When we firstly started to identify what would be the most valuable crowdsourcing and crowd funding ideas, we believed that it would be within finding funding through investors. We further researching into this though Micro Ventures which is an equity crowd funding website offering investment in the early stages of companies. Micro Ventures connects accredited investors with start up companies and is the only major equity crowdfunding website that is broker dealer registered by the Financial Industry Regulation Authority.
Furthermore, we briefly looked into the idea of trying to find grants for the Tiny House community. We relayed this information to shorty via (what should have been a hangout call) skype call and found that the community much preferred the idea of trying to find grants through the government in the United States. We only very briefly looked into this idea prior to our call, but have further researched into this possibility using Programs & Services for Communities & Nonprofits (http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/programs-services-communities-nonprofits) ,where we have found a few examples. Here they are listed:
- Rural Community Development Initiative Grants. This program provides funding to help non-profit housing and community development organizations support housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects in rural areas. http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-community-development-initiative-grants
- Housing Preservation Grants. It provides grants to sponsoring organizations for the repair or rehabilitation of housing occupied by low and very low income people. http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/housing-preservation-grants
- Community Connect Grants. This program helps fund broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not yet economically viable for private sector providers to deliver service. http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-connect-grants
- Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program. The primary objective of the RCDG program is to improve the economic condition of rural areas by assisting individuals and businesses in the startup, expansion or operational improvement of rural cooperatives and other mutually-owned businesses through Cooperative Development Centers. Grants are awarded through a national competition. Each fiscal year, applications are requested through a notice published in the Federal Register and through an announcement posted on grants.gov. http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-cooperative-development-grant-program
- Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program. Provides loans and grants to Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs) to: Provide microloans for microenterprise startups and growth through a Rural Microloan Revolving Fund and provide training and technical assistance to microloan borrowers and micro entrepreneur. http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-microentrepreneur-assistance-program
In addition to this we have further expanded on more solutions to aid solving our NGO’s problem of financial stability. We have decided to further our ideas of tourism as this was the preferred solution to be used by the community. More specifically we want to look into using part of the land in the community as somewhere to either rent out plots of land to other tiny house enthusiasts for a varied time period depending on the preference of the customer or having pre built tiny houses to rent out, again for which ever preferred amount of time.
We have also been looking into creating ‘offices’ as part of the community which can be rented out by businesses or individuals as a unique working space presented in nature and a tiny house. The project we researched to gain some insight to this idea was KantoorKaravaan.
Launched in the Netherlands in June 2015, KantoorKaravaan is a mobile office service that provides rural working spaces. Designed by Dutch firm The Tipping Point Foundation, the caravan-style offices are made from vintage mobile homes and come equipped with WIFI, composting toilets, couches made from recycled jeans and solar-powered coffee machines. Rental prices are flexible, with the occupant asked to pay what they can afford. Further discounts are also available to individuals invested in projects and activities relating to the sustainability and conservation (areas in which KantoorKaravaan is interested).
What is KantoorKaravaan? KantoorKaravaan offers you a workplace in the middle of nature, an experience combining your professional life with the exciting and inspirational sphere of wilderness. Designed as a mobile off-grid workplace, the KantoorKaravaan sets up camp at various locations in the countryside. What does it offer? Fully equipped with Wi-Fi internet access, a coffee machine, and other work-related necessities, you can simply bring your laptop and complete your daily work without missing the cosiness and comfort of a relaxing holiday-trip. Kitchen, compost toilets, solar panels, singing birds, and stunning nature guaranteed! Do I just work by myself? That’s up to you! For groups and communities, the KantoorKaravaan offers tailor made facilities which can be used for conferences, brainstorming sessions, leadership programs, workshops, and much more. What else? Tired of working behind the laptop? Just step out into the wilderness, go hiking, plant a tree, or chop wood for tonight’s campfire. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the nature around you to its full extent. Can I afford it? You definitely can! No worries if you are short on cash, we appreciate any kind of value that adds to the maintaining of the KantoorKaravaan. In other words, the more you do for projects and activities related to the KantoorKaravaan and the natural location around the camp, the less you need to pay in cash. 
As you can see we have been very busy this week from working through crowd sourcing and funding through various methods of research and refinement. Additionally we have finally clarified what the primary reasons are to create a solution to our NGO’s problem. So here is our image to summarize our past week.
Thanks for reading! You can watch our Skype meeting with Shorty here. Please leave us some feedback, we would be appreciate it a lot 🙂