Oct. 12 2016 10:53 AM

A guide to Lansing-area online fundraising campaigns

Doughnuts with Love by Strange Matter Coffee


As it prepares for a move across the street, Strange Matter Coffee Co. is raising funds to launch a scratch bakery specializing in craft doughnuts, including vegan and gluten-free options.

“We are going to have all sorts of exciting flavors, made only from the best ingredients,” writes owner Cara Nader on the Kickstarter campaign page. “Our bakery will make doughnuts from classic vanilla bean to adventurous cereal doughnuts daily.”

The coffee shop, which opened on Michigan Avenue in 2014, is moving into the Gillespie Co.’s East Town mixed-use development on the south side of Michigan Avenue’s 2000 block when it is completed in 2017. The shop’s 1,200-square foot space has seating for up to thirty people.

“Every day we reach capacity,” Nader writes. “Our tiny space simply can't keep up with our popularity in the community, and neither can our air conditioner.”

The move will give the shop about 2,100 square feet, allowing Nader to double seating capacity and add a kitchen. Strange Matter is hoping to raise $40,000 by Oct. 30, which will fund the purchase of kitchen equipment and interior construction costs. It will only receive the funds if its fundraising goal is met. Donors receive perks like private coffee brewing workshops, logo apparel or limited edition swag, including a print designed by former City Pulse artistic director Jonathan Griffith. At the highest donor level, $2,500, contributors receive one free coffee or one free doughnut per day for life.

“This isn't just a job to us,” Nader writes. “Coffee is our passion and we want nothing more than to be able to share it with our customers.”

EL Going Green


East Lansing is teaming up with Patronicity to tap into the power of two ecofriendly activities: biking and recycling.

“Green is our color!” states the campaign’s Patronicity page. “We bike, we recycle and we yell ‘go green.’ This crowd funding effort will allow us to have the necessary infrastructure in our downtown to support our green habits.”

The city is hoping to raise $30,000 to help fund at least 20 sets of public recycling bins and 40 new bike parking locations in downtown East Lansing.

“We are a community that has had residential recycling for decades, and many of our local businesses recycle, but we don't have public recycling containers in the downtown — yet,” the page states. “The hundreds of thousands of people that visit the downtown each year have few choices but to put recyclable materials in the trash cans.”

The price tag for the project is $120,000. The city received a $25,000 grant from Amcor, an eco-minded packaging company, and East Lansing’s Downtown Development Authority has committed $35,000 to the project. If the Patronicity campaign reaches its fundraising goal, the Michigan Economic Development Council and Michigan State Housing Development Authority will contribute a $30,000 matching grant. This is a partial funding campaign, meaning the city will get all funds pledged to the project but will only get the matching grant if it raises $30,000 by Friday.

Donors receive thank you notes or special recycling- and bike-themed gifts, and contributions are tax deductible.

“The impact area is about 10 square blocks, making up the entire central business district of East Lansing,” the page states. “Each contribution will impact the experience in downtown EL and help us to truly be a green community.”