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The Impact Vine, New, Free Crowdfunding Site for Local Nonprofits

The Impact Vine, New, Free Crowdfunding Site for Local Nonprofits

Free crowdfunding platform will raise funds for nonprofit projects in Lower Fairfield County

The Community Fund of Darien (CommunityFundDarien.org) has launched their new, free, crowdfunding site for nonprofits, The Impact Vine (TheImpactVine.org). The Impact Vine is an online giving platform which allows donors to support projects they care about and provides a platform for local nonprofits to use as a tool to raise funds for socially impactful projects in the community.

This initiative, developed by The Community Fund of Darien with support from sixteen “Founding Funders,” including Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, Social Venture Partners, and Lone Pine Capital, resulted from a 2014 needs assessment which identified online giving as key to growth for nonprofit agencies. 

“We are thrilled to introduce The Impact Vine to the greater community,” said The Community Fund of Darien Executive Director, Carrie Bernier. “The Impact Vine is one-stop shopping to help meet critical local needs. Pick a project that resonates with your giving values and support it! Or create your own project.  The best part is that this initiative is local, so once people find a project they care about, they can learn more, donate, and then volunteer,” she continued.

New Canaan resident Susan Serven, Project Director of The Impact Vine, noted, “Another terrific aspect of The Impact Vine is that it’s a simple way for anyone to raise funds for nonprofit projects they care about. The Impact Vine’s simple interface allows nonprofit staff to develop a project, but also allows volunteers, student groups, supporters, other individuals to “Create a Project” as well! We invite everyone to participate, visit the site, create a project supporting an organization you’re passionate about, and share with others!”

Shedd Glassmeyer, Chair of The Community Fund’s Impact Vine Committee, noted, “The Impact Vine promotes and builds awareness of the critical work nonprofits do, right in our backyards. Many of us bank, shop, and even socialize online, so we’re more likely to give online. It’s the place to go to help solve social issues in our community.  We trust that everyone will get behind this platform, support the projects and consider providing an optional donation to The Impact Vine to ensure that the site will be self-funding,” he said.

“We’ve been able to launch with the support of local businesses and donors. This is a great corporate giving tool and a way to promote employee giving.  We hope others will see the possibility of leveraging a gift to help build a giving tool that will pay off for years to come,” Glassmeyer continued.

New Canaan resident John Straus, said, “As an Advisory Board member of The Community Fund of Darien, as well as a Board member of Family Centers, it was gratifying to see The Impact Vine in action - connecting donors and their passions with the needs in our community.  Family Centers needed a new dental chair for one of our clinics and The Impact Vine helped them raise the funds in a manner that increased awareness for Family Centers and expanded our donor base. Most importantly, we will be able to provide dental services to local children who would otherwise would not receive the care they needed,” he continued.

Weston resident Don Kendall, Co-founder and Chairman, Social Venture Partners Connecticut, and Executive Committee member, Board of Directors, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, concurred. “I was pleased to help bring this impactful crowdfunding tool to the Lower Fairfield County community. It will help mobilize giving in many sectors and will allow donors the opportunity to engage with social causes they care about.”

Bobby Merrick, Greenwich resident and trustee of the France-Merrick Foundation, said, “Giving is evolving. More people are looking for proactive ways to make a greater impact when solving social problems.   The Impact Vine helps facilitate targeted giving in an effective way, with measurable results.”

Darien resident, David Upson, said, “The Impact Vine is taking nonprofit organizations and the philanthropic community to a new level in Fairfield County. The founding team at The Impact Vine have done a remarkable job of harnessing technology and the internet to enable nonprofits to more fully engage with their donors. Donors will now be able to target specific needs within their favorite causes and stay more fully engaged with these organizations. It is remarkable stuff and I urge those interested to learn more at www.TheImpactVine.org

Kristy Jelenik, of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, who is participating as Onboarding Chair of The Impact Vine, said: “Empowering our community of givers to easily learn about and support local programs strengthens our entire community. And after the success we’ve had with our annual Giving Day, offering the nonprofits a platform to use throughout the year will really boost their impact. It’s win/win for all.”

Novelette Peterkin, Executive Director of the Carver Foundation, Norwalk, concurred. “The Impact Vine team invested time and thoughtful effort before launching this new community-giving platform – and it shows! For Carver, The Impact Vine positively influenced and inspired new and current donors to enthusiastically support our robotics for kids STEM education project. The Impact Vine’s special form of relationship marketing and its use of trust-building social channel tools and techniques ensure the site’s long-term and vital role in community-building for the benefit of all participating nonprofits.”

“Person-to-Person appreciated the opportunity to participate in the “Friends and Family” launch of The Impact Vine crowdfunding platform. Having staged other crowdfunding efforts, we were quite pleased with The Impact Vine user interface and functionality,” said P2P Executive Director Ceci Maher. “Best of all, we were able to reach new donors and fully fund the P2P project within the deadline. The new digital camera is already being put to great use documenting the powerfully positive impact P2P has on Fairfield County families – each and every day.”

Bill Brucker, Family Centers, Greenwich, noted that “The rising popularity of crowdfunding is certainly creating a shift in donor preferences – particularly amongst the younger generations as they develop their own philanthropic interests.  What sets The Impact Vine apart from other online giving platforms is its ability to create a central marketplace that showcases the most critical needs of our community.  By doing so, donors are not only able to support their favorite nonprofits, but they’re also tuned into the great work of other local organizations.”

“Working with The Impact Vine has been both a terrific experience and very timely for our organization,” noted Christa Chu, Development and Communications Director, Building One Community (formerly Neighbors Link Stamford). “Since we just completed a renaming effort The Impact Vine exposure helped get the word out about our new identity.  We were delighted that our project - Spanish literacy textbooks for recent immigrants - funded well within our crowdfunding deadline!” We have previous experience in crowdfunding, but this local approach was perfect for engaging with people who are looking to make meaningful connections, right here in their own community.

The Community Fund of Darien is an independent, results-oriented, volunteer-driven nonprofit organization that addresses health and human services needs in Darien and our surrounding towns of Stamford and Norwalk. We are dedicated to building a healthy community by:

  •          Identifying and prioritizing critical local needs
  •          Strategically investing funds to meet local goals
  •          Measuring results and evaluating effectiveness
  •          Fundraising cost effectively
  •          Fostering collaborative efforts to identify solutions to local needs

For more information on The Community Fund of Darien, please visit CommunityFundDarien.org.

For more information on The Impact Vine, an initiative of The Community Fund of Darien, please visit TheImpactVine.org.

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