Joy Randels, CEO, Citizinvestor
We empower citizens to invest in their community and create real change.
In 2012 when money for civic projects became constrained, many were placed on hold due to a lack of funding and we were personally impacted in our neighborhoods. As we explored the problem, we discovered that if given the opportunity, citizens would propose, and even be willing to pay above what they already pay in taxes, to see projects they care about come to life now, not 10 years later when the city might have the budget.
The list of projects like renovating neighborhood pools, building new parks and constructing playgrounds, libraries, or educational and cultural programs are nearly endless in every municipality. Because government doesn’t always know what citizens want, we also provide tools for citizens to propose ideas for projects and programs they want to see in their communities.
“Citizinvestors” believe in their community and they want to contribute. Since we began we have seen thousands of citizens around the world come together turning vacant lots and dangerous eyesores into playgrounds, youth centers, or community gardens. Citizens pledge to donate, tax-deductibly, to the projects they care about most and once the project reaches 100% of its funding goal, the project is built!
While we would love to take full credit for inventing this form of civic engagement, crowdfunding of public projects in the United States can be traced as far back as 1884 to the Statue of Liberty.
Today we are witnessing the rise of the micro-philanthropist and crowdfunding platforms are empowering average people with five or ten dollars can be modern-day Carnegies and Rockefellers and build things they feel most passionate about. We are witnessing the democratization of philanthropy and we are proud to be the catalyst for that movement.
If we are willing to invest our money, our time and our ideas, we, the crowd, can build a better Tampa Bay together. We can build the next great American and Global cities and truly change the world. We hope you will join us.