Community can mean many things; it might speak to the warm embrace of a neighborhood or represent people’s shared passions or personal identities. Whatever community means to you, it undoubtedly has an important place in your life. This week, we highlight the crowdfunding efforts of five female entrepreneurs who are bringing people together with food, drink, art and shared experiences — women who are building businesses that also build community.

Check out these 5 women-led crowdfunding campaigns:

1. Rebuilding a New York City Institution (via Indiegogo)

The Business: Pommes Frites, a East Village establishment, was destroyed by a March 26 gas explosion that devastated several buildings near its home on 2nd Avenue in New York City. The eatery’s owners, including Suzanne Levinson, are thankful that no customers or staff were injured in the incident. But now, it’s time to rebuild — and they need help to make it happen.
The Money: Within the next 44 days, Pommes Frites needs to raise $64,000 (though thanks to Indiegogo’s Flexible Funding option, they are guaranteed at least some money from this effort). The campaign funds will be used to reopen in a new location in the West Village this fall. Levinson says she hopes “to bring Pommes Frites back to life, hire back all of our amazing staff, and get back to serving piping-hot Belgian Fries to another generation of late-night snackers!”

2. Helping Tourists and Locals Find the Brews They Love (via Kickstarter)

The Business: North Carolina is known for being first in flight. But while air travel is thrilling, Amanda Aileen Fisher and her partner, Paul Bright, want to educate visitors and locals alike about a different kind of flight — the beer kind. Their company, EDIA Maps, is in the business of helping people discover new opportunities for fun and excitement through well-researched and beautifully constructed maps, and it’s looking for support for its latest effort, “The Great NC Beer Map.”
The Money: The campaign had a goal of $7,500 that it has already exceeded, but it will remain open until July 24. With the money raised, Fisher and company will be able to cover design and printing fees.

3. Bringing Playwriting to Georgia (the Country) (via Kickstarter)

Credit: Kickstarter

The Business: PlayWrite Inc., a Portland, Ore., organization that engages and inspires at-risk youth through performance art, has an opportunity to reach a new group of young people a world away. Word of the women-led organization’s successful work has reached two non-governmental organizations — Social Change Supporters and the Georgian Centre for the Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims. And now the three organizations want to bring PlayWrite’s intervention model to youth from the nation of Georgia. They hope to create a special 16-day workshop for young people traumatized by the violence that has plagued Georgia since the country’s independence from the Soviet Union.
The Money: A $28,789 goal amount has been set for the campaign, money that will be used to bring young Georgian women to Portland for intensive training. They have until July 29 to raise the funds they need.

4. Helping Every Girl Scout Participate (via Indiegogo)

The Business: When the Girl Scouts of Western Washington recently received a donation of $100,000, the organization was thrilled by what those funds could mean for its girls. But then the donor stipulated that it could not use the money to benefit transgender girls. The group’s decision was easy — it returned all of the money. Now, they’re trying to make back what they lost.
The Money: The initial goal set by the Scouts was $100,000. But thanks to voluminous press coverage, the campaign has raised more than three times that amount, with more than 20 days still to go. The group says it plans to use the money raised to provide financial aid for lower-income girls who want to participate in camps, earn badges and take part in other Girl Scout programs.

5. Printing Up Summer Fun (via GoFundMe)

Credit: GoFundMe

The Business: Southeast of Manhattan is an oceanfront urban oasis known as the Rockaways. It’s a diverse, fun community that revels in the warmer months — and Giovanna Maselli wants to capture it all. She’s the brains behind Rockaway Summer, a publication and cultural portal that celebrates the life of the quirky Queens peninsula. And she’s presently looking to put out the third edition of her physical publication, a hip summertime paper foldout.
The Money: When funding for printing up Rockaway Summer fell through recently, Maselli turned to crowdfunding to raise the $10,000 she needs. The latest edition will feature local artwork, an updated map of the peninsula and more.

Want to be featured in The Story Exchange’s Crowdfunding column? Drop us a line and tell us about your campaign at [email protected]