Barnraiser: Crowdfunding platform connecting sustainable food producers with conscious consumers

Crowdfunding platform Barnraiser is connecting food producers, farmers, chefs, and tastemakers in healthy and sustainable food with consumers who want better health for themselves and the planet.

Barnraiser makes it easy to discover, share, and fund online the people changing how the world farms, eats and lives – giving farmers and food entrepreneurs a chance to raise funds and find new customers.

The crowdfunding site, which is currently operational in the US only, is where you can find everything from healthy and artisanal foods through to community kitchens and organic farms needing support.

Barnraiser aims to inspire collective support for these innovators to create a healthy food future for all and to make sustainable food and farming the standard or norm rather than the exception to the rule.

Barnraiser says: “We believe that by supporting good food and healthy living heroes (building a barn), the whole community benefits and we all have a healthier world.

The crowdfunding platform was founded in 2014 by Eileen Gordon Chiarello, the wife of California celebrity chef and sustainable farmer Michael Chiarello, with the aim to drive funding to innovators remaking the food system globally.

Barnraiser has already seen a good level of success since it was founded in 2014. Based in Sausalito, Calif., the company has raised over $2 million in funding. Billed as a crowdfunding site for good food and healthy living — a Kickstarter for foodies, if you will — it was founded by its CEO, Eileen Gordon, who told me she started the business as a way to “connect the millions of Americans who want sustainable farming with those that are making, growing, and providing the food.”

Like many crowdfunding models, consumers can engage with Barnraiser brands as funders, customers or as fans. Businesses can engage consumers on the platform through their stories even if they don’t need immediate funding, better positioning themselves for successful crowdfunding later on.

Since its launch, Barnraiser has helped farmers, food startups, nonprofits, educators, artisans and others in some 40 US states raise millions through rewards-based crowdfunding.

With rising consumer interest in buying foods that are healthy and grown sustainably and ethically, Barnraiser enables farmers and other food producers to be able to take that next step in either building or growing their business.

Among some of Barnraiser’s success stories is Kitchen Witch. Three women from Santa Cruz, California, who studied the healing properties of bone broth, took to Barnraiser in 2015 to raise a minimum of $15,000 to buy a 60-gallon kettle and other equipment. The cofounders successfully raised over $19,000 via Barnraiser.

Young farmers Finegan Ferreboeuf and Jason Gold exceeded their goal of $10,000 to start a small business and grow fresh, delicious vegetables for their community in Skowhegan, Maine. The $12,150 that they raised through a crowdfunding campaign on Barnraiser in 2017 enabled them to start their farm, Steel Bow Farm, and buy a tractor.

Barnraiser

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about sustainable lifestyle and green living for publications, and offers content services to planet-friendly businesses. Find out more at Rosamedea.com

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