Stories from the Elevator Project

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The Face of The Elevator Project

09 March

The Elevator Project is a huge undertaking involving various Idea Makers, investors, and volunteers. How do we get all these separate project members to communicate? Well the question really isn’t ‘how,’ but whom. The face of The Elevator Project for so many people involved is Gabrielle, our Community Animator. Here she talks with the Project’s social media coordinator about her job responsibilities, the upcoming Community Vote, and what both Idea Makers and Investors can expect next.

Gabrielle The Elevator Project Guelph

What is your general role at The Elevator Project?

I’m technically the only employee here so I would describe my role as chief cook and bottle washer – I do everything! It’s a part-time role (not a lot of people know that), but it’s busy. I do everything from assisting Idea Makers sculpt and shape their idea for applications to taking in the applications, to working with the Community Panel on marking the applications, to the community vote process. I also shop for the investors and match them with projects.


Can you explain what you mean by “shop for investors?”

Once all the applications are in and meet the basic criteria, that gives me my shopping list or all the things people need to make their idea happen. That’s not just funds, it can be volunteer time, a yard of soil, and/or a new website. I take that big giant list and start looking for those things. Sometimes I’ll make a specific ask and sometimes investors come to us. We look at what they’re passionate about and see if there’s a specific project that they want to help with. Maybe they don’t have a particular project in mind so we help them get matched up. In round one we had a guy who made videos and we had to look for a project that needed a video – it’s a bit of finagling. Ultimately it’s up to the investor to decide on what project they want to invest in and how much. It’s not us that makes those decisions. The Elevator Project is just a platform. The actual “shopping” takes several months, it’ll start next week. First what we do is have the community panel look at all the applications – they’re looking at eligibility criteria. They also assess each application based on a rubric we developed and there’s a possible score of 70 based on that. What’s the point of the score? To inform investors about how they were marked. Those scores may matter to investors, they may not. It’s just a piece of info they can use and it also helps me to prioritize my time. We try to resource very project, but I do have a priority order. When we do the Community Vote that helps me put things in priority as well. People from the community get to vote for their top 5. If your project gets a number 1 you get 5 points, 2nd place is 4 points, 3rd place is 3 points, 4th place is 2 points, and 5th place is 1 point. Both of those pieces of information get listed in our Idea Bank.


What can an Idea Maker do now that they’ve submitted their application and their waiting for investors?

Next week once the idea hits the Idea Bank, they can hit the ground running and send out emails to their mailing list, helping people vote for their idea. They can link to their idea in the Idea Bank. A lot of these are smaller projects so being on the Elevator platform gives them legitimacy and validity. It’s a great opportunity to promote that. They should also keep me up to date on their application, in case any requirements change.

What can an investor do now?

They can contact me! We would set up a time to chat and talk about an idea that they want to invest in. The Elevator Project’s a platform for giving – investors that give through us have a great marketing opportunity. We would add their logo to our website, we would talk about them on our social media and our big event at the end of the year. It’s a great idea for a company or consultants to show that they’re committed to the community.


This sounds great for corporate social responsibility (CSR).

We can actually be their CSR department. What we’re doing is a pretty genius thing – if you don’t have the resources to do CSR we’re doing all the intake for you and we just give you a list of things that suits your needs. So you’d tell me about yourself, your company, what you and your team care about. I’ll be able to make some suggestions to make sure the giving lines up with your priorities. These suggestions might not be around causes – you may want to give through charitable status organizations. Basically you give directly through the groups forming a direct relationship. We do all the final reporting for you and come back to you later and tell you about that. It’s nice for smaller companies that may not have a giving department.


Need to get in touch with Gabrielle as an Idea Maker or individual investor? Email her at [email protected]


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