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MassDevelopment, Patronicity Launch Statewide Crowdfunded Placemaking Program

June 23, 2016


Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)

Robert St. Mary, Patronicity, 248-912-8997

MassDevelopment and Patronicity, a Michigan-based civic crowfunding platform, today announced Commonwealth Places, a collaborative effort where local residents can use crowdfunding to help develop strategic projects in their communities. The statewide program will help fund place-based, community-driven projects – art installations, parks, bike trails, markets, and more – that revitalize downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts. MassDevelopment will back successful projects with a matching grant of up to $50,000 per project. Communities, nonprofits and other entities can learn more and apply at: massdevelopment.com/commonwealthplaces.

“MassDevelopment has seen how projects like markets, parks, and pop-up stores can positively impact our Gateway Cities, and this program will add a funding source for placemaking across the Commonwealth,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We’re thrilled to partner with a creative startup like Patronicity to drive community engagement and revitalization in Massachusetts.” 

To receive grant funds, projects must hit their crowdfunding target within 60 days of their launch and should be ready to proceed within six months of reaching that target. Patronicity will vet submitted projects and recommend them to MassDevelopment, and the organization has hired a director of New England operations to administer the program. Successful projects must activate a new or underused public or community space, and the program will give preference to permanent physical projects.

“We are excited about this new partnership to help create better and more vibrant neighborhoods in Massachusetts – a leading state in innovative programing. Being a part of the “Commonwealth Places” program means we can work with MassDevelopment to unlock the power of crowdgranting to create more vibrant communities," said Ebrahim Varachia, Co-Founder and President of Patronicity. "We believe MassDevelopment will be a leader in showcasing the impact of the crowdgranting model to leverage an unprecedented amount of civic engagement and streamline a grant process through technology.”   

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2015, MassDevelopment financed or managed 294 projects generating investment of more than $2.5 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 6,100 jobs and build or rehabilitate about 2,000 residential units.