We love hearing about ways Pittsburghers are helping each other. That’s why we were so stoked to learn that on February 1st, the Pittsburgh Downtown Community Development Corporation (PDCDC) will launch their new online crowdsourcing program Hatch. It’s similar to Kickstarter, except ALL the projects on Hatch are focused on benefiting the downtown Pittsburgh community. This means your project won’t be competing for funding with someone else from an inferior zip code.
From local businesses owners to artists, Hatch is open to basically anyone who has a good idea to develop that will benefit the downtown community. The one requirement is the PDCDC has to approve the campaign. So if you want to raise funds for a weekend escape from this frigid weather you’re out of luck.
If you’re unfamiliar with other crowd funding programs, the idea is pretty simple. After receiving approval from the PDCDC, the project creator determines a fundraising goal, picks a time frame to reach that goal, and sets up a campaign page for the project. Community members can then search through the projects on Hatch to choose a campaign they want to financially back. With enough support, the creator reaches their goal. If they are unable to raise enough in the set time frame, all the money is returned to the backers. To encourage extra involvement, the creator can offer incentives that increase in quality the more someone donates. For example, if you donated to help renovate a restaurant, you might be offered a free appetizer at one level, and a free meal at the next.
What sets Hatch apart is that all campaigns benefit the Downtown Pittsburgh community in one way or another. In a city bursting with civic pride, we’ll finally have a place to put our money where our mouth is and continue to make PGH the best place to live! In addition to downtown, the PDCDC will also work with other neighborhood organizations to benefit city as a whole. Through Hatch and PDCDC’s other community programs they hope “to make Pittsburgh America’s most vibrant 18-hour city by 2017.”