Following the Kickstarter’s success in funding creative projects, a number of civic crowdfunding platforms has been launched in order to help people invest in places and civic projects they care about. These platforms take the current trend of crowdfunding and apply it to community-centric projects helping cities to “kickstart” urban innovation.
Matthew Hall from Neighborland.com outlines the trend:
Crowdfunding gives people the opportunity to decide the terms of their civic involvement. They can choose to support projects they like and this gives them a greater connection with their city and its future. Civic crowdfunding is an opportunity to engage more people in these processes and open up more financial resources so that more projects can be funded, not all but more.
Although securing funding for projects civic or otherwise is still difficult, crowdfunding sites can offer an alternative to the standard gridlock of funding public projects. Currently if an individual or nonprofit wants to get their project funded they have to raise the money through their connections. Putting their projects online gives them a better chance of reaching beyond the resources they personally know. Plus, sites that are dedicated to funding civic projects will attract people who are interested in those types of projects creating a multiplier where more projects bring in more people to fund them, whereas searching for grants and offline donations does not have quite the same effect.
Spacehive is the world’s first funding platform for neighbourhood improvement projects. For people with inspiring project ideas, Spacehive allows you to pitch for support and funding from your community. For everyone else it’s a refreshingly easy way to transform where you live: just find a project you like and pledge funding. If it gets funded, it gets built!
Spacehive is for …
- Local people to share brilliant project ideas – like creating relaxing green spaces, shiny new sports facilities, or giving the high street a makeover.
- Design professionals to pitch project ideas direct to the community.
- Public bodies ready to try a smarter way of funding capital neighbourhood improvements that puts communities in the driving seat.
- Businesses and brands looking for a powerful way of investing in communities that leaves a tangible legacy.
Neighbor.ly provides a unique opportunity for local governments, civic organizations, and civic ventures to obtain funding for civic-natured projects. It aspires to help people invest in places and civic projects they care about, help cities greenlight tough projects and save money on capital. While there’s not yet any hard & fast rules defining who cannot list projects on Neighbor.ly, the following types of entity are almost certain to qualify:
- Constitutionally chartered municipalities
- County and metro-conglomerate government entities
- Public / private partnerships
- Institutions, private, or non-profit organizations whose mission caters primarily to civic infrastructure (e.g. bike share startups)
ioby brings environmental projects to life, block by block. It is an environmental nonprofit organization which mission is to deepen civic engagement in cities by connecting individuals directly to community-led, neighbor-funded environmental projects in their neighborhoods. It do this primarily through our web-based crowd-resourcing platform.
Citizinvestor allows citizens to invest in the local government projects they care about most. Here’s how it works:
Local governments submit pre-approved projects to citizinvestor.com. The cost of these projects have already been set and department approved, the only thing lacking is funding. Citizens then find the projects they care about most and pledge to financially invest in those projects. Once a project is 100% pledged, the project is built! Citizens don’t pay a dime unless the project is fully funded. This ensures that there’s no risk to the participating governments or citizens.
While municipalities are the only users who can post projects to the site that raise actual dollars, we are giving citizens a platform to “petition” their governments for projects they want to see built. Once a petition reaches a certain threshold, we will work with the person who started the petition to bring it to city hall and hopefully get the petition turned into a Citizinvestor project.
Patronhood is a crowdfunding platform for location-based projects. People anywhere who need funding for a work like a park, playground, garden, community center, public art, private enterprise, or even just a tree planter, can submit their project to Patronhood and leverage their neighbors and other “patrons” for funding.
- Can Civic Crowdfunding Kickstart Urban Innovation?
- Luminopolis launches Neighbor.ly to crowdfund civic projects
- Brickstarter – A platform to turn possibilities into proposals into projects