Rhinebeck Responds: 6 Steps to Successful Community Fundraising

Rhinebeck Responds: 6 Steps to Successful Community Fundraising

A Community Comes Together to Support Small Businesses

Background

The Village of Rhinebeck is a relatively small historic town (Pop. 7,548 as of 2010 census) in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley. About two hours from New York City, many call it home and many have permanent second residences in the town. Residents take pride in the prevalence of independent, local businesses and lack of big box retailers.
 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, a small group of community members came together to form Rhinebeck Responds, an all volunteer pop-up organization to help address the most urgent local needs. These needs included helping small independent businesses with problems such as payment of rent and applying for government loans. They began to gradually raise money to create a fund to award small grants (up to $5000) to help worthy small businesses survive through the pandemic. The funds came from two generous local businesses and then, more broadly from community members.