Crowdfunding for a New Green Iowa Van

Posted: May 10, 2019

Crowdfunding for a New Green Iowa Van
This spring the locally hosted Green Iowa AmeriCorps team launched a campaign to raise funds for a vehicle that will provide safe, reliable, and more efficient transportation for their service work.

The service group and their nonprofit host aims to raise $9,000 by May 31st through crowdfunding. Donations are currently being accepted and can be made on or mailed to PO Box 14, Decorah.

“Getting Things Done”
For nearly ten years green Iowa AmeriCorps team have served northeast Iowa through home energy efficiency assessments and environmental education for all ages. They drive all over northeast Iowa to bring energy-saving services to the elderly, disabled, veterans, and low-moderate income folks. The First Step Energy Program evaluates air leakage, lighting, and water efficiencies in residential homes throughout the six county region.
“We really make a difference in people’s lives” says audit coordinator Katherine Hannigan. Hannigan works alongside Briana Burke, Gracie Engle, and Maddy Knutson as the 2018-19 team. So far they have served 94 residences this year. The average resident served saves an average of $120 bills annually on utility bills.

Crowdfunding is defined as “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.” This way of supporting community projects is not new to Decorah. In 2012 the Courtyard and Cellar started at 421 W Water Street in Decorah with support from 191 backers. In 2017 Luna Valley Farm used crowdfunding as a method to create a commercial kitchen space for their farm-based pizza restaurant.
“Crowdfunding is a fundraising model that is web-based and shows how many small donations can add up. ” says Winneshiek Energy District (WED) staff member Kristin Eggen. Eggen leads the crowdfunding effort with support from the 2018-19 Green Iowa AmeriCorps team and WED staff. The campaign has over thrity-five backers so far.
Another common aspect of crowdfunding is the

“Any amount helps! By supporting this campaign, backers are helping us help others.”

About the Team
Northeast Iowa Green Iowa AmeriCorps teams have served over 1,000 households since starting in 2009. Hundreds of kids and adults have participated in their environmental education activities. They partner regularly with public and private schools, public libraries, and other nonprofits.
Green Iowa AmeriCorps is an 11-month service program that is a partnership between the National Corporation for Community Service, Volunteer Iowa, the University of Northern Iowa, and local hosts. The Northeast Iowa team is headquartered at the Winneshiek Energy District in Decorah (217 ½ W Water Street). For almost a decade the energy district office has housed teams to perform energy efficiency assessments and improvements to northeast Iowa Households. Learn more about the energy district at

Backers can make a contribution on, search “Green Iowa AmeriCorps” or mail a contribution to PO Box 14, Decorah, memo: van.