Impact Vine: New nonprofit crowdfunding site launches in Fairfield County
Updated 4:56 pm, Thursday, May 18, 2017
Vice President Bill Brucker listed his organization’s initiative on newly conceived nonprofit crowdsourcing website the Impact Vine.
“At first blush, it was a very successful venture,” said Brucker. “We had a much larger project on there than some of the others. We were a bit ambitious, but we were really pleased to see how quickly it was fulfilled.”
Susan Serven, project director of Impact Vine, has seen first-hand how organizations like Brucker’s can, at times, struggle to raise money and awareness for their respective causes.
“Being involved with nonprofits I’ve seen how hard it is for them to raise money. It takes time, and it can be cost prohibitive for nonprofits to create something like Impact Vine on their own,” said Serven, a New Canaan resident who, in addition to her work with the Community Fund of Darien, has worked with the New Canaan Historical Society.
That perceived difficulty was part of the inspiration for The Impact Vine, a crowdsourcing website created by the Community Fund of Darien, with the help of Fairfield’s Community Foundation, Social Venture Partners and Lone Pine Capital — meant to bring together nonprofits and residents of Lower Fairfield County that officially launched this month.
“It’s almost like a shopping mall for donors. You might go in interested in your child’s sports team, an alumni fund or religious organization, but so many people have no idea all the different nonprofits in the area,” Serven said. “It’s a good way for the community to engage.”
According to Brucker, whose organization has been a part of Impact Vine since its beta stages, beginning in January, the site provides a unique opportunity to reach parts of the population that might not otherwise have become involved.
“I think, by and large, crowdfunding is something on the uptick. More and more donors are looking for ways to give back electronically, and this could potentially speak to a younger generation of philanthropists who want to get involved,” Brucker said. He noted that, unlike many other crowdfunding platforms, Impact Vine takes none of the cut from donations.
According to Serven, there are roughly 500 nonprofits in Lower Fairfield County, and much further up the coast, especially in high-need areas like Bridgeport. Serven said Impact Vine is open to helping as many of those nonprofits as it can. With the official launch now past, Serven expects a slow expansion to accommodate increasingly more of those organizations.
“In many cases, we’ve found that when people see what these nonprofits are doing, they want to volunteer,” Serven said. “I thought it was win-win-win. It’s a win for nonprofits, the clients they serve, and a win for donors, too.”