New year, new ideas, new projects, new financial woes

Communities can take advantage of crowd-granting program to help fund new projects.

Public Spaces Community Places is a crowd-granting program from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in partnership with Detroit based fundraising platform, Patronicity. According to Patronicity, the goal of this program is based around “an effort leveraging broad based low dollar fundraising against a sponsor’s matching grant to improve communities.” How can your communities take advantage of this program?

Communities or non-profits that have a traditional downtown may apply for up to a $50,000 MEDC match to support projects that “activate a public space” and meet their fundraising goal within an identified four to six week period. There is a four step process to get your community project on its way to 50:50 funding match. 

  1. Identify a community supported project that activates a public space
  2. Apply to Patronicity and MEDC for project approval online
  3. If approved, work one on one with Patroncity to develop a marketing and fundraising campaign to help ensure you reach your match
  4. Crowd-fund to meet your goal and receive your matching grant from MEDC 

Michigan State University Extension partner Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) has been successful with helping communities with their crowd-granting projects since the program began in 2014. Currently the NLEA is assisting three communities with project submission totaling over $300,000. 

If you or your community has a project they’d be interested in crowd-granting through the Public Spaces Community Places program, contact the NLEA at 231-582-6482 or 

Michigan State University Extension has had a unique relationship with the regional economic development organization Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) for more than 20 years. Recognizing the strength of combining resources, this partnership focuses on economic development, entrepreneurship growth and community infrastructure throughout a four-county region in the northwest Lower Peninsula, specifically Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet counties. As a result, the NLEA utilizes resources offered through MSU Extension as it provides leadership to state-wide programs sponsored by MSU Extension.” 

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