Crowded House

Crowdfunding Definition

Crowdfunding has been in existence since the dawn of organized commerce, but it has recently made a comeback in a big way. By definition, crowdfunding is the pooling of small contributions of funds from a group of people for the purpose of making something larger happen.

Seen as one of the most innovative financial instruments of the past 5 years to  make ideas small to large come to life, it is still relatively unknown to most. Think of it as venture capitalism meets angel investors, except using everyday folks. Since the act of regular people buying stock in a startup company is next to impossible, and with small/startup business lenders holding back the reins on funds, an intervention of sorts has taken place.

Unconventional lending is the best the best way to describe it. Banks think in traditional black and white terms, but reality often operates differently – especially here in 2013. Crowdfunding offers a chance for good ideas that don’t fit “traditional” standards to break through and attract cash through the wisdom of the crowd.

I have been flirting with how to make my idea of renovating a home in a blighted neighborhood economically feasible. Practices of redlining, blacklisting, and other dirty words have removed most investment from our older neighborhoods. Those older neighborhoods, typically at the core of our cities have a significant upside to them, if only the money can get there.

Here are a few Crowdfunding sites with some really cool ideas!

A couple of years ago , I completed the renovation of a foreclosed home in Dallas. I took it down to the studs and the concrete subflooring in some parts, and had to redo what hadn’t lasted the test of time. This was a home built in 1983 by the way…

It was a standard conventional purchase because I was going to be living there while fixing some things while I went along. Financing the remodel came at the expense of some credit cards but was manageable. It needed the work, I put modern touches on it, it turned out really well, and I moved on.

It made one of the worst homes on the block instantly one of the nicer. Some big-box stores made some profits, credit cards received interest payments, and I had some cuts, dents, and dings, but came out better than before. Not that it was easy by any stretch of the imagination, however, it is a lot easier than buying a home in an area without the support system needed to breed a functional financial ecosystem.

Enter Go Urban, Young Man

My project to harness the wisdom of the crowd and show that these old neighborhoods aren’t just going to magically get better by themselves. It is to engage the audience that big developers don’t bother with, it is to try to restore hope, create momentum, and it is a little bit of an underdog story all in one moment.

You can help fund my idea with as little as $1!

If just 5,000 of Peoria’s 115,234 people donated a dollar, my company gets the shot in the arm it needs, a home gets a new lease on life, a neighborhood has one less blemish, city coffers benefit from an increased property value (hopefully increasing basic services in the area), and the money raised goes right back into putting tradesmen to work, and stimulating the local economy with purchases that probably wouldn’t occur if someone just tried to rent it out as-is (see below).

kitchen living room

front room

entry

What are you waiting for? Check out my project on Indiegogo.com and help me take a small idea and make a big impact!

To view my project, donate & share click here: GO URBAN

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #GOURBAN today at noon and tweet with what you would like to see done to improve your city, downtown, Main Street, and urban areas!

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