Q: What is the difference between The Elevator Project and a traditional granting system?
A: Just about everything! The Elevator Project is really a platform to share your ideas on how to make the community better and to attract “investors” to those ideas. We are more like matchmakers than granters. On the idea side we are here to collect ideas, and to help you shape/plan your idea. On the other side of the coin, we are actively recruiting “investors” who want to get involved in community benefit projects. Investment does not always equal dollars. It could be skills or expertise, materials, time or dollars. Investment can happen anytime and by anyone. It is up to the individual investor to decide where to allocate their resource, when and for how much.
There is a confirmed pool of funding in Round 4 of the Elevator Project (approximately $35,000) that can be applied to projects in this round. For the first time in the 4 years of this process, the Community Panel of the Elevator Project will decide where this investment goes. The other key difference in our program is that you have access to the hands-on Elevator Project team at 10 Carden, and other mentors who can help you get your project ready for application and the Elevator Project Process shows that project off publicly.
Q: Do I have to be an incorporated organization to participate as an Idea Maker?
A: Absolutely not! The Elevator Project is for everyone. A project idea can be hatched by a group of friends, neighbours, co-workers and/or by more established organizations. You can also be a for-profit business with a social benefit project. Read more about our eligibility criteria and terms & conditions of support here.
Q: How do I know what to ask for?
A: Well, what do you need to make the project happen? Keep in mind that potential investors will be visiting our website looking for projects to “invest” in. So it is helpful if you can say what you need. It could be very specific, “we need $2000 for a marketing campaign” or more broad if you aren’t quite sure yet, “we are looking for help with a website, some funds for advertising and some expertise to create a marketing campaign”. Remember that the Elevator Project is not a granting program. You do not have to frame your need in the same way you would when applying for a grant (i.e. – “My project will cost $10,000 to execute and I would like $4,000 from you”). You can just tell us about what your project needs overall. The more specific you can be, the easier it is for an investor to see how they might “click” with your project.