OK, by now we have all previously have heard about crowdsourcing for public good, but what about … crowdfunding?
Here is a website that does exactly that – neighbor.ly:
Imagine you have an idea of a project that would make you city better, but there just isn’t enough money! What do you do? You either fight for this idea to get funding in the next municipal budgetary planning cycle where it might both win or lose in its competition with other initiatives or …
you may act yourself and fundraise to make it real! And why not fundraise online?
That’s the mission of neighbor.ly. Municipalities or NGO’s whose mission is related to civic infrastructure can apply to use this website as a platform to find funding for a project that might bring an improvement to the city.
See, for example, this screenshot where people are fundraising to introduce higher speed internet in their area. As you can see there are already 111 donors and more than 10 000$ have been gathered.
An interesting concept which, if successful, might have some deeper consequences!
For example, isn’t it wonderful that people are ready to contribute financial for the public good even after they have already paid their taxes? But … should they? Maybe a better option it would be for people to have more say regarding how their tax money is spent? Would it really be healthy if a municipality or state agency starts to rely on such funding? Would poorer people not get blamed for not contributing enough?
And can such an idea and crowdfunding (for what is perceived to be an obligation of a state agency anyhow) ever work outside US where the taxes are relatively low and there is a deeply-rooted tradition of donating money for charity?