SOUP is a grassroots micro-funding model. It supports creative community projects through shared meals.
How it works
People come together to share a meal, donating something like £5 per person on arrival. The money raised on the door is given to a local creative project. Project proposals are made in advance and a number are selected to make short pitches at the event. Everyone who comes along gets one vote to determine whic project receives the fund.
The collaborative magic of SOUP can only be experienced by being there. It’s not all about the money. That gets people in a room together. Then all sorts of connections, offers and exchanges can be made. Often these might actually be more useful to a project than cash. Though one project walks away with funding, SOUP co-founder Amy Kaherl explains: “SOUP isn’t about winners or losers, that’s just our capitalist way of making sense of it. All projects get what they need.”
In 2010 a group of artists in Detroit experimented with an idea to support community-based activities through crowdfunding, creativity, collaboration, democracy, trust and fun. They shared the idea with the world in a step-by-step guide to starting a SOUP. Over 15,000 people have attended SOUP dinners in Detroit since 2010. The Detroit SOUP website is jam packed with information and now even podcast episodes.
Starting SOUP in Dudley
Dudley SOUP has been catalysed through CoLab Dudley. An open call for SOUP team members was made through CoLab Dudley in March 2016 and in April 2016 a group of brilliant people formed a Dudley SOUP team within 2 hours!