Ben Beyeler

Unable to Donate?

Hey we’ve had a couple people report, one reason or another, the site wasn’t working right and they were not able to donate to our first “Pre-Launch Party” campaign and get their ticket to the party.

If that happens to you, please please please contact us and let us know you had a problem, so we can get on it right away and make sure any issues are solved quickly so we can make our goal. We don’t want you to be frustrated and just leave. This site is for you and we want to make it work the way you expect. So when it’s not (and with any new site there’s gonna be things that don’t work right) we want you to let us know.

And thanks to the folks who did get in touch with us today about problems they encountered. I think we’ve got the contribute problem fixed now, so if you were unable to donate before, give it another try. Thanks!

Out of Test Mode

We’ve been in what calls “Test Mode” since we first set up this website several months ago. That means we’ve been able to create crowdfunding test campaigns and see what they’ll look like on our site, but nobody can donate actual money… until now.

Now we are officially LIVE! (Though still in “stealth mode” which means we aren’t telling a lot of people about our site yet.) Community Funded took us out of Test Mode yesterday morning. We’ve launched one campaign that we want everyone to check out — it’s on our Campaigns page and is inviting you to contribute to our “Pre-Launch Party” by buying a ticket to the party.

YES this is a real party!

Buy a ticket and you can come. Everyone is welcome. The party will take place at ArtHouse here in Goshen, Indiana on Sunday September 28th at 7pm. Light food and drinks, brief teleconf with CommunityFunded, an entertaining slideshow, Q&A, and networking networking networking. Meet others who are actively involved in local crowdfunding here in Goshen. Scheme about your campaign ideas. If you want to add a Reward to this campaign, you can build it in your own account and then “offer” it to our campaign. (And please let us know if you need any help with the technical details.) This first campaign has set a goal of $400. Anything beyond actual expenses for the party will go towards marketing and spreading the word about the site to a much larger audience.

Help us celebrate the progress made to date, and envision a more public launch in early fall!

About the Supporting Organizations

Phil has been working on some new pages featuring the core businesses and organizations that have been active participants in our Goshen Funded crowdfunding project from the beginning. These local organizations are contributing to the overall vision for this web site. We are working with them to devise potential new crowdfunding campaigns that will help to launch this new community resource. And we are grateful for their willingness to be “test subjects” as the parts and pieces of this project come together.

All these organizations will be showcased in the new “Organizations” category that now exists in the sidebar here on our blog.

One of our technical challenges with these organization pages is to be able to dynamically display the local crowdfunding campaigns that each organization has helped, through Rewards they’ve created and offered to various local campaigns that they wish to support. That automation will help create more connections between businesses and campaigns and other businesses — in other words, create an ecosystem of related activity that spurs further innovation and creativity here in our local community.

Of course the most important active participant in this project is Community Funded, the startup in Fort Collins, Colorado that is creating the actual crowdfunding platform we’re using on our own web site here, on the Campaigns page.

What are Rewards?

Rewards” are incentives or perks of various kinds that local businesses, organizations, and individuals can offer to Goshen Funded crowdfunding campaigns. These serve to entice others in our community to donate to a particular campaign. A person contributing to a campaign can donate directly. They can also choose a Reward and donate indirectly. They receive the Reward for their own use, and the business that created the Reward is the actual donor to the crowdfunding project.

Here’s where an example could help.

Oakley Studio is my home-based business providing web site design, site hosting, ecommerce, and related services. (My business is providing the hosting for this web site.) In my Community Funded account, I have created a “$10 Website Coupon” Reward which I can offer to any crowdfunding campaign I wish to support. The coupon is for one free month of website hosting for new or existing clients.

So this reward would be attractive to any of my existing clients. They contribute $10 to a crowdfunding campaign, and I give them a free month of web site hosting. For some of my clients that would be a good discount off their regular monthly hosting expense. I anticipate it will also be attractive to many potential new clients who may not have been aware of my business before, but who will discover my Reward and decide it’s time for them to get going with their own blog or online business.

For businesses like mine, this is a way to contribute to some exciting initiatives in our community that I believe will help make this a richer place to live and work. At the same time it is marketing for my business, helping attract new clients to my business.

Here’s another example. County Seat Cafe has created a “Discounted Gift Certificates” Reward where contributors to a crowdfunding campaign can get a $20 Gift Certificate (for any menu items) for $15. It’s a $5 savings for the donor, who gets a $20 value at the cafe. And all the money goes to the crowdfunding campaign. County Seat is essentially donating the food and drink for free. Obviously this Reward helps the campaign achieve its funding goal. It also helps County Seat build more brand awareness, and bring in new customers.

Hopefully these examples get you thinking about how your own organization or business can use Rewards to support the things you love while also providing some new branding, marketing, and more for your business. It’s a win-win-win for our local crowdfunding campaigns, for the individual contributors, and for everyone who creates new Rewards. Sound good?

Imagine More…

Campaigns are by no means limited to the short list of campaign types you see here. The sky’s the limit and if you can dream it you can probably build a crowdfunding campaign for it.

Run your ideas past us here at Goshen Funded. In order for your project to appear here,

  1. You need to create it at, and
  2. You need to obtain an “Application Code” from us to plug in to your project. That’s what displays your campaign on our Campaigns page.

In Testing Mode

Currently this site is in testing mode. Ben and Phil and I are working to get a test campaign configured and launched so that it will appear on our Campaigns page. At the same time, it looks like Community Funded is working to add features, write documentation, and troubleshoot problems. In other words, there’s a lot happening but not a whole lot to show for it yet.

If you would like to help us test and make progress and push this site towards a Live Launch in the near future, the the first thing you’ll need to do is create your own business or individual account at Community Funded.

Once you have a Community Funded account, you will be able to create your own test campaign (also known as a “Project.”) Doing so will help you understand what it takes to create a real crowdfunding campaign in the future, once our site goes live.

In addition to creating Projects (fundraising campaigns) you can create Rewards. These are “perks” that you can offer to Contributors. Contributors are the people and other organization in our local community who support your campaign by making a donation. Some contributors will give freely because they want to see you accomplish your goals. Others will be encouraged to contribute because they get something in return. For example, you create a $10 Gift Certificate Reward with $1 going to fund your campaign. That’s the general idea.

Where it gets really interesting is that you can Sponsor other local community campaigns with your Rewards. So now business A creates a Reward and offers it to a campaign that business B has launched. That helps attract more contributions for B‘s campaign; it also helps create more brand awareness and positive vibes for A. Neat, huh?

Since we are still just getting started at this point, any campaigns appearing on our Campaigns page are in “test mode” and not real actual projects. But NOW is the time to start dreaming about what you reeeeeally want to do on this site when it goes live. Ladies and gentlemen, start your imagination engines!

Helping a Neighbor in Need?

When someone needs a helping hand (an unanticipated emergency, a financial hardship, a special gift, a thankyou) you can make it happen with a Goshen Funded “Neighbor to Neighbor” crowdfunding campaign. There are people in your community who would be delighted to help, if they only knew. Why not take the lead and create a campaign to help your neighbor.

Are You an Environmentalist?

Goshen is home to some great natural resources — the Elkhart River, the Millrace, the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail — and we are a community that cares about protecting and treasuring these parts of our environment for future generations. Launch your Goshen Funded project for restoration, care & upkeep of these precious places.

Are You a Local Club or Organization?

Goshen is a community with many and varied interests where civic clubs and organizations contribute to diverse and lively public affairs. If you are planning an upcoming event, look to Goshen Funded to help get the funding you need to make it happen.

Are You in Agriculture?

Goshen has been a great place for local agriculture to take root. From backyard farms to market gardens to greenhouses to specialty foods and beverages, Goshen loves to taste what you are growing. Let’s help you bring it to the table — plant a new campaign here at Goshen Funded and bring it to harvest.