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Civic Crowdfunding Looks to Bigger Projects with Phased Campaigns

BY Sam Roudman | Wednesday, March 5 2014

Civic crowdfunding dreamed big but started small. The platform Neighbor.ly grabbed attention for a 2012 campaign to help fund a multi-million dollar rail car in Kansas City, but only raised $3,775 of its $10 million goal. The early campaigns of both Neighbor.ly and Citizinvestor that were actually successful reached for modest goals, usually less than $15,000. A look at the campaign pages of either platform today shows larger projects, in the tens or hundreds of thousands, creeping in as well. Civic crowdfunding is growing. To facilitate and attract more large projects Citizinvestor this week announced a plan to crowdfund projects in phases. Read More

First POST: NewCo News

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, November 18 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: More details on Pierre Omidyar and Glenn Greenwald's still unnamed NewCo investigative journalism site; one bankrupt Rhode Island town is trying crowdfunding for its parks; and the best reading from last week's 'book surge' break that you might have missed. Read More

Citizinvestor Reframes its Civic Crowdfunding Strategy

BY Sam Roudman | Thursday, September 5 2013

Citizinvestor's reframed attempt to gather public ideas

Civic engagement isn’t just about soliciting responses from citizens, it’s about framing them: the better the frame, the greater the response. It can be a subtle lesson, but it is one that recently led civic crowdfunding platform Citizinvestor to alter the way in which it solicits potential projects from the public. Apparently, people are more apt to say they like an idea than to sign their names to a petition. Read More

Some Cities Hope Crowdfunding Will Help Them Stop Sweating the Small Stuff

BY Sam Roudman | Monday, December 10 2012

As crowdfunding platforms finish their first experiments, some best practices begin to sprout. Photo: Alex Indigo / Flickr

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Crowdfunding platforms in some cities are far enough along that officials there are starting to see when they do and don't work. Here are experiments that seek to fund civic projects through small online donations, and when are or aren't successful. Read More

In Philadelphia, an Experiment in Funding Civic Projects

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, September 13 2012

Photo Illustration: Citizinvestor

Sadly, money does not grow on trees. But a new Kickstarter-style platform's first project is based on the idea that maybe the reverse can be true.

Citizinvestor, a platform to crowdfund civic projects, officially launched Wednesday in Philadelphia with its first project: TreePhilly, a campaign led by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation in partnership with Wells Fargo and Fairmount Park Conservancy, to plant trees throughout the city. The project partners are asking the good people of Philadelphia to put up $12,875 towards the idea in the next 59 days. So far 18 backers have given a total of $555.

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D.C. Staff Moves: Jordan Raynor Leaves Engage

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 12 2012

Today is Jordan Raynor's last day at the right-leaning digital communications firm Engage, he announced in an email to friends. Raynor is leaving digital politics to join LifeSync, a technology product shop in Tampa, Fla. He's also working on his own venture, Citizinvestor, an as-yet-unlaunched platform for crowdsourcing citizen donations to specific projects. Citizinvestor is a finalist in Code for America's Civic Accelerator program. Read More