Indiana Chapter - American Planning Association

Funding Opportunity for Public Spaces

Posted on May 24th, by Jill Ewing in Grants. No Comments

By, Veronica Watson CreatINg Places Info Graphic

As summer approaches, and the temperatures rise, now is the perfect time of year for communities to take a long look at the amenities they provide for their residents and visitors. Whether its parks, trails, boat docks, summer events or simple walkability, if your community’s public spaces don’t support a wide variety of outdoor activities, now is when you should consider changing that through “crowdgranting”.

To help communities fund their public space projects, the Indiana Housing and Community Development launched a new funding program called CreatINg Places, in partnership with Patronicity. The program is unique in Indiana, in that it uses a funding model called “crowdgranting.” It its simplest terms, “crowdgranting” is the combination of crowdfunding and matching grant dollars. In this case, communities can create or improve their public spaces with projects up to $100,000 – a 1:1 grant match when a project’s crowdfunding goal is met.

Since November, CreatINg Places has funded six projects and is currently in the process of funding five more. Even in such a short amount of time, the diversity and creativity in project type and size is impressive. Everything from plazas, public art, alley upgrades, and even a series of historical tours has participated in the program with many more to come soon.

Sound interesting? Here are a few key reasons why you should consider participating in CreatINg Places:

  1. Funding: IHCDA has set aside $1 million in match money for this new program which will be more than doubled by the donations made through crowdfunding campaigns. Individual projects can receive between $10,000 and $100,000 total from the program, split between crowdfunding and matching grants. That’s a lot of money for your community!
  2. Community Engagement: In crowdgranting, a project needs to meet a crowdfunding goal before it receives a matching grant. So, in a way, community members give final approval on whether or not a project moves forward; their individual donations taken together serve as proof that the community wants a project enough to help pay for it. Our projects receive an average of 250 donors involved in their campaign. Some have even had as many as 700 donors. When was the last time you had that many people excited about one of your community projects?
  3. Positive Attention: Crowdfunding is a fairly new concept and a state-backed crowdfunding program is an even newer idea. That fact alone almost guarantees you’ll meet curious journalists from local publications asking about your project. Add to that the fact that residents need to support the project in order for it to happen and you could see quite a few positive news stories published about your community. Who couldn’t use more of that?
  4. Coaching from Patronicity Staff: A recent article about Patronicity noted many crowdfunding websites “leave users adrift to figure out the best way to ask for charity.” The article then went on to explain how Patronicity does NOT do that. When you apply to CreatINg Places, the Patronicity staff will walk you through the entire process from application to approval, through the crowdfunding campaign and finally close-out. Whatever you need we’re here to help!
  5. Fun and Creativity: Finally, and probably most importantly, this program was created to allow you have fun and be creative, not only in your project planning but in how you interact with your community. If there’s one thing our communities could use more of it’s FUN and this is a great opportunity for you to create that. Don’t pass that up!
  6. Bonus for City Planners – FINALLY FUND YOUR PLAN: Remember that comprehensive plan you paid $20,000, $40,000 or more for a consultant to complete? How much of the work within that plan has been left untouched? If your community is like most others, there are a lot of projects within that plan that could be incredibly transformative for your city or town, but they haven’t been implemented due to lack of funding. After all the work that was put into getting community feedback and all the money put into a beautiful 200+ page plan, wouldn’t it be great to actually implement some of those projects?

To learn more about the program, email Veronica Watson at, or check out projects that have already participated in CreatINg Places at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *