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Crowdfunding Civic Projects — Interest Groups Playground or a Cost Cutting Solution?
Did you ever have something that you wanted done in your community -- but your elected leaders wouldn’t pay attention or kept saying that they don’t have the money. What if you could have like minded people come together to help fund those projects. The idea -- the crowdfunding of civic projects -- has some people interested. There are still many questions, but some are looking at it. Neighbor.ly creator and CEO Jase Wilson told Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program how it works. The Neighbor.ly model is not just for individuals to help pay for civic projects, but it also allows corporations to participate. "For this to work there has to be another level of commitment. We have a success and a failure trigger. Money sits in an escrow account until a project is approved by the government. If it's not approved the money goes back to the original investors," said Boly. Here's a video on one of Neighbor.ly's project: The Kansas City Street Car. Neighbor.ly is only a few weeks old. But Boly hopes the site will be able to work alongside the government for a long time. The Mayor of Kansas City is on board with Neighbor.ly. He told the Huffington Post, "I can only imagine that other municipal leaders throughout this country will take his lead on backing programs like this as it is abundantly clear that federal dollars and the political climate in Washington, D.C. aren't getting any better. Cities across the country are having big budget problems. They are facing skyrocketing interest rates on money they borrow to pay for new amenities. This makes new projects and amenities less and less likely. However, these are the very projects that raise a tax base, create jobs, and lead to economic growth and development. This is one reason why civic crowdfunding is the next big thing. I don't see any elected official being against a private entity raising money as basically a down payment on new infrastructure that elevates civic pride and builds a better community." If you want to know more about how the financials work at Neighbor.ly click here. But we want to know what you think. Is CivicFunding the savior for local governments? Or is it a way for special interest groups to get their projects passed?