshop has occurred, but individuals are expected to pay no later than the beginning of the workshop.

Cancellation Policy 
If notice of cancellation is received no later than 24-hours before the start of a workshop, no payment is due. At times a workshop may be cancelled due to inclement weather or other issues. If this occurs, we will post the cancellation on our website: www.hsctc.org and email all registered participants.  If you plan to walk-in, please check our website for the most up-to-date information.

Limited scholarships are available for board and staff members who cannot attend without one.  To request a scholarship, email registration@hsctc.org.

Coffee, other drinks, and snacks are provided at all workshops; lunch is not provided.  Attendees at sessions in the Borg Warner Room may leave and eat lunch on the beautiful Ithaca Commons.

Special Needs
Please notify us if you have any special needs; the Coalition wishes to make its workshops accessible to everyone.

Driving and access
The Library is located in downtown Ithaca on the corner of East Green and South Cayuga Streets.

Directions for accessing the Library
The Library does not open its Main door until 10:00 am, so walk to the northeast corner of the building opposite the TCAT Green Street Station, turn right and enter at the door on the right under the green canopy.  The Borg Warner room is immediately on your right.

Driving Directions
From North or South on Rt. 13 or 34: Proceed to Green Street in downtown Ithaca. Turn East (toward Cornell and downtown) on Green Street. Proceed approximately six blocks to Cayuga St, take a right turn and proceed as below.

From South on Rt. 96b:  Proceed down hill on Aurora Street to East Clinton Street.

Turn left and proceed to Cayuga Street.  Turn right on Cayuga Street and proceed as below.

From East on Rt. 79 or 366:  Proceed to downtown on State St hill and veer right onto Seneca St at the bottom of the hill.  Stay in the left lane of Seneca St until you come to Cayuga St.  Turn left on Cayuga St and proceed as below.

From West on Rt. 79, 96 or 89:  Proceed east to Fulton St.  Turn right on Fulton St and stay in the left lane.  Turn left on Green St and proceed about seven blocks to Cayuga St.  Turn right and proceed as below.

From all directions:  Park in the Cayuga St. parking garage behind the Library and across from the Holiday Inn, or in the Green St. garage (entrance is past the “Pay and Display” and after the Cinemapolis sign on the left) diagonally across from the Library.   Please note that “Pay and Display” parking is an option but the cost is twice that of the Green St. or Cayuga St. garages.  The Library does not open the main door until 10:00 am, so go to the northeast corner of the Library building next to the TCAT Green Street Station, turn right and enter at the door on the right under the green canopy.  The Borg Warner room is immediately on your right.

Handicapped Parking 
We recommend parking on the first floor (it’s actually the second floor of the structure) of the Green Street parking garage near the lime green wall labeled “Green Street.”  There is an elevator that will take you down to the ground floor which outlets at the crosswalk on Green Street.   Cross the street, turn right and it’s a short distance to the northeast corner of the library, next TCAT’s Green Street Station.  Enter at the door under the green canopy.  The Borg Warner room is immediately on your right.  If the handicapped parking spots are taken near the elevator you can also go one floor up and there are more spaces next to the elevator on the roof.

Coalition workshops are supported by a generous grant from the Triad Foundation.

The Coalition is a United Way agency.

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Buzzing with Spring: Mark your Calendars!

Ithaca Loves Local: The Economics of Community 

Tompkins County may already be leading the “local” revolution, but really, we’re just getting started.  So what’s next?  To find out, join us for a community discussion on how smart development, social equity, technology, and collaboration will help us cultivate a thriving local economy and a more inclusive, resilient community.

Host: Alex Colket, Swidjit
Moderator: TBD
Panelists: Kirby Edmonds (Building Bridges), Emma Frisch (PEAKS), Svante Myrick (City of Ithaca), Gay Nicholson (Sustainable Tompkins)
Where: Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC) located at 301, West Court St., Ithaca, NY
When: Monday, April 29 from 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Keynote Presentation: Passion as a Vehicle for Change, with Emma Frisch

CommunityFoundation 2

REGISTER TODAY for the Community Foundation of Tompkins County’s fantastic annual celebration of philanthropy and the generosity of people in Tompkins County! Join us in learning how PEAKS can help Changemakers bring a good cause to life through easy, affordable online tools for raising money, building community and developing capacity.

When: Tuesday, May 28 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Where: Franziska Rackers Center, 3226 Wilkins Road, Ithaca, NY

Workshop: Crowdfunding – A New Way to Raise Money

Sponsored by the Human Services Coalition, this workshop is for anyone with fundraising responsibilities or goals of any kind in a non-profit agency or in a private company dedicated to doing good.

Trainer: Emma Frisch
When: Tuesday, June 4th from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Where: Tompkins County Public Library, Borg Warner Room, 101 E. Green Street, Ithaca, NY
Fee: $50

REGISTER TODAY at 607-273-8686 or registration@hsctc.org.






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2013 Summer Internships

To apply for one of these positions, please submit your cover letter and resume to the Director, Emma Frisch at evk9@cornell.edu.  Background screening may be required of successful applicant.

Download Position Description: Campus Outreach Internship

Download Position Description: Web Development Internship


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Save the Date: Passion as a Vehicle for Change



Make sure to mark your calendars for this fantastic annual celebration of philanthropy and the generosity of people in Tompkins County! Registration will open for this event by April 1. Visit the Community Foundation of Tompkins County website for more details.

Keynote presentation: March 28, 2013 @ 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

“Passion as a Vehicle for Change”, by Emma Frisch, Co-Founder & Director of PEAKS

Click here to learn more about PEAKS

PEAKS helps Changemakers bring a good cause to life with easy, affordable online tools for crowd-sourced capital, community-building, and capacity development. Watch how PEAKS got started: PEAKS


Franziska Racker Centers
3226 Wilkins Road
Ithaca, NY





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    In partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension, PEAKS supports changemakers working in five program areas.