What we’re facing as a country is unprecedented, both at a national and local level.
The COVID-19 health crisis is scary on its own, but the impact on local businesses and the millions of jobs they support is proving to be an economic disaster in the making.
Chances are, you’re more than aware – the businesses you care about most are run by local, independent, resilient, and creative small business owners, and they help to define the cultural fabric of our communities. In fact, during any other disaster, these business owners are the ones we would reach out to for help. Whether it's been a sponsorship for an event or support for a charitable endeavor, they've always been there. Now, they need our support more than ever.
At the same time, nearly all of us are watching as friends and family members in healthcare are on the front lines of dealing with the virus head-on. Their exposure is only growing with time, and they’re risking their own safety and health in treating this rapidly growing pandemic.
This battle is being fought by all of us on different fronts, and we’re only going to make it through this the way we always do – together.
The team at Be More Pacific in the Heights kicked off an amazing idea. An anonymous friend asked Roveen Abante (co-owner, Be More Pacific - Heights) to provide food to local hospital staff and offered to pick up the tab.
We saw this act of kindness play out, and we thought that the community at large could scale it further. We’re optimistic that this type of support is what can keep our community going during this challenging time.
Here's where we need your help.
Donate to the Local Impact Food & Entrepreneurship (LIFE) Fund for Houston to tackle this challenge on two fronts.
Here’s how it works
1. Visit nextseed.link/life-fund to make a tax-deductible donation to the LIFE Fund.
2. The money raised through the fund will purchase food from a locally owned restaurant, providing much-needed revenues for their business while keeping the lights on and staff employed.
3. Those meals will go to medical professionals and volunteers working on COVID-19 relief efforts, either through clinics and hospitals or non-profits.
With your help, we'll empower our local businesses to do what they do best - nourish and support the community.
How are you making sure that it’s safe?
All food that will be delivered will be packaged as individual meals. No catering trays and large dishes to be shared. Even pizza will be individually sliced and packaged. This is critical.
How much are you spending on each meal?
This may be a moving target, but here’s our current plan: We will be placing orders of 25 meals at a time, and we’re working with each business to come up with a pre-packaged meal priced at around $10.
We want to make sure each order is substantial and can also help justify a delivery since some of these businesses aren’t necessarily set up to do delivery in small batches right now. Although 3rd party meal delivery apps are offering a necessary service right now (and some are deferring a portion of fees until later), they’re still taking up to 30% of each ticket. We’d prefer that these funds stay in the businesses.
How soon will you be distributing funds to businesses?
As soon as possible. We anticipate the first funds contributed will be available to us within about one week, and we'll be coordinating with businesses in anticipation of that.
How will you select businesses to participate?
We’re going to start small and local to begin with, and this starts with the businesses NextSeed has engaged with already. Once we work out the kinks and can logistically scale this process, we’ll look to expand this beyond our immediate ecosystem.
These types of charitable campaigns tend to fail when there isn’t an actionable plan or they get too unwieldy too fast. We want to make sure we do this incrementally to execute this properly.
How will you select which places to send food to?
We have a shortlist of hospitals, clinics, and non-profits we’re going to initially work with to make sure we know what to order and how much to order for each location. Once we do this a few times, we hope to expand.
Have a medical or volunteer team you want to nominate for a meal? Send us a message at email@example.com.
Is this donation tax-deductible?
Yes. As the team brainstormed how to do this, we immediately reached out to our friends at Impact Hub Houston – an incredible organization in their own right, focused on driving social change by accelerating entrepreneurial solutions.
Impact Hub Houston is a 501(c)3 organization and is the fiscal sponsor for this program. All contributions to this campaign will be made to Impact Hub Houston and pushed out to businesses directly, and all contributions will be tax-deductible.
What percentage of our contributions will be going to these businesses?
Approximately 94% of proceeds contributed will be directed to the businesses and their staff directly. Between credit card processing fees and administration of the non-profit for your tax deduction, we expect that we can cover it with ~6% of proceeds. To be absolutely clear, NextSeed is committed to not take any portion of the proceeds.
When you click the Donate button, you will also be prompted by Gofundme to add an additional tip for their platform. They're taking 0% by default, and additional contributions to their platform are optional.
Separately, if you would like to contribute to ImpactHub Houston, please do so! Check out their site here to learn more about the amazing work that they do.
Please help spread the word by sharing this link on Facebook, Twitter, and wherever you can get the word out.
Thank you for supporting your local community!
-The NextSeed Team