On June 25th, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced a new crowdfunding initiative which allows local communities and non-profits to access state funding for public space projects. The program – Public Spaces and Community Places, was developed in conjunction with the League and Patronicity, a locally-focused online platform for crowdfunding based in Detroit. Communities can apply to get a matching grant of 100%, up Katharine Czarneckito $100,000, for projects such as parks, a public plaza, alley reconstruction, trails, streetscape, etc. The grant is awarded if the community is able to raise the amount needed through a  reward-based crowdfunding campaign on Patronicity. Reward-based crowdfunding means these are donations from individuals who support the project and are willing to personally contribute to see it succeed. Communities apply with the details of their project, and a review committee determines if it meets the eligible criteria (which will be released on July 9th when the application process goes live). Once they are approved, the crowdfunding campaign begins! Applications are rolling but the individual crowdfunding campaigns run only between 30-90 days. This is a truly exciting opportunity for placemaking around Michigan and we’re excited to see what projects are able to come to fruition with this funding from MEDC! Katharine Czarnecki, Director, Community Development for MEDC, talks about why they created this program and what they hope to see as the outcome.

Katharine Czarnecki of MEDC talks about One of a Kind Crowdfunding Matching Grant for Placemaking Projects