Philadelphia Experiments with Crowdfunding Platform

The Kickstarter-like program for civic projects allows individuals to contribute with their wallets.

by / September 13, 2012

Philadelphia citizens who are passionate about civic projects now have a way to show their support — with their wallets. Philly is trying out a crowdfunding platform called Citizinvestor, which allows people to donate money to efforts that benefit and improve the community.

Individuals sign into the Citizinvestor site and pledge an amount to help meet a project’s fundraising goals. Fully approved projects are submitted to the Citizinvestor site and the public can choose what projects matter the most to them by donating. Once the goal is achieved, the money is released to the appropriate party.

The first project to use the platform is the TreePhilly Fall Planting Campaign. The campaign hopes to make 500 more trees available for the city’s Fall TreePhilly Giveaway.

“Crowdfunding is an innovative way for individuals to directly fund civic projects,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter, in a statement released Thursday, Sept. 13.  “By piloting the Citizinvestor crowdfunding platform, we are encouraging public-private partnerships to achieve community goals and civic participation in City governance.”

Citizinvestor is a startup created to overcome government budget constraints by embracing crowdsourcing tactics. The civic-based Kickstarter-like concept is taking root nationwide. Kansas City civic projects are using a similar service called

Philadelphia will add additional projects to Citizinvestor in the coming weeks, according to a press release. The city will evaluate the crowdfunding platform over a four-month trial period.