Crowd Lending Campaign Raising Funds for Ferndale CatFe Expansion

Crowd Lending Campaign Raising Funds for Ferndale CatFe Expansion

Ferndale, MI – The Ferndale Cat Shelter is looking to grow into their recently expanded space, and is asking people to invest through a KIVA campaign where people chip in collectively to fund a project, and are paid back gradually over time.

The goal is to raise $15,000, to be paid back over 42 months without any interest.

“In November 2019 we doubled our space by acquiring the adjacent storefront to Catfé Lounge,” wrote Ferndale Cat Shelter Executive Director Deanne Iovan on the KIVA page.  “We now have space to store cat food and supplies safely. We have a more secure entry-way. We have a fur-free space to sell our cat swag and offer free coffee and tea to our guests. The cats on the Catfé side have more space to run around and play with visitors and volunteers. It’s been an amazing transformation.

“Our dream has always been to provide an honest-to-goodness coffee bar for our guests and the Ferndale community. Think: cappuccinos and croissants. Think: a walk-up window where coffee can be safely procured. Just imagine fresh brewed espresso with an almond biscotti. Not only are you indulging in a little treat of self-care but you will enjoy knowing that your purchase helps felines in need. That’s a win-win!

“This dream can be realized with your help. Unlike the usual pleas for donations, KIVA gives businesses an opportunity get a hand-up, not a hand-out. What you contribute gets paid back to you. And because Build Institute of Detroit is a remarkable supporter of local businesses like no other, they will match your contribution up to $7500.”

Deanne Iovan told Oakland County Times “We opened the adjacent space in November 2019. At the time we didn’t have a scheduler online for appointments to the Catfe, so the new space served as a waiting area. Now since Covid-19 we require visitors to schedule their visits online so we can limit the traffic and adhere to social distancing requirements. The new space includes check-in and retail items including FCS swag like tee shirts and water bottles. We are developing a plan to build out the coffee shop with new windows and counter so we can safely serve walk-up customers.”

This is the second KIVA campaign for the Ferndale Cat Shelter.  In 2017 Ferndale Cat Shelter (FCS) launched a KIVA crowd funding campaign to invest in expanding their retail offerings, which has helped them increase revenue to support the work of the shelter.

“We successfully repaid that loan and did what we set out to accomplish. Since that time, FCS has found homes and provided medical care for over 1500 cats and kittens. In 2020 alone, our rockin’ volunteer staff has placed over 500 homeless felines in foster homes and completed adoptions for over 350 applicants,” Iovan said.

For those who aren’t familiar with the platform, Iovan explained further.  “KIVA is unique in that they offer businesses and individuals an opportunity to raise capital through crowd-funding, especially those that have difficulty raising capital through traditional sources. All money contributed to the fundraiser gets paid back to contributors over time. Initially, we have to prove that our immediate community finds value in our business. After acquiring a minimum of 30 contributors, KIVA unleashes the fundraiser to the rest of the globe. People from all over the world contribute to these micro loans. It’s a pretty cool thing!”

Iovan is optimistic that the café part of the project will mean sustainable income to the shelter.  “Covid-19 has challenged our organization to create a new business model and expand our revenue sources to include a full service coffee shop. With social distancing still on the horizon for the foreseeable future, we need to be prepared to accommodate supporters in a way that keeps them safe. People are nervous to visit restaurants still, but coffee shops are as busy as ever. You’re in, you’re out,” she said.  “In addition, our vision for the Catfé Lounge has always included a café for guests. We are now in a good position to make that happen and everyone in the organization is excited to see this come to fruition.”

Check out the Ferndale Cat Shelter KIVA page for more info and to contribute.

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