BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, September 13 2012
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.Read More
BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, July 31 2012
The idea of public-private partnerships to fund projects like parks or public transit has been on the upswing. In New York City, for example, non-profits work with the city to fund programming in three major parks, and a public-private partnership allowed the city to fund the construction of its now-famous High Line park on an old elevated rail spur. A team hoping to pitch the city's Metropolitan Transportation Authority on turning an unused section of its underground subway network into another park raised initial funding on Kickstarter.
That last success, and others like it, have spurred several entrepreneurs to develop Kickstarter-like websites devoted specifically to funding civic projects. They're not the only ones looking online to renegotiate the relationship between cities and citizens — over the past year, a piece of software called ChangeByUs has evolved over time into a platform for cities to help introduce citizens to one another in the hopes that they'll organize around smaller-scale projects — but they're certainly among the most ambitious.Read More
BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, April 16 2012
The Occupied Wall Street Journal is one of the more political examples of a project that can get off the ground thanks to Kickstarter, but it's clear that this platform and others like it are becoming a more and more viable option for creative work that doesn't exactly belong in the mainstream. On a Personal Democracy Plus conference call with Micah Sifry, Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler described what's new with his platform and how others can use it to raise money for their projects. A recording of the April 13 call is available here for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers. Read More
BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, April 10 2012
I've given to projects listed on Kickstarter ten times, according to my giving profile on the site. And every time I do, I marvel at how it all just seems to work. The platform has clearly found a sweet spot for ... Read More
BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, March 27 2012
Two tech-savvy New Yorkers turned to Kickstarter to raise $100,000 in one week for a hi-tech plan to turn an unused trolley terminal in New York's Lower East Side into an underground park. The pair turned to Kickstarter to raise money for a mock-up installation that would help them refine the technology they'd need and to demonstrate how it would work. "What we found was, people really responded very quickly," co-founder Dan Barasch said. "Hitting that in a week is an accomplishment." Read More
BY Nick Judd | Monday, September 12 2011
For years, many Internet activists have gone online to counter the influence of real-world lobbyists. Soon, though, they may go online to hire their own lobbying muscle instead. A coming website, YouLobby, is expected to ... Read More