Photo credit: Flickr user Kharied.
It's tough work being a local government in the United States these days. Cuts in federal and state grants, stagnant tax bases and diminished borrowing continue to produce budget shortfalls. Scarce funding from traditional sources force communities to under fund, stall or abandon civic projects. That's bad for us all: Those projects improve quality of life for citizens, while creating value and jobs in the process, which in turn helps fund other government activities. The result has been a downward spiral for many of our nation's communities.
At Neighbor.ly, our mission is to help these communities continue to pay for these civic projects by leveraging the power of crowdfunding and other sources. Past funding opportunities have addressed different issues: community-wide wifi access, bike paths, even light rail to improve public transit. By allowing people to pick and support the projects they care about most, we hope to help people continue to improve their lives by improving their places.
Today we are moving a step closer to that goal because of a $175,000 grant from Knight Foundation. It’s fitting that we are announcing this while attending the Points of Light CivicX accelerator. As we plan the future of Neighbor.ly, we are learning from some of the best and brightest minds in civic technology, working out the most effective ways to help fund civic projects. We're shoulder to shoulder with seven other extraordinary civic tech startups, all of which share our vision of doing well by doing good.