Innovative Community Funding

Submitted by Guelph's Commun... on June 26, 2013 - 6:55am
A community conversation with a group of community entrepreneurs in Guelph

There was definitely buzz in the room. Over 55 people attended the inaugural GCIC meeting, and posted dozens of creative ideas around the walls of the room to get us started. Made us happy to live in Guelph…


Here’s what you told us

 We know it was rushed, new, and a little bit crowded. There was a lot to take in. Thanks for giving us your initial feedback on how to make it better. There will be other opportunities to do so. Here’s the unabridged version of what you told us — answers to your questions and action in response to your advice will follow in the near future:

I’m Excited about…

  • The connections! (please make sure these can happen)
  • The opportunity to leverage all this into something bigger
  • Hearing so many wonderful ideas- can you collect on a webpage?
  • I’m excited that there is a source of funding for alternative, community-driven ideas
  • Training garden downtown to help not only clients from the food bank but also having a garden available in the heart of the city
  • I’m excited about the synergy within the room. We have huge potential!
  • All the amazing ideas and to see the connections
  • Increasing the health of our community
  • Wow- how awesome that people’s ideas can be voiced and encouraged… and be actualized!! We need to WORK TOGETHER!!!!
  • The positive, supportive, open minded tone/atmosphere
  • The networking opportunity
  • Chance to communicate and share ideas
  • Sharing resources beyond money to make ideas happen
  • The focus on social innovation… what are new ways of bringing people together that haven’t happened before…
  • Community food centre
  • I liked the decentralized feeling which led to good collaboration 


Questions and Concerns

  • Community Coaches may be helpful if trained around accessibility, as this needs to be open, easy….
  • We need more un-usual suspects involved and supporting how we can build a business case for corporate investment in fund
  • Concern: ensuring that the ideas are good for all that Guelph is- finding balance between diverse and multiple goals, and engaging on an equal basis
  • I am worried that ideas can be seen as elitist or only good for the “granola Guelphites” – it is in the marketing of the ideas I think.
  • Herding the cats- Many great ideas, many great connections, where do we go from here?
  • How do we know if the 5 ideas discussed tonight will receive funding or keep in touch with the progress?
  • Challenge to avoid “popularity contest” approach
  • How will potential donors learn about possible projects?


  • Please share contact info of all attendees with us if possible?
  • Add the #GCIC to your co-ordinates
  • Suggestion for process: Identify who coaches are. Make time available for them to input on ideas
  • I think it would be helpful to invite all the people with similar ideas to have a conversation together. Maybe you could facilitate a meeting and see if there are ways they can work together
  • Rules for what types of ideas can be given funds/grants. Who’s in/ who’s out?
  • Would some kind of participatory decision making process that includes “applicants” for Innovation fund work to determine how resources we distributed?
  • It may be good to encourage contact between groups with shared interests, (I think especially Art) Perhaps smaller, more focused meetings. Or a way to converse on the web
  • To move slower and more in-depth through the process
  • Finding ways to keep artists engaged and active in processes
  • Add an explicit step of bringing those with similar ideas together
  • Is there a particular “size” or “scope” that is best match for CIC funds?
  • Is there some way to broaden panel of coaches to include more community mentors (like tonight) to enhance potential resource connections around shared ideas?
  • Make sure all similar idea groups work together and don’t duplicate efforts


Feedback on the name

  • Take innovation out of name, confusing with Innovation Guelph
  • Put something in the name about “funding” or “grants” so the purpose is clear
  • Community Innovation Hub (Another comment: I like this one – but who owns/manages it. Like a co-op?)



Thanks for sharing

This sounded like a great gathering- will there be another hosted?

What was the overall intent of this gathering? It appears that connecting with the work of others seemed important- but is there something larger at work here?