The Toronto Tool Library has raised enough money to stay afloat and keep lending tools to handy Torontonians, the organization announced on Monday.
"We went from surviving to thriving," co-founder Ryan Dyment told CBC Toronto Monday night.
The five-year-old not-for-profit lending service was in danger of closing its doors due to rising Toronto rents and costly permits. Adding to that, the organization said it hasn't been successful when applying for government grants.
The library's co-founders, Dyment and Lawrence Alvarez, launched a crowdfunding campaign recently which has raised over $37,000, surpassing the original goal of $35,000. With 12 days still to go in the 'Keep the Tool Library Alive!' campaign, members are met on Monday night to discuss how to spend the extra money.
We did it! YOU did it! Our Keep the Tool Library Alive campaign surpassed its goal on the wknd! We are truly overwhelmed at the outpouring of support we received.— @TOToolLibrary
THANK YOU 🙌💙
With 12 days left, you can still support the work we do: https://t.co/hBeZ7u6xPi #SharingEconomy pic.twitter.com/H8SxVKUmuu
"We were thrilled and shocked at the same time," Dyment said. " We didn't anticipate it to be such a strong response."
The library allows its members to borrow tools and equipment for construction and craft projects. It also offers workshops to help people learn how to use the tools and fix things around the house.
The service works similarly to an actual library but with a paid membership, which costs between $50 and $100 per year.
The library has loaned over 65,000 items at its three locations across Toronto since it opened back in 2013.
If the money had not been raised, Dyment said they would have had to lay off staff and the library may have had to close.
Dyment credited social media for the outpouring of support. The library's Facebook group has over 11,000 followers.
"We can't afford traditional media slots," he explained. "We rely heavily on social media and it's paid off."
The bulk of the money will go to employee salaries and rent. According to a tweet sent out by the library, any extra money could fund workshops, a marketing campaign and new tools.
The Tool Library & @TheSharingDepot team will be meeting tonight @csiTO to discuss STRECH GOALS for our crowdfund. If we were able to raise more funds, where would you like to see them go?— @TOToolLibrary
Keep sharing & supporting the campaign, we've got 12 days to go! https://t.co/hBeZ7uo8GQ
Dyment said he would be sending out a video in the next few days that will outline some future plans. Renovations will begin on the East York location on Friday afternoon.