Issues & AdvocacyFederal
What Kind of Projects Can Crowdfunding Be Used For?
As the design and construction industry struggles to secure financing for building projects, the AIA is launching a Crowdfunding Initiative to promote the financing of projects through small donor contributions and online investment portals.
With an emphasis on projects with an overall cost of approximately $1.8 million and below, crowdfunding is a revenue source still in the early stages of development but that may be very useful to AIA members in the coming years.
To date, donation based crowdfunding has been the most used option for raising revenue for small scale infrastructure projects in several countries. ”I Make Rotterdam” is a great example of a donation based crowdfunding campaign created to address a very specific need within the Dutch city. Looking to build a pedestrian passage to bridge a high density, high traffic area, organizers created an online promotion to raise revenue through hundreds of small-dollar contributors who were motivated by the idea, as well as by the opportunity to get their names inscribed on the wooden planks that form the external trestles of the bridge as a reward for investment.
While the “I Make Rotterdam” campaign is currently still in the fundraising stage, a crowdfunding campaign that has already exceeded expectation is the “Rebuild the Joplin Mosque” campaign in Joplin, Missouri. After a fire destroyed the mosque last August, residents decided to raise funds to not only reconstruct, but to improve the structure for increased community use. With an initial request of $250,000 through small dollar donations, the campaign has far surpassed expectations by rising over $411,000 to date from communities across the country.
These are a just a limited selection of the types of community infrastructure projects that can be financed through the use of crowdfunding. Advocates can develop these campaigns to address the need for community centers, community parks and green spaces as well as public museums and other local improvement opportunities.
The AIA will continue to provide research and supporting materials to allow its members to take advantage of this opportunity where they see fit. This will include social media communications as well as an AIA hosted webinar to be presented in the coming weeks. With a broad range of crowdfunding possibilities currently being developed, this initiative is only just beginning.
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