Kickstarter really did…ahem…start something when they made crowdfunding respectable. Not only did ordinary folk begin to understand just how useful it can be when done properly, but it has inspired a legion of other democratic funding services to set up, each covering different niches and goals.
Spacehive is a classic example of the genre taken in a new direction. The site provides an online civic project crowdfunding service, where local communities can pitch their ideas and obtain funds and help for their projects from enthusiasts in the area and beyond.
What’s really great about the whole thing, apart from the care that’s been taken to make the interface really clean and simple, is the fact that projects can attract commercial as well as private funding, and not only that but businesses can contribute in kind, if they don’t want to offer cold hard cash.
It’s also very easy to set up a new project, all you need is a profile, the details of what you want to achieve and how much you need, and the time limit. People can then visit your project page and either volunteer money or their services or both, and suddenly you have a community.
The more central government starts to pull back from regional control, the more we expect to see these sorts of initiatives flower. After all, necessity is the mother of invention, isn’t it?