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  • Writer's pictureNeal Heidt

Would You Like $500? 💸

Custom playground equipment we built in 2021 in Riverton, Wyoming
Custom playground equipment we built in 2021 in Riverton, Wyoming

Hi there, friend!

It's been about 5 years since the seed was first planting in my heart to start what eventually became Heidt and Depth. One of the underlying goals since then has always been: how can we make the work we want to see happen in the world actually happen? You see, working in other architecture firms, I found that I was often working for clients who had money - developers, business owners, etc. - and who were often knowledgeable about the process by which an AEC (architecture, engineering, or construction) project gets completed. However, in my personal life, I was encountering many people who needed the work to be done but had neither of these things, nor did they have professional help. And after 3 years, Heidt and Depth was born to solve these problems, and it did... at first.

While Heidt and Depth could provide design and construction services and educate our clients along the way, the only solution we had for addressing the finances dilemma was to provide discounted or free services. However, we began to realize that this would not always be possible. Thus, the funding problem that prospective clients faced resurfaced.

Learning about a client's needs in 2022 (Photo credit: Jenni Keiter, EMI)
Learning about a client's needs in 2022 (Photo credit: Jenni Keiter, EMI)

In December 2022 at the suggestion of one of our Tiny Office Big Design network colleagues, we decided to begin setting money aside for this purpose. Soon afterward, we learned about the National Christian Foundation's donor-advised funds. While the original goal was to register Heidt and Depth as a nonprofit with 501(c)3 status, we learned that we could achieve the same tax-deductible status for a donation fund while also investing the money, and all without having to jump through all the hoops required to run a nonprofit (more on how this all works here). Win, win, win! The Common Place Fund was officially born!

What does the Common Place Fund do?

The Common Place Fund ("CPF" for short) is a funding outreach of Heidt and Depth. It exists to make placemaking projects more achievable for individuals or organizations on a mission to do good in their community. By assisting in responding to the limitations imposed on them by the built environments – or lack of built environments – around them, we are empowering these people to more effectively live out their purpose and vision. For more information on the nitty gritty of how it works, we have an FAQs page about it.

What funding opportunities are currently available?

In case you missed the hint in the title, we're giving away a $500 grant this December! Details and applications can be found on our CPF webpage:

How would you use $500?

It's time to dream. If you had $500 to make your community a better place, how would you use it? Feel free to dream and be creative. For example, your project could be as simple as painting a room yourself and using the award to buy supplies, or as complex as resolving traffic in your neighborhood or even building a university. Once you've dreamt, send us your dream!

If we like your application, we may also have some creative ideas on how to achieve it if we can’t provide the funding you need.

Ready to start dreaming?

Neal Heidt

Placemaking Strategist | Heidt and Depth


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