Effective Crowdfunding for Community Economic Development

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12 March, 2015


Crowdfunding can be used to finance a variety of purposes, from the small-scale support needed for specific projects or initiatives to larger start-up capital for small and medium-sized enterprise. It can tap into your organization’s existing fan base and it can help you to access investors who are interested in your idea.

WealthWorks is a 21st-century approach to community economic development. It brings together and connects a community’s assets to meet market demand in ways that build livelihoods that last. In this webinar Christi Electris shares what was learned through the WealthWorks Crowdfunding Action-Learning Program and how your organization can use crowdfunding to finance projects and initiatives.

Equity crowdfunding is a growing area of interest in Canada, with securities regulators across the country proposing rules to regulate the raising of limited amounts of capital, and the selling of shares, through crowdfunding websites. In this webinar Carlos Pinto Lobo talks about the two different regulation models in Canada and the implications these models have on Canada’s social economy.


Christi Electris, Croatan Institute

Christi is founding team member at Croatan Institute, a new center for advanced social and environmental research and engagement focusing on the nexus of sustainability and finance, and holds a dual appointment with the Tellus Institute, a sustainability think-tank in Boston. She consults on a variety of environmental and social issues, including energy, climate, agriculture, sustainability indicators, and corporate redesign. Christi has done extensive research and writing on sustainable and responsible investing, helping develop a new framework for social and environmental impact investing across asset classes, known as Total Portfolio Activation, and, as part of a multi-stakeholder initiative, is currently working to demonstrate the impact of public equity engagement through the development of a new reporting framework for investors.  A computer scientist and quantitative policy analyst by training, she has designed policy scenario analyses with environmental and social impacts, including the most recent update of Tellus Institute's global sustainability scenarios, and has consulted on a variety of website and database development projects. She developed and ran a social media and outreach strategy for author Marjorie Kelly's release of her most recent book, and is currently running the Tellus Institute’s campaign for the Great Transition Initiative online journal. As part of the Ford Foundation-funded WealthWorks rural development program, she studied enterprise finance models and place-based investing across the country, and out of that work developed and conducted several trainings on crowdfunding to support new investment into place-based rural value chains.

Carlos Pinto Lobo, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing

Carlos is an accomplished, compliance, governance and risk management professional with over 25 years of extensive experience in the financial services industry, including futures, options, retail compliance, LCM, SOX, credit, operational risk management, anti-money laundering, privacy regulations and successful business solutions. Carlos has had previous roles as a Director and VP at CIBC, Deutsche Bank AG, Alpha ATS, and BMO InvestorLine Inc., as well as been a guest speaker at a variety of industry related events. He has also been instrumental in the development of regulatory regimes and groundbreaking industry initiatives. He is currently the SVX Compliance Officer with the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing.

Additional Resources

WealthWorks Approach

Croatan Crowdfunding Resources

Equity Crowdfunding in Canada

  • Two Equity Crowdfunding Models for Canada
  • Other blog posts from Carlos Pinto Lobo

Other Resources

The Canadian CED Network
Webinar  --