In 2020, GatherBoard was awarded an innovation grant. The Montana Innovation Grant is awarded to companies to “improve capabilities or drive expanded distribution of products or services developed in response to COVID-19.”
We asked ourselves, how can we continue to facilitate connection between people, even when we are unable to meet in person? How can we support all the businesses that have had to move their events from in person to online? We saw local musicians, comedians, fitness and art instructors, among others, offering virtual performances and instruction, and we asked ourselves, how can we promote all these events on one local, easy to find, site?
The Big Idea
Our big idea was to develop a new set of features that will allow users to monetize virtual events, with an optional donation pay-window and streaming window. With this new set of features, people can post their events and set up a donation paywall within their local community event calendar platform.
We expect that this innovation, by helping people to stay connected online, will significantly affect the mental health of so many people who are unable to be together physically. It will also help local businesses to promote and make money with their online events, like they would if it were in person. With so many people struggling through this difficult time, this innovation could be a game-changer for all GatherBoard community calendars and their communities.
A new set of features within the GatherBoard platform allowing anyone posting an event to collect donations for their live stream and/or pre-recorded events.
The CheddarBoard module will allow community members to donate to these participating events and save them for viewing at a later date. It will also include enhanced search opportunities to find, save, and view live stream and pre-recorded events from GatherBoard calendars.
CheddarBoard will bring in live and pre-recorded streams from YouTube, YouTube Live, FaceBook live, ZOOM, Twitch and Vimeo. A vast majority of each donation will go to the event creators, with a small processing fee, which can be covered by the donor. Payment options will eventually include Stripe, bank account, Venmo, PayPal, GooglePay, ApplePay.
Imagine a weekend of events in your CheddarBoard playlist, some upcoming live streams, and some pre-recorded from the past that you missed. You’re going to have a weekend with Pilates, a few comedy shows, a home printmaking class, a live wine tasting, an eye-brow waxing clinic and then a few couch concerts, and finally a wildlife documentary with a live panel discussion, and then an art gallery tour. Whew! You have a fun-filled weekend, while supporting locally-created the events by donating to each one.
“Cheddar” is a slang word for money, like dough, butter, or bucks. The use of “Board” is a from our company “GatherBoard.” Each site is an electronic event “board” for the community using it, and “CheddarBoard” is the donation and live stream module within their GatherBoard site.
Cheddar’s connection to money comes from the use of “Government Cheese” during the great recession. Now, in 2020, during the recession from the Covid-19 pandemic, we are receiving Covid related stimulus dollars, i.e. a present-day gift of government cheese to GatherBoard, helping spread the ched across Missoula, and all GatherBoard communities.
And really, every good cheese board has multiple options to choose from, and our CheddarBoard will offer multiple donation options and streaming opportunities.
Finally, Molly is from Wisconsin, and a proud cheesehead, so that’s endearing.
We’re turning our “government cheese” into a way for you to throw some cheddar to your community.