Our society is currently facing a democratic crisis reflected in a strong abstention from recent elections as well as a progression of individualism, wherein sometimes even the social link is monetized. In light of this, it seems urgent to move away from the model of permanent competition and turn to more cooperation. Solutions exist to improve people’s lives and to respond to the great societal challenges of our time. Following the principle of “think global, act local,” “co-citizens” organize themselves and invite us to rethink our way of living together. For us, the expression “co-citizens” represents the collective spirit found in these groups of individuals acting for sustainable, inclusive, and lively cities. Dispersed and sometimes barely visible, these local initiatives are multiplying and waiting to be reinforced and unified to begin a democratic, ecological, and human transition.
Co-city was founded to support those who take action on a daily basis while inviting everyone to participate at their own levels and according to their own abilities. We advocate individual and collective participation of inhabitants in their neighborhoods and in the decisions concerning them. Aware of the territorial disparities and the different digital and social fractures, the accompaniment is of the utmost importance. This is the challenge we face in adapting our tools to the specificities of each location and experimenting new forms of citizen participation, combining local events and the use of digital technology. Our community facilitates citizens’ empowerment and accompanies project leaders; our civic crowdfunding platform ensures the feasibility of co-citizens’ initiatives while making the best use of local dynamics. While primarily independent, we are also working with sub-national governments that launch participative democracy mechanisms. In this context, we ensure, with a critical and benevolent view, that the general interest is not overtaken by special interest groups.
Refusing fatalism and cynicism, we seek to engage alongside other citizen movements, local residents, and associations. We are not alone. Let’s build more sustainable and inclusive cities together!
Goteo is a platform for civic crowdfunding and collaboration on citizen initiatives and social, cultural, technological and educational projects. Goteo has replicas and alliances in several countries, thanks to its open source code as well as the awards and international recognition it has gathered since 2011. It is a tool for generating resources ‘drop by drop’ for a community of communities consisting of over 65,000 people, with a funding success rate over 70%.
What do we want? A more ethical and collaborative Internet where citizens take an active role in improving and advancing their communities in economic, environmental, educational, political, social and / or cultural terms, through cooperative processes. A society where value is protected and the recognition of common goods, guarantors of fundamental rights is expanded.
What do we offer? We design and create open source tools, both technological and methodological, that promote transparency, open knowledge and free access to information, in order to help create more collaborative and ethical networks. We transfer the values of civil society to the institutional sphere, participating and contributing to the development and adaptation of public policies so that institutions understand their importance, facilitate and encourage self-organization and citizen participation.
Voor je Buurt is the first crowdfunding and crowdsourcing website for civic projects in The Netherlands. Using Voor je Buurt’s platforms, citizens, communities, social entrepreneurs and NGO’s can fund local projects with a social impact. Think of projects like local festivals, community centers and temporary use of public space. As one of the first civic crowdfunding organizations worldwide we prove crowdfunding for local civic projects to be successful. We are the fourth largest civic crowdfunding platform in the world. We enable and coach civic projects in their crowdfunding campaign and cooperate with local governments, charity funds and companies.
Money, Volunteers, Materials and Support
Thanks to Voor je Buurt, initiators can raise funds by use of their entrepreneurial and networking skills. Crowdfunding is not just an online tool to raise money, volunteers and materials, but also a way to build a community around a project. Contributing to a project results in shared ownership of the project, and we notice that financial supporters often stay involved. As such, the process of crowdfunding makes transparent what happens on a local level, whether there is support for new ideas, and what funding sources are possible.
Changing role of Local Governments
Civic crowdfunding can radically change the relationship between local governments and civic initiatives. The municipality no longer functions as a gatekeeper who decides whether an initiative gets permission and funding, but, instead, citizens take matters into their own hands. Municipalities take up the role of an equal partner who can cooperate to realize an initiative. Local governments increasingly hand over tasks and responsibilities to civil society. Voor je Buurt anticipates on this development. We cooperate with local governments, charity funds and companies to take up an active role in civic crowdfunding. For example by training citizens and professionals in civic crowdfunding, starting a local of thematic platform or by becoming a matchfunder. Matchfunding is an alternative way to distribute subsidies for social projects by contributing to crowdfunding campaigns. This way municipalities can strategically change their funding instruments to stimulate civic projects to use crowdfunding.
