3 reasons why we believe citizens will financially invest in local government projects
Our entire business model hinges on this question: Will citizens financially invest in local government projects? The truth is, we don’t know the answer; but that’s ok, because neither does anyone else as no one has attempted to do what we are doing with Citizinvestor.
We believe that citizens will indeed financially invest in the local government projects they care most about. Here are three reasons why:
- If they don’t, these projects may never happen. Let’s face it, the budget forecast for municipalities across the United States is bleak and looking bleaker each year. With less money to go towards projects that fall outside of essential government services, citizens are being forced to find new ways to get the projects they want built today. Some may argue that the projects municipalities post to Citizinvestor should be paid for by government today. Well, the fact is, government isn’t funding these projects and budgets for these types of projects are deferred year after year. If it’s a project citizens feel passionately enough about, we are confident that they will be willing to rally with their neighbors to microfund the project and bring it to life.
- History suggests that citizens will step up to financially invest in projects they truly care about. The idea that citizens will privately fund certain local government projects they really care about is not a new one. For decades citizens have raised money to save parks, renovate pools and build bridges. Citizinvestor is making this process easier and more scalable than ever before. In the past, most local government projects that would have incited this level of citizen interest were projects that cost millions of dollars and had regional appeal. Citizinvestor will give projects big and small and equal chance of being funded by the crowd.
- We are seeing great success with this model overseas. As we have pointed out on this blog in the past, we are seeing some really interesting and successful case studies of citizens investing in civic projects overseas. The Guardian just published a great article featuring the impact crowdsourcing civic projects is having in communities in the U.K. In it, a local Mayor said of the effect of his citizens crowdfunding a community centre, “It gee’d the community up and they increased their participation when they saw money coming in on the internet…the whole atmosphere on the estate changed when they realised it was going to become a reality. Now the building has started going up and there’s a real buzz.” Another UK resident said of a project to transform a derelict London dock into a river walkway in time for the Olympics “The crowdsourcing platform is a fantastic opportunity to engage people in regeneration and give them ownership of it. Thousands of people can visit a site they have pledged £2 towards and see what they helped build.” We are confident that this model will meet similar success in the U.S. as Americans are given the choice to tell government exactly where to spend their dollars for the first time ever.
But enough about what we think, we want to hear from you! Do you agree or disagree with our premise that, if given the opportunity, citizens will financially invest in the local government projects they care about most?