Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

HIGHER GROUND: Over the summer, Youth Transformed for Life participants went on six weekly hikes led by an Appalachian Trail Conservatory guide. Photo courtesy of YTL

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable Western North Carolina crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd.

Youth Transformed for Life’s van

For the past three years, churches and other community groups have donated transportation services to Youth Transformed for Life, a local nonprofit offering summer activities to disadvantaged teens. As of October, the organization also launched an after-school program called the Hillcrest Youth Initiative in partnership with the Women’s Wellbeing and Development Foundation. Since then, transportation has become a daily need. “What would make our work a bit easier is owning our own van,” YTL director Libby Kyles writes online, pointing out two major pitfalls of the schoolbus: longer riding times and bullying. She aims to raise $15,000 to purchase the vehicle through YTL.

Photo of a session at ClayWorks courtesy of YTL
Photo of a session at ClayWorks courtesy of YTL

Funds for the Hillcrest Youth Initiative

As YTL works to obtain a vehicle for the Hillcrest Youth Inititative, WWD-F is raising money for its general operations. “The funds collected go directly into program costs, including staff, field trips, transportation and snacks,” says Ana Jabra, WWD-F’s director of operations. “The youths come five days a week after school, and their activities include tutoring, social and life skills, community service, athletics and creative expression. … It’s a pilot program right now, but we are hoping to eventually expand it to other low-income neighborhoods.” Jabra aims to raise $5,000 by Saturday, Dec. 31.

Image from WWD-F's campaign page
Image from WWD-F’s campaign page

Sirius.B’s new album

Sirius.B recently took about eight months off from performing to focus on songwriting, and the members agree that their new music retains its signature danceability despite being noticeably more complex. But the musicians’ Kickstarter video, which mirrors their onstage proclivity for ridiculousness, offers little more elaboration than that on the forthcoming project — perhaps because penning absurd lyrics and charging up for the rowdy stage antics to come takes precedence. By offering traditional album presales as well as more peculiar perks like camping or eating dinner with the band, Sirius.B aims to raise $9,987 by Wednesday, Dec. 21. Funds will cover part of the cost of having the new album recorded at Echo Mountain Recording Studio, mastered, pressed and marketed.

Send your crowdsourcing campaign news to kmcreynolds@mountainx.com. A limited number of campaigns will be highlighted each week, at Xpress’ discretion. Campaigns must be locally based and should represent a current project with an achievable goal. Conditions are subject to change. Read about more Western North Carolina projects here.

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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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