New online project seeks to create a community of local do-gooders 

click to enlarge Mike Zserdin and Adrian Young poses for a photo at O Bar in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. - GARETT FISBECK
  • Garett Fisbeck
  • Mike Zserdin and Adrian Young poses for a photo at O Bar in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, July 14, 2015.

What if OKC had the power to dream, plan and enact change on its own? This is one of the questions Adrian Young and Michael Zserdin attempt to answer with Made Possible By Us (madepossibleby.us), a new online community platform designed to connect progressive ideas with the means to become reality.

“The general goals are to ignite action — real, tangible action — for social good,” Young said. “We’ll do that by thoughtfully focusing on the ideas that resonate and mean the most to the very population that will help fund making them real.”

When asked about what will separate this project from similar crowdsourcing platforms like Kickstarter and GoFundMe, Young made it very clear that their goals are much different.

“The biggest distinction is that those are tools, the passive technology that allows an outside party, product, service or idea a way to try and get others to fund their need or dream or want,” she explained. “We are building an activation community to do, build, create and make things possible together, with us.”

In order to get that community rolling and building itself, the team set up a simple landing page encouraging visitors to share their ideas for how to improve our city with the hashtag #WhatIfOKC. The responses and shares have been steadily pouring in and piquing interests ever since.

“The breadth of ideas is impressive,” Young said. “We’ve seen ideas focused on homelessness, food insecurity and all-weather play areas for Oklahoma City kids as the most recurring themes.”

These issues and the people pushing them soon will be paired through the site with businesses and financiers that can help coordinate real, actionable plans. Marrying community planning and charitable action to that kind of business and financial sense is nothing new for Young, a former advertising executive and director of Western Avenue Association.

“I’d been conceptualizing a way to harness the power of a strong group and channel it towards community do-good efforts but wasn’t sure how that could work,” she said.

After meeting Zserdin, things began coming together. Described by Young as a serial philanthropist, Zserdin was already nationally respected and recognized for his many altruistic efforts and for running newAnthropy, a more traditional crowdfunding platform for charities and aid programs.

Together, they were able to use the respect and goodwill of their combined experience to develop this new concept in community outreach and start generating the early buzz needed to get ideas flowing in.

Young would clearly love to see this project take off and would even like to help expand it into more cities, but right now, she is confident they are introducing it in the perfect community.

“We know Oklahoma City is the right market to launch in, not only because of our loyalty and OKC roots but because this is the place where new and amazing things are made possible by this tribe of believing, driving, invested people every day,” she said.


Print headline: Make change, A new online project seeks to create a community of local do-gooders.

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