This crowdfunding platform wants to "put a billion dollars into the hands of food innovators" to create a more healthy food future.
The emergence of crowdfunding as a viable option for launching new products and projects has been great for certain industries, such as tech hardware, gaming, and entertainment, but for other types of projects... not so much.
For crowdfunding a sustainable farming or food project, the bigger platforms, such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, which have helped raise a lot of money for a variety of consumer products, are a lot more challenging to get noticed on. A project to raise money for a community garden or a greenhouse or chicken coop, which probably can't offer very many tangible perks to backers (or any at all), is at a serious disadvantage when competing for people's attention with the chance to get the hottest new gadget.
That's the danger of trying to reach everyone on a broad platform such as Kickstarter, instead of focusing on reaching like-minded backers, with similar values, who are more willing to help underwrite a project with a donation or pledge. For food and agriculture projects, a fairly new crowdfunding platform, Barnraiser, aims to connect the community of people who value sustainable farming and food with the innovators that are looking to get their projects off the ground (or rather, in the ground, as the case may be).
"Crowd-funding is rapidly changing the way we drive innovation, personal aspirations, new products, and social change. No group is more deserving than those on the front lines of the food movement, leading us toward health and sustainability. Barnraiser is a place to meet and back the thousands of food and farming innovators and put better food on our collective table. When one farmer gets a new barn, the whole community gets better food. It's all up to us." - Barnraiser
Crowdfunding campaigns on Barnraiser aren't just limited to farming or gardening, but can be in any number of a wide variety of food-related project categories, both locally-focused and those with a larger reach. The types of projects encouraged on Barnraiser range from building actual barns to building virtual communities, as long as they "move the needle forward" toward a healthy, more sustainable food and farming culture. Projects listed on Barnraiser need to have a tangible goal or outcome, and must attempt to raise at least $2000.
Categories for crowdfunding campaigns on Barnraiser include:
- Farms & Food Hubs (Urban Farming, Small & Family Farms, Cooperatives, Young Farmers, Sustainable & Organic Farming, Heirlooms, Exchanges, Gleaning, and more)
Community Based Projects (Food Justice, Community Gardens, Cooperative Kitchens, and more)
Artisan, Local, Farm-to-Table, Healthy Foods (Craft Spirits / Beer, Cafes, Bakeries and Sweets Shops, Artisan Producers, Restaurants & Food Trucks, New & Healthy Foods, Food Systems & Distribution, and more)
Food & Farming Education (Educational Farms, School Gardens, Healthy Lunch, Curriculum, and more)
- Food Media (Art, Books, Television, mobile applications, and more)
And Barnraiser isn't just another pretty face in the crowdfunding space, as the platform, which launched last spring, has been very successful, with projects reaching their goals about 82% of the time, raising an average of $12,000 per project, according to an article in Fortune.
Find out how you can help raise a virtual barn in the sustainable food movement (or launch your own food project) on Barnraiser.