Dreaming Big with Dream Cream

Jan 19

Today, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Dream Cream will unveil its first annual “I Have A Dream Day of Service” at the Hill House in Pittsburgh. At the event, the launch of the Dreamer Foundation, which will allow further fundraising efforts, will be announced. Dreamers are invited to talk about their plans for the money they raised through Dream Cream. Local participants include the YMCA, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and Gtech.

Support Pittsburgh dreamers by attending the 3 p.m event!

In 2012, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership partnered with the mayor’s office of the City of Pittsburgh to launch Project Pop-Up, a program aimed at revitalizing downtown neighborhoods by filling empty storefronts. This gave Thomas Jamison the chance to revive an abandoned camera storefront on Liberty Avenue two blocks from Market Square and turn it into Dream Cream Ice Cream–a gourmet ice cream parlor that uses ice cream to fundraise. With the help of early seed loans from Kiva, Dream Cream was up and running.

Jamison created a new grassroots cause marketing model that marries ice cream and fundraising to help support charitable efforts. Dreamers–people looking to fundraise through Dream Cream–sign up for an ice cream flavor. Throughout the month, they volunteer by scooping ice cream, and at the end of the month, they get a portion of their flavor’s ice cream sales.

Over the last two years Dream Cream has helped over 80 individuals and organizations make their dreams come true, raising nearly $60,000 for churches to fix roofs, nonprofits to host fundraisers, and parents to adopt children.

Technology is important to the project. At first Dream Cream’s online presence was via social media only, with no website. Facebook posts listed hours and contact information. Twitter was used to make announcements and drive sales via promotions and shoutouts to supporters.

Fireman Creative–which loves to dream big–was hired to create a website as innovative and approachable as Jamison’s dream team itself. The website includes profiles of dreamers, a super sonic flavor builder, and a bright, playful graphic language that includes a custom vectorized font set. Vector graphics are fully scaleable and won’t pixelate regardless of screen resolution. Dream Cream truly has a dream site.

Coming soon, Dream Cream will become a Kiva Trustee to help its dreamers fund new opportunities. For the technology community, Dream Cream may be a great funding and marketing engine for area startups, especially ones with social entrepreneurship at their roots.

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