Citizinvestor: Disrupting How Governments Fund Civic Projects

I am thrilled to be involved with an exciting new project called Citizinvestor (currently a candidate for Code for America’s Accelerator) and I couldn’t think of a better place to gain valuable feedback on the soon-to-launch product than right here at GovLoop.

As you well know, there are countless local government projects that are not completed due to a single issue – lack of funding. These are projects like building new parks, renovating neighborhood pools and adding bike lanes – projects that governments want to take on and citizens want to invest in, but often can’t.

For decades, we have seen citizens host neighborhood barbecues to raise money to save a park or library – projects that can only happen through government and citizens partnering together. But what do these barbecues look like in the 21st century and what does it look like when vastly more projects have a chance of being funded?

We believe the answer is Citizinvestor. Citizinvestor allows citizens to invest in the local government projects they care about most. Here’s how it works:

Local governments submit pre-approved projects to These are projects that have already been scored, department-approved and only lack one thing – funding. Projects can be as big as building a bridge or a new park or as small as installing speed bumps or adding a few parking spaces to your neighborhood library. The list of these projects for any city is nearly endless. Currently, these projects sit on a long-list behind other budget priorities, especially now when local government budgets are tighter than ever before.

Citizens invest in the projects they care about most. For the first time ever, we are giving citizens the opportunity to tell government exactly where they want their dollars spent. Citizens can find projects that their local government has posted on and pledge to invest any amount they wish towards the project. Not only can citizens invest in pre-approved projects from their local governments, but Citizinvestor also gives citizens the opportunity to propose new projects that local government either hasn’t thought of or hasn’t approved.

Once a project is 100% funded, the project is built! This is key – citizens only pay their portion of the project if other citizens step up to the plate and commit to fund 100% of the stated cost. This is a win/win for everyone! Citizens only have to invest money if there is a guarantee that the project of their choice will be built and governments only have to commit to building a project if they receive 100% of the funding they need. Not a dime changes hands unless everyone is happy. This ensures that there is no risk to citizens for pledging to invest and no risk to governments posting projects to

I can’t wait to show you what we’ve been working on when we launch Citizinvestor! In the meantime, I would love to hear your feedback on the model we are proposing. Feel free to leave a comment below. And if you know of a project in your city that you would like to see on Citizinvestor, drop me a line at [email protected] and we will do our best to work with your city to get the project onboard.

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