Joint Effort Between the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority and Patronicity Allows Hoosiers to Help Select and Fund Placemaking Projects in Their Communities
Are you interested in creating vibrant places in your community? If you are, please let me introduce you to Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s (IHCDA) new funding program, CreatINg Places.
CreatINg Places is a collaboration between the IHCDA and Detroit-based Patronicity that uses crowdgranting to aid in funding projects that help foster “love of place” all over Indiana. These acts of placemaking (projects that help foster places in which people want to live, work, and play) are a vital part of a neighborhood, town, or city’s cultural identity. And even though vibrant places draw residents and tourists, which helps bring money in for local businesses, it is often difficult to find the funds for creating these types of places. That’s where crowdgranting and CreatINg Places can help.
Patronicity’s definition of crowdgranting is “the process of activating a project by connecting a large group of people and their dollars (the crowd), with a sponsor’s matching funds (the grant), during a limited time fundraising effort.” Basically it’s a combination of crowdfunding and matching grants. In Michigan, that sponsor is the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which has provided matching grants for placemaking projects funded through Patronicity. Here in Indiana, through CreatINg Places, it is IHCDA that will provide financial support for projects that help activate unused or underutilized public spaces.
While there are other available funding and grant programs for placemaking, what makes CreatINg Places innovative is how it brings community members into the process. Projects are only funded if they capture the imagination of people who care enough to play an active role in seeing them come to fruition. Donors, whether they be local residents and businesses, or simply people who love the project or community enough to contribute, gain a sense of ownership in what they’ve helped make possible.
Hopefully the idea of engaging residents to play a role in placemaking within your community is as exciting to you as it is to us. If you’re uncertain about jumping into the world of internet-based crowdfunding, I certainly understand. For many communities, this might be a departure from how you’ve traditionally funded improvement projects. Nor should one think that crowdfunding is an effortless source of money. Depending on the project and community, it can be difficult to maintain interest and momentum for the duration of the fundraising.
This is where the matching grant from IHCDA helps. Because donors know that their efforts will go twice as far, lofty fundraising goals can suddenly become attainable. By taking this different approach to fundraising than traditional campaigns, project developers can tap into a wider variety of community support and foster a greater sense that their input is valued. Through their financial contribution, donors get to play a role in their own community’s development. This leads to a greater sense of enthusiasm and empowerment and usually leads to residents becoming more engaged in other aspects of their community.
For those who are interested in using CreatINg Places to help meet their funding needs, Patronicity provides personal coaching for each project. From the application process, through the crowdfunding campaign, and continuing after the financial goal is achieved, we here at Patronicity are here to help. The aid we’ve provided to projects in Michigan, where Patronicity first began, has helped achieve an outstanding success rate of over 98%. In our first two years, we have helped fund over 80 projects around Michigan, including pocket parks, bike trails, community centers, murals, playgrounds, and many other amazing community efforts. As Patronicity’s Director of Indiana Operations It is my hope that CreatINg Places will help fund just as many amazing projects that continue to make Indiana a vibrant place in which to work, live, and play!
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or if you’d like to discuss a project idea for your community. You can reach me at (847) 942-0483 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Veronica Watson
Here are the criteria for CreatINg Places, which you can read more about here.
- CreatINg Places funds projects that activate unused or underutilized public spaces.
- Projects must be located in Indiana communities or neighborhoods that contain a traditional downtown or traditional neighborhood commercial node.
- Local units of government and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply.
- Projects can crowdfund for between $5,000 and $50,000 on Patronicity.com.
- IHCDA will provide matching grant funds for between $5,000 and $50,000 only if projects meet their crowdfunding goals.
- Projects have between 30 and 60 days to reach their goals.
- Once a campaign is successful and IHCDA provide the matching grant funds, projects must be completed within one year.
- Projects with development costs over $100,000 must have all other necessary funding committed before crowdfunding on Patronicity.com. This program is meant to be gap funding for larger projects.
- Any one person or entity may donate up to $10,000 or 35% of the total crowdfunding goal, whichever is lesser.
- To apply, projects craft a crowdfunding profile at through the CreatINg Places portal. Once a profile is started, project creators will be contacted by Patronicity to talk more about their project.