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Toledo Soup seeking proposals for projects to pitch at next event

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A Toledo crowd-funding organization is looking for proposals for community-minded projects and community ventures.

“We are basically looking for anybody who’s interested in starting a project or a business, or a cause that has a positive community impact,” said Ryan Bunch, a spokesman for Toledo SOUP.

Proposals can be submitted on the Web site.

If selected, candidates have three to five minutes to present their idea at the next SOUP event scheduled for 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 8 at a location to be announced.

“There is not a lot of opportunity for a low-dollar funding in Toledo,” Mr. Bunch said. “So Toledo SOUP offers an opportunity to people who need about a $1,000 to get their project off the ground.”

Toledo SOUP began in 2012 as a grassroots effort to fund relatively low-cost community projects through donations and fund-raisers.

It has since grown to have support from local politicians and businesses.

“We originally expected to raise between $250 and $500, but we pretty consistently raised over a $1,000 quarterly,” Mr. Bunch said.

There are usually between 15 and 20 submissions. The judges pare them down to presenters, looking for projects with a concrete idea that is achievable with SOUP funds and has a direct community impact. New judges are selected for every SOUP event, often from members of local government, funding agencies, and other community developers.

Individuals and groups are encouraged to submit projects that can come from “small business, the arts, urban agriculture, local food, as well as local charities and community groups from all over the Toledo region,” according to the organization’s Web site.

The attendance fee/​donation is $5 for adults and $1 for children 12 and younger. Each guest will receive one vote for their favorite community initiative, plus a complimentary meal of soup, salad, and bread.

Proposals will be accepted until midnight Feb. 1.

Contact Mike Sigov at:, 419-724-6089, or on Twitter @mikesigovblade.

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