What is Spacehive? How does it work?
Spacehive is a funding platform for projects that make local places better: from sprucing up a local park, or holding a community festival, to reviving a disused building. We enable project creators to attract funding from local people, companies and councils via the same platform.
What’s a local project? Is my idea eligible?Spacehive is for creating or improving places used by the community. It doesn’t matter who owns the land or building – the key thing is that it’s not just you that benefits from the project.
What is all-or-nothing funding?Spacehive has an all–or–nothing funding model, which means that if you don’t hit your target none of the pledges are collected. This can seem daunting but it works – our projects have an unrivalled average success rate of 49%.
What are the fees?
We add a 5% fee to the amount projects need to raise which we collect if, and only if, they hit their target. Our fee pays for us to build and maintain our platform, support our project creators and backers, and integrate funding streams that help our projects to succeed.
Patronicity brings together local citizens and sponsors to support great initiatives in their communities, eliminates cost inefficiencies and improves the granting process by creating a transparent model that is easy to understand and use.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is partnering with Patronicity to revolutionize the way grants are applied for, evaluated and approved. Through the Public Spaces Community Places grant, projects that qualify receive matching dollars to those crowdfunded.
MassDevelopment has launched it’s Commonwealth Places program & the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority has launched the CreatINg Places program to drive and strengthen community and economic development through activating new or distressed public spaces.
La Ruche (Quebec)
La Ruche is a non-profit organisation and its mission is to encourage the emergence of projects stimulating the influence and vitality of a given area. Through its proximity crowdfunding platform, La Ruche actively contributes to the development of new projects in the province of Quebec.
What is crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is a type of funding that allows a project to come to life with the support of a community by gathering a substantial number of financial contributions, no matter how small taken individually.
On top of the personal satisfaction contributors get from this experience, they can receive perks offered by promoters (exclusive products, special offers, discounts, etc.) depending on the nature of the project and the size of the contribution.
La Ruche is innovative through its non-profit organisation structure, the personalised guidance provided and the concept of regional proximity it promotes.
Cells and our SM40 Ambassadors
La Ruche assists your crowdfunding project and counts on the support of a group of SM40 Ambassadors in each area who act as advisors during Cells. They share their expertise and improve your campaign.
Social impact crowdfunding is a growing sector in Belgium. The two major players are currently Growfunding and SoCrowd. Both of these platforms share the same vision:
Social crowdfunding uses participative finance or crowdfunding as a means of bringing about social change. Social crowdfunding means that resources and funding find their way to projects with a positive impact on our society. The crowd is thus mobilised to participate in projects which each offer an answer, in their own way, to contemporary social challenges.
Reward-based through Growfunding
Growfunding is reward-based crowdfunding. In exchange for a contribution you receive an original reward, which involves you in the project in one way or another. Project owners can use the platform to achieve a wide range of objectives. So Growfunding is much more than a financial instrument. It is also…
A networking instrument
As a project owner you not only involve your own supporters, you tap into new networks too. When launching a project through Growfunding, you invite people in your environment and society as a whole to participate. As you develop your campaign, you learn how to target new contacts and organisations at various levels and in different fields.
A participation-based approach
Informing people about your project is a must, and actively involving them in it is even better. It is that additional dimension that Growfunding promotes. Using rewards is vital to raise support. Growfunding helps the project owners devise original rewards, which can bring together growfunders and project owners. That is how growfunders become participants.
A learning process
Launching a Growfunding project involves a fair amount of work. That is why people with an inspiring plan can rely on custom support.
- How to communicate about your project and raise support for it?
- How to target the right people?
- How to activate social networks?
- How to actively involve other people in the implementation of your project?
- Which rewards can you use?
- How to create an online video about your project?
- Project owners and candidate project owners can participate for free in two interactive workshops which discuss all this and moreA positive image of Brussels and the surrounding region
Every Growfunding project is an inspiring story, of people who live in Brussels who are committed to their city and who invite everyone to participate. Growfunding explicitly wants to send out a positive message of Brussels as a creative, social and entrepreneurial city, to the public, to opinion-makers and various Belgian policy-makers on all the government levels. As a communication platform, Growfunding reinforces these messages through various channels.