by Mary Jo David
The Stockbridge Downtown Development Authority (SDDA) is making progress on the launch of a new crowdfunding initiative to benefit businesses in the downtown TIF district. Geri Uihlein, SDDA vice president, proposed the yet-unnamed project at the organization’s May 28, 2020, meeting, followed by a board vote to move the project idea forward. At a special follow-up meeting held on June 18, 2020, the SDDA voted to appoint local businesswoman Teresa Miller as consultant to help complete the campaign and budgeted $1,500 for the project.
In general, crowdfunding is used to raise money for a project (or projects) through the collective efforts of donors, usually online—Think Kickstarter or GoFundMe. In the case of the SDDA project, Patronicity has been identified as a local Michigan platform with a solid reputation for crowdfunding for better communities. They have worked with small towns like Blissfield, Saline, Holly, and Milan to help them set, reach, and sometimes surpass their crowdfunding goals.
In 2019, Miller, formerly of Agile T Marketing, became the president of Total Local, which publishes community marketing guides throughout the area. Her background in marketing strategies and services along with her long-time business presence in downtown Stockbridge prompted the SDDA to seek out Miller to help launch its crowdfunding project.
“Based on the information put forth by Geri Uihlein to the Board, we felt the crowdfunding idea was definitely worth exploring. At tonight’s meeting we identified a local businessperson right here in town to manage the project,” reported Daryl Anderson, president of the Stockbridge DDA.
“Execution is everything,” Uihlein remarked as she underscored the importance of having an experienced consultant and an established platform vendor identified for this community-based crowdfunding initiative.
With Miller as consultant and the Patronicity platform, the Stockbridge DDA hopes to develop a successful program to raise collective funds to benefit businesses in the group’s TIF district.