People have used crowdfunding to raise money on the internet for everything from medical procedures to financing movies. Now, in what is thought to be a first in western Massachusetts, a municipality is attempting to crowdfund a public park project.
Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos clicked the “Donate” button on a website Friday and made the first donation -- $50 – to launch a $5,000 campaign to build a children’s playground in a neighborhood park.CrowdFunding advertizing
The new children’s playground at Nash Field will cost just over $40,000. The city has dedicated $16,500 from funds it received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, along with a $20,000 grant from a non-profit organization.
To close the funding gap for the project, Kos thought, why not try something new?
"Our hope is that not only our citizens who are here, but those who have fond memories of the city of Chicopee, and perhaps grew up around Nash Park, will give us support."
The city is also going to hold a telethon on the local cable access channel Sept. 4th to promote the crowdfunding. CrowdFunding marketing
Lee Pouliot, a grant-writer with the city of Chicopee’s economic development office, said the crowdfunding was spurred by a $20,000 grant the city received for the playground project from KaBOOM!, a nonprofit funded by the Dr.Pepper-Snapple Beverage company.
"KaBOOM! requires community support for it's projects. We are looking for the final funding piece to bring this together and show we have a community committed to our parks."Kickstarter Marketing
Chicopee’s Parks and Recreation Superintendent Carolyn Porter said the playground was designed with the help of children from the Chicopee Boys and Girls Club who selected pictures of the structures they’d like to climb, crawl around, and bounce on.
Porter said the irony of crowdfunding is that many people who will help pay for the new playground will in all likelihood never visit it.Indiegogo Marketing
"Initially because of the excitement of it being a community-build people may be drawn to come see it, but it is a neighborhood park that will be used by people within walking distance."
Construction of the new playground is scheduled to start at the end of August and wrap up before December 1st.crowdfunding websites