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Help us Launch the City Campus Fund

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[EARLY RELEASE] - you found our fundraiser before our official launch on 5/11!


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Hey neighbors!

The Commons , Solaris , and The Neighborhood are coming together to build a city campus for human flourishing in the heart of SF. We’re doing that through starting a new organizing coalition called City Campus and raising a $50K community fund to support people who want to build essential social infrastructure within this 1 square mile.

We hope to revive vibrant civic life in Hayes Valley, Alamo Square, and Lower Haight for all by creating social infrastructure that nurtures personal development, exploration, and purpose, within a communal context.

We want to build more novel community spaces dedicated to co-living, eating, co-working, friendship, wellness, contemplation, learning, and creativity, and believe that the coalescing of these institutions in one walkable place will play a vital role in our journey to build a thriving life.

What we do

We’re raising a fund to support both new and existing builders that want to create community and social infrastructure in the Hayes Valley, Lower Haight, and Alamo Square neighborhoods.

Each of our respective community organizations (The Commons, The Neighborhood, Solaris Society) was started in Hayes/Alamo/Haight in the last 3 years through the blood, sweat, and tears of an entire village.

We are especially empathic to the plight community builders face when building social infrastructure. Whether that’s in finding capital, building communal momentum, or getting to financial sustainability. We want to band together to empower the next generation of builders not only through better financing vehicles, but through hands-on support, sharing our network, and the passing on of tried and true playbooks.

We hope to be a schelling point at the intersection of capital, people, and place, in service of building a more vibrant, connected, and socially healthy San Francisco. By accomplishing this vision for just one neighborhood, we believe we can reinvigorate new ways of living, playing, working, and thriving for neighborhoods everywhere.

What we’re funding

Whether that’s novel forms of communal spaces dedicated to co-living, eating, co-working, friendship, wellness, contemplation, learning, or creativity - we are excited about spawning social institutions that engender social cohesion and personal growth. Institutions that reflect various interpretations on what it means to live a good, beautiful, and true life, making it possible to have more days filled with serendipity and connection.

Our current funding priorities:
  • New businesses with a community focus (third/fourth places, cafeterias, restaurants, multi-purpose community spaces, cafes, civic spaces, art spaces,etc.)
  • Existing businesses that want to build a stronger community focus (need money to convert into a community space)
  • Pop-ups run by budding community leaders that want to validate their business idea.
  • Community wide experiences. Summer music festivals in Duboce Park. Food pop-ups in Alamo. Restaurant week in Lower Haight. Weekly live music in Patricia’s Green.
  • Interactive & Public Art that generates community bonding and traffic to local businesses from local artists.
  • Ecosystem products (digitals or physical) that would benefit the entire neighborhood ecosystem & bring us closer together.

Fund Structure

We're raising $50K from the community (via this page) and more from HNWs and philanthropists.

As a benchmark, The Commons only cost $150K to start. If that were a minimum-interest loan, they would have paid it back in 2.5 years. These expenses went to deposits, furnishings, and first-year rent shortfalls while they built up their community.

$50K would be enough to get the next Commons off the ground.

We're also approaching major donors to fill out a fund of $750K, which would cover investments at the level of The Commons every 6 months for 2 years. We'll recoup and recycle that capital within 4 years, repeating the cycle.

Our community of communities has dozens of potential local leaders chomping at the bit to get started, so we're also organizing a YCombinator-style Demo Day for local entrepreneurs this fall to pitch their ideas directly to their future potential communities - stay tuned!

For donations larger than $5K+, please reach out to us: [email redacted]

Why we’re doing it

Never before in history has humanity been as resourced to prioritize the pursuit of meaning over survival. And it is cities which have served as the cauldron for that aim for generations of human creativity and prosperity. Today, San Francisco is a beacon for dreamers around the world to take shots at building their life’s work. Imbued with the spirit of agency, earnestness, and innovation, what characterizes this city most has always been the self-actualizing nature of its people.

However, the city's current social infrastructure falls short in helping us realize not only the truest potential of its people, but also the foundational needs of belonging, emotional resonance, and safety. How much more could we aspire towards, if we built infrastructure to not only meet our basic needs, but also raise the ceiling for our dreams?

Fortunately, we have an opportunity to create more connection and vibrancy for our city.

Today, we are at the precipice of building a multigenerational urban campus for San Francisco to actualize this vision for all of life, not just for the 4 years we were in college. Located in Hayes Valley/Alamo Square, organizations like The Commons, The Neighborhood, and Solaris Society have started to build the social and physical rails to enable thousands of people to play, build, live, and explore in community. Post-COVID shifts in work patterns have catalyzed a reimagining of urban spaces in neighborhoods like Hayes Valley, which blend walkability, safety, and a diverse mix of residential and commercial areas. The old world vision of spending half of the day downtown can finally give way to the real possibility of the 15-minute walkable city where density is made pleasant, one's proximity is vibrant, and social intensity is real. The moment is ripe for us to actively build a neighborhood that mirrors the communal and self-actualizing spirit of our college campuses.

We exist because community spaces are harder to start than traditional commercial spaces, given the long time horizons it takes to nurture true community. Not only should new funding models step in where traditional financing is lacking, but allocation should be shepherded by local community builders who understand the pulse and needs of the border community. In this way, new spaces can be integrated into the larger whole, engendering an overarching social membrane that serves to onboard, guide, and cohere people across the ecosystem.

We hope to be a schelling point at the intersection of capital, people, and place, in service of building a more vibrant, connected, and socially healthy San Francisco. By accomplishing this vision for just one neighborhood, we believe we can reinvigorate new ways of living, playing, working, and thriving for neighborhoods everywhere.

How your contribution will support us

All of our donors in SF will be invited to a welcome party upon our opening – and any amount helps.

If you have questions e-mail us organizers [@] citycampus [dot] com

Please stay in touch through our Twitter, website, and newsletter as well!


Warm Wishes,


Thomas, Patricia, Jason, Adi
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Donations 

  • Anonymous
    • $10 
    • 22 d
  • ali agha
    • $50 
    • 25 d
  • Nyla Worker
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Daniel Posch
    • $400 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous
    • $200 
    • 1 mo
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Organizer

City Campus
Organizer
San Francisco, CA

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