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Building Community Projects With Crowdfunding

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While a lot of buzz surrounds crowdfunded games and gadgets, a growing trend is in the use of crowdfunding to build community oriented projects. After seeing some real life examples, one might wonder why we don't allocate a percentage of tax revenues to a pool, which is then allocated by the public to crowdfund local, state and federal projects -- the ultimate in empowering people to create their own future.

One of the projects which kicked off this community crowdfunding trend, raised $1.4M to build a Nikola Tesla Museum on the land formerly occupied by Tesla's famous Wardenclyffe Tower in Shoreham, New York. But community projects don't all have to be large-raise projects -- many of the smaller ones are making material and positive impacts. Perhaps a small sampler of the many that have occurred or are ongoing will serve as an inspiration to those who have a community need, but are looking for a mechanism to obtain funding. Keep in mind that crowdfunding can offer much more than money -- many projects involve obtaining human capital, especially community-oriented ones. You don't need to fund what other people are willing to help design & build!

Help build Notman House, la maison du web. Montreal, Canada ($121K, campaign ended). This one is in conjunction with government grants and private contributions. Entrepreneurs, if you're listening, check this one out! Currently, Notman House offers “short-term office space for early stage technology Startups, office space for venture investors and entrepreneurial support organizations, a co-working space for freelancers and an event space for Startup and tech community events.”

Yantalo Volunteer House. Yantaló, Peru ($12K, campaign ended). “Building a green, sustainable medical clinic, and providing quality medical services, public health programs and enhanced educational opportunities.”

Bring Back Word Up Community Bookshop. New York, New York ($60K, campaign ended). “Help us bring back a community bookshop and arts space in Washington Heights, NYC. 100% volunteer-powered, community bookshop and arts space in Washington Heights, New York City.”

UBUNTU Community Backpackers. Waterval Boven, South Africa (campaign ends April 26). This one is from the prolific author & researcher, Michael Tellinger, who is also the founder of the Ubuntu political party in South Africa. If you contribute, you can stay at this place on your next adventure. “Building the backpackers and accommodation at the Stone Circle UBUNTU Community Centre -- Connected to the Stone Circle Museum and Adam's Calendar South Africa.”

Building a Bridge for El Zonte. El Zonte, El Salvador (campaign ends April 16). “Help us to raise $14,000 to build a much needed footbridge in a small rural coastal town in El Salvador.”

Maasai School Water Project. Loswira Tanzania (campaign ends April 24). “My goal is to bring the gift of water to a Maasai school and community in Loswira Tanzania using solar and gravity systems from a water tank 2 miles away.”