Each season, the Crescent Fund entertains proposals to fund projects that benefit vendors, shoppers and/or the community. We have created a pool of funds for social investment at the market. The Crescent Fund will disperse cash investments each quarter for up to $500. These cash infusions will be returned to the market after 6 months through time, talent or treasure.
Once you purchase our wooden tokens — The Crescent — you become an investor in the Crescent Fund. The Crescent Fund is a pool of money raised by the market community, used for social investment in the market community. The funds are gathered at the Crescent City Farmers Market through contributions from both shoppers and vendors. Shoppers who purchase market tokens with credit/debit cards are invited to contribute $1 to the Crescent Fund in addition to the $1 convenience fee that is charged for handling the currency. Vendors are invited to invest a percentage of their market earnings to the fund. With two markets a week, rain or shine, the contributions add up to create a significant pool of money.
Anyone can apply for a cash infusion from the Crescent Fund by completing an application form. The marketumbrella.org board and staff will decide if your idea benefits the triple-bottom-line. Proposals that most benefit the “triple-bottom-line” will be selected for the election process. The market community selects proposals through a democratic vote at the market and online during posted voting periods. Each season, the Crescent Fund awards a minimum of 3 cash infusions of up to $500 each. After 6 months, the funds are returned to the market through time, talent or treasure. Those who receive cash infusions will also be asked to share their results with marketumbrella.org and the Crescent Fund investors.
request for proposals: June 30, 2009
application deadline: August 1, 2009
voting period: August 18-22, 2009
cash infusion announced: August 25, 2009
In March 2009, the Crescent Fund’s first cash infusions were dispersed to CCFM vendor Shirley Randon, the NolaCycle Bike Map Project, and Rusted Up Beyond All Recognition Bikes (RUBARB).
Shirley Randon used the money to haul away greenhouses destroyed in a snow storm.
NolaCycle Bike Map Project printed a map of the city’s safest cycle routes.
And RUBARB bought parts and supplies for their Upper 9th Ward shop, which provides bicycle repairs and training to area kids.
Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.
The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.