Valley Grows Day, a Pioneer Valley-wide day of giving, was successful on many fronts! Valley Grows brought together small, local non-profits throughout the Pioneer Valley working to grow a just and sustainable food system. Each in their own way, participating organizations are making healthy, local food an option for everyone, and creating opportunities for the next generation of urban and rural farmers. We were proud to co-lead the effort with Just Roots from Greenfield, and to partner with Gardening the Community in Springfield, Nuestras Raíces in Holyoke, and Seeds of Solidarity Education Center in Orange.
Across the five participating organizations, over $20,000 was raised through over 160 direct gifts, earning over $16,000 in previously-committed match funds. Grow Food Northampton started with $3,000 in matching gifts from board members and an anonymous donor, and our goal for the day was $8,000 in new gifts. We received $3,740 in 37 gifts from supporters, bringing our total (with match) to $6,740. While we didn’t achieve our goal, we also knew that goal was ambitiously based on past results during Valley Gives Day which had lots of buzz and lots of prize money, so we are still pleased with the results. Thank you to all who donated!
The collaboration itself was another success of the day. Working together with these like-minded organizations, who are doing similar work, was a pleasure. The five participating organizations operate in different communities and manifest their missions in diverse ways, but we have much in common. We are all working in concrete ways to create a fair and sustainable local food system from farm to fork. We believe that all of our work can be strengthened by getting to know each other.
The partners will convene in June to decide whether to continue next year and, if so, whether to expand the campaign to include more partners. Many regional organizations, emergency food providers, and others whose missions overlap with ours were not included in this pilot effort. Your feedback is welcome! Please email clem[at]growfoodnorthampton.com. We’re grateful to Seth Gregory Design for working with us to develop a visual identity and website, and for a significant discount to help launch this effort.