The National Main Street Center, with support from Edward Jones, is pleased to announce a new grant and crowdfunding program to support placemaking projects on Main Street. This program will provide funