>La Grande Observer | Union and Wallowa Counties' News Leader

Observer news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow LaGrandeObserver.com

La Grande Observer print edition

view all La Grande Observer print publications »

La Grande Observer Paper 08/20/14

The LaGrande Observer is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current subscribers have full access to the E-edition.

View Paper

If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access.

Subscribe


Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow Opinion arrow MY VOICE arrow MY VOICE: Crowdfunding can bolster community

MY VOICE: Crowdfunding can bolster community

As executive director of the Northeast Oregon Economic Development District, I am constantly on the lookout for ways to support our region’s entrepreneurs and owners of existing businesses. Over the last few years, a grassroots funding platform has gained popularity, and I’m excited to introduce it to those of you who have never heard of “crowdfunding.”

Crowdfunding is a little bit like a taco feed at the school to help pay for a trip to Washington, D.C. It’s like dropping $10 in the jar on the counter of your favorite coffee shop to help a local farmer rebuild their barn that burnt down. 

Crowdfunding is a way for a lot of people who care about something to give a little bit of money (or, sometimes, a lot) in order to help a goal be fulfilled. But, instead of a jar, there’s a website. The money is not a loan or an investment, it’s a gift. Most crowdfunding campaigns reward those gifts with small items like a T-shirt or a mug. Or, if the project was a music recording, you might receive a reward of a copy of the CD. 

While the online platform is new, crowdfunding is far from a new concept. In fact, Wikipedia notes a subscription-business called Praenumeration, which used crowdfunding to publish books in the 17th century. There are hundreds of sites for these types of fundraising campaigns: Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the best known. You may be surprised to learn that through Kickstarter, more than 5.7 million people have given more than $1 billion to 57,625 successful projects. Now there is a new crowdfunding site that focuses exclusively on projects in Oregon and Washington: ChangeFunder. And their inaugural project is in Wallowa County: The Lostine Tavern.

Wallowa County residents Lynne Curry and Peter Ferré have been working hard to restore the 1902 Lostine Tavern building that originally housed a doctor’s office and pharmacy, and then a bar and grill until it closed in early 2013. 

They want to restore this important gathering place for residents of the Wallowa Valley, a place that is especially important after the loss of the Lostine Grange Hall to a recent fire. 

The Lostine Tavern restoration project will also benefit Wallowa County’s food industry, with a plan to source ingredients from local growers as much as possible. Curry and Ferré started a crowdfunding campaign to give people a means of supporting both the restoration of a historic building and community meeting place, and the use of local produce, meats and beverages. Instead of T-shirts, they’re offering as one of their thank-yous to have the donor’s initials branded into the bar top. Now, that is a fun reward. A benefit of crowdfunding is that, in addition to sharing this campaign with local supporters, Curry and Ferré can reach out to friends, families and colleagues outside the area, creating a way for money that is outside our region to find its way here. 

I would encourage you to check out ChangeFunder and the Lostine Tavern crowdfunding project (lostine-tavern.com), and to think of how crowdfunding might help your business. 

Lisa Dawson is the executive director of the Northeast Oregon Economic Development District. 

 
blog comments powered by Disqus
News
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Public Notices
Opinion
Editorials / Letters / Guest Columns / Columnists
Features
Outdoors / Ag / Spiritual / Go Magazine / Portraits
Classifieds
View all classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Real Estate / Rentals / Place an Ad
The Observer
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Slideshows / Weather and Valley Cam / /index.php?option=com_rss&feed=RSS2.0&no_html=1">RSS Feed ?> RSS Feed

Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use