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The Rise of Crowdfunding for Civic Projects

Crowdfunding has, for the most part, been associated with raising private entrepreneurial funds. However, crowdfunding can also be useful to invest in civic projects, and it has been gaining traction and demonstrating tremendous success.

Rodrigo Davies, a researcher with MIT's Center for Civic Media, has been tracking civic crowdfunding here in the U.S. and around the world. Davies focused on seven crowdfunding platforms and identified 1,224 civic campaigns between 2010 and March 2014. In total, the platforms raised $10.74 million. While these projects are quite small in size, they are successful in meeting their civic goals compared to other non-civic categories. For example, projects labeled "civic" on Kickstarter were fully funded at 81% of the time.

Davies finds that greenspaces were the most common civic projects, usually found in major cities, such as New York, San Francisco, and London. However, that trend might shift towards both smaller communities and more brick and mortar projects instead of gardens and parks. Civic crowdfunding has demonstrated its success, and it will surely cover more ground as more participants identify the success that comes from this type of crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding also takes the burden off government officials to find money for these civic projects, which can be never-ending. Crowdfunding allows citizens to initiate project ideas, but the government should also take an initiative in facilitating citizens raise funds. Ultimately, both parties should work hand in hand to allow the success of civic crowdfunding to flourish.

Click to Learn more about MIT's Center for Civic Media

At Patch of Land, we are all about growing wealth and building communities. Our projects focus on improving neighborhoods, not just the properties of the neighborhoods. What do you think about civic crowdfunding? Let us know your thoughts!

If you want to learn more, take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions we receive about real estate crowdfunding on a daily basis and find out why so many people are crowdfunding real estate projects across the country with Patch of Land.
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