Hey! We know that guy!
Another leader at Smart Furniture has done something amazing (remember when our CEO went to Washington to discuss the fiscal cliff?). A recent Chatter article gave some much deserved press to Smart Furniture founder Stephen Culp's latest creation, Causeway.
As the Causeway website notes, the start-up "is a new kind of charity—one whose goal is to make it easy for Chattanoogans to help other Chattanoogans and, perhaps more importantly, to help the community help itself." In other words, Causeway helps bring together people who are able and willing to help with causes that need support. And it's all local. Instead of writing a check to the Red Cross or some distant charitable organization, Causeway facilitates support of local organizations in the Chattanooga community. Not only are residents of Chattanooga helping a worthy cause, they are also helping support and improve their community.
What makes Causeway different from a typical nonprofit? "‘Causeway is... based on an entrepreneurial, for-profit model,' Culp says. In fact, he calls Causeway a site for growing ‘civic entrepreneurs.'" That free market approach to the charitable giving process lets the best ideas rise to the top through a bottom-up approach that is representative of community opinions. Along with other members of Delegator (another Stephen Culp creation), Stephen and co. are trying to bridge the gap between concerned citizens and causes that need their support by providing a place that lets citizens see what's out there, who or what needs help, and gives them an easy way to get involved.
With over 30 active causes currently in the works, Causeway is well on its way to effecting some serious change in the Chattanooga community. Read the full article at the Chatter Chattanooga website, or head over to the Causeway site to hear it straight from the source. While you're there, check out some of the ongoing projects; you'll probably see something that speaks to you. But, if you don't, you can always start your own!