Tag Archives: Indiegogo

Will Run for Soup


I’m going to be running my first marathon this fall in Detroit. This has been a dream of mine since running the Riverbank Run 25k in Grand Rapids in 2011.

Running this marathon in Detroit has personal significance for me. Detroit is a city of resilience, creativity, and tremendous strength and I couldn’t be more proud to be running in this one-of-a-kind, unique place.

While a lot of people like the “branding” of Detroit and the toughness associated with it, I don’t make the reference for self-aggrandizement. Detroit has inspired me in a very specific, significant way through a local organization, Detroit SOUP, which has changed my thinking about what it means to participate in community.

SOUP is simple: It’s a monthly gathering where several members of the community get the opportunity to present a project that in some way will benefit the city. It could be anything. It could be a theatre company or a farmers’ market or a dance company for low-income kids or a project to teach kids about gardening and healthy eating. Attendees donate $5 the night of the event and in return receive a vote for the project of their choice as well as a bowl of soup, bread, and salad which are all available free-of-cost. At the end of the night, the project with the most votes wins and takes home the money raised.

The action is democratic, immediate, and community-rooted.

Having heard so much about Detroit SOUP and the amazing things that they do, I was ecstatic when I saw a poster for something called SoupGrant right here in Lansing! SoupGrant Lansing is based on the same model as Detroit SOUP. I joined the SoupGrant team, and I’m proud to say we are a small, passionate, hard-working team! None of us does this for a living. We are just volunteers who love our city and are committed to bringing people together from every corner of it.

As I prepare to run the Detroit Marathon, I’m running for more than myself.The SoupGrant team is focused on continuing to promote positive growth in Lansing through SoupGrant. Would you be willing to sponsor my run in support of SoupGrant Lansing? Your money would be well spent, as SoupGrant has made a great impact in just one year! Here is just a snapshot:

And that’s just scratching the surface. Much of what we do is difficult to quantify since SoupGrant Lansing is an organization grounded in building relationships. We have made some wonderful connections in our first year in Lansing and we’re slowly growing the “Soup Family.”

While our monthly SoupGrants have been relatively small in size (generally around $100, though we have raised as much as $260 in a single night), we believe that we are laying the groundwork for a long-term, sustainable project that will stimulate entrepreneurship, heighten awareness of issues facing different parts of our community, and encourage community engagement.

This is why we need your help! Since SoupGrant isn’t our “job,” we can’t go out into the community all day to talk about it with folks. Moreover, much of what we do comes out of pocket. Besides giving of our time, we have paid out-of-pocket for printing, advertising, and soup supplies. By giving to SoupGrant, you are giving back to the Lansing community by broadening our scope and strengthening our ties as we provide and promote a forum for creative projects and partnerships in our community.

The SOUP model is truly unique and something we hope that you will come to experience for yourself – whether in Lansing, Detroit, or elsewhere. The movement is spreading one bowl of soup at a time.

To make a donation, visit our Indiegogo campaign.


Indiegogo campaign a success

We want to send out a massive thank you to everyone who supported SoupGrant’s Indiegogo fundraiser!

We set out with an ambitious goal of $500 and here we are, two months later, with $330 on hand as of the campaign’s conclusion on March 9. This is all thanks to your efforts – and not just the folks who donated, but also everyone who shared what we’re doing with friends and family. We can’t thank you enough!

Now what?

We’ll be awarding $100 to our logo makeover winner on March 20 and setting aside another $50 for any redesigns that may be necessary in the future.

The rest of the money will primarily be going towards purchasing supplies for our dinners throughout the rest of 2014.

What if I still want to give money to support SoupGrant?

We’re a small team of three people with limited resources putting together a dinner every month, so we still welcome your support. If you would be interested in making a donation, please contact us at soupgrantlansing@gmail.com.

Share in your city’s future


My name’s Joel and I recently moved to Lansing. As I was looking for ways to get involved in the community and meet people, I came across a poster for SoupGrant Lansing one night while I was out to dinner. I had heard of the popular Detroit SOUP and decided to go check it out.

SoupGrant Lansing, and its Detroit equivalent, are based on a really cool, simple concept:

Once a month people gather for a delicious & healthy soup and bread dinner; we donate $5 at the door, have a meal together, meet new people, and then we get to hear people present two or three projects that will make the city a better place. After we hear the proposals, we get to decide which one sounds the best to us and we vote. The night’s winner takes home the donations in the form of a micro-grant.

So far, we’ve funded everything from “Little Free Libraries” – a campaign to help make books more accessible to school kids in West Lansing – to gas money for volunteers who bring groceries to folks’ homes to vitamins and health supplements for low-income Lansing residents.

What’s great about SoupGrant is that it’s democratic and accessible to everyone.

We hold people accountable for the money we award by having them update us regularly on their projects. This way, we get to see the fruit of their labor and share in the accomplishments we’ve helped local organizers achieve.

As we get our feet, we are creating a fundraising campaign that will help SGL grow and give back to those who have been supporting us along the way. We are hoping to raise $500 by March 9 to help us do a number of important things:

  • Pay back Grace Lutheran ELCA for allowing us to use their basement once a month
  • Offer compensation to Terry, our soup chef, who has been graciously making us delicious food since the summer of 2013
  • Offer gas money to volunteers who help us by putting up posters around Lansing
  • We would also like to expand by hiring a local graphic designer to create a new logo for SoupGrant. We’re planning a contest that will run through the beginning of March where we will invite Michigan-based graphic designers to submit their logo designs. At the March SoupGrant, we will have our guests vote on the winning design.

Any extra money we raise beyond $500 will be set aside to support us through the upcoming year.

Click here to learn more about our campaign and make a donation.

Whether it be $5 or $50, we appreciate your support. We would love for you to follow us in this New Year to see how we grow and how we are able to put this money to use. This is an exciting journey for us, and so we would love it even more if you could join us on the 3rd Thursday of the month for SoupGrant, to share in this experience of mutual support and empowerment.

Thank you for your support!

Joel, Heather, Terry
The SoupGrant Lansing Team