For the Fort Collins fledgling nonprofit Community Funded, the dream is still alive.
â€œItâ€™s just incredibly exciting,â€ said Ryan Stover, a founding member of the organization heâ€™s called â€œevolutionary.â€ â€œWeâ€™ve had so much support in terms of peopleâ€™s interests.â€
Two months ago, he and a few other local residents launched the nonprofit â€“â€“ an online platform for struggling students, businesses, school programs and others to advertise their situations to the Fort Collins community and ask for support.
Their motto was â€œanything is possible.â€ But whether it was possible for them to succeed was uncertain.
Today, with 594 individuals, 168 organizations and 40 projects registered on CommunityFunded.com, they have their answer.
â€œReally what we were hoping for was just some projects, and we got that for sure,â€ said McCabe Callahan, a fellow co-founder of the organization and owner of Fort Collinsâ€™ Mugs coffee shops. â€œIâ€™m elated about the quality and quantity of projects we have so far.â€
One of them was created by CSUâ€™s cycling team.
Phillip Somers, a sophomore team member, said itâ€™s the best way to fundraise for the groupâ€™s effort to encourage people to take up the sport by subsidizing race entry fees.
â€œJust how more and more people are using the Web â€” I mean, thatâ€™s essentially how weâ€™re connected with everybody,â€ he said, explaining that the website branches out to social media sites like Facebook to reach a wide audience of potential donors. â€œ … For every thousand, maybe thereâ€™s 10 that are willing to donate.â€
â€œ … Out of any opportunity, this is the opportunity I have most faith in.â€
The mechanical engineering major added that he was slightly surprised at how easy it was to participate.
â€œFor them to consider our goal without being too knowledgeable in cycling, I think thatâ€™s the biggest thing,â€ he said, recalling all of his failed attempts to garner support for a sport not many people are familiar with. â€œWhen I originally went there, I was like, â€˜Oh, itâ€™s as simple as that? Okay.â€™â€
But thatâ€™s not to say that absolutely anyone who claims to have a legitimate cause can go on CommunityFunded.com, make a profile and rake in donations. One has to apply for a space on the website before it can reap its benefits.
â€œItâ€™s a pretty rigorous screening process … â€ said Rob Rager, a Community Funded agent whose job is to evaluate proposals the organization receives and assist the creators behind them.
The nonprofit wants to make sure that the projects theyâ€™re advertising to locals and the world actually benefit the community, he said.
Itâ€™s these kinds of practices that uphold the validity of Community Funded, Callahan said, which is necessary if it intends to convince highly-lauded organizations to publicly support their website.
And it does. The co-founder said that the nonprofit is finalizing agreements with United Way, Otter Box and the local philanthropy group, the Bohemian Foundation, which would all boost the profile of Community Funded.
â€œThatâ€™ll just perpetuate more ideas and more projects,â€ Callahan added.
Senior Reporter Andrew Carrera can be reached at email@example.com.
What kind of projects can you support on CommunityFunded.com?
Brandonâ€™s Dream: An iPad
â€œBrandon, a deaf little boy, dreams of being able to keep up in school with the help of an iPad!â€
A Free Flowing Patagonia
â€œThe rivers in Patagonia, Chile, are the lifeblood of the land, but they are in danger of being dammed. Help them remain free!â€
Repurposed Plastic Cap Community Art Project
â€œOur idea: Collect thousands of plastic milk caps from Fort Collins, hire a local artist to assemble a large mosaic downtown.â€