Could something like Kickstarter work on a local-scale and be expanded to include civic projects?
Kickstarter is a Web site that offers artists, inventors, designers, writers, filmmakers and other creative sorts a platform to pitch a project and attract pledges from anyone in the world who is impressed and wants to help out by contributing money.
This doesn't sound particularly novel until you hear about the catch--a catch that enlivens this online giving model.
The people who use the Kickstarter to seek funding for their project can only collect the money that other people pledge to them if their project reaches or exceeds its funding goal before time expires. (Funding goals and deadlines are set by the project creators themselves.)
The goals and deadlines give focus and lend intensity to the effort--which, in most cases, is good for both creators and givers. And, for creators, the goals and deadlines also make it possible to test the waters without having to commit to working on an underfunded project or returning money. For givers, they improve odds that contributions won't be wasted.
Anyway, as I said, I wonder if something like Kickstarter could work locally and include civic projects. Projects like creating custom-built benches for a neighborhood pocket park...or writing a guidebook based on local history walking tours...or installing plumbing for a community garden...
Thanks to CEOs For Cities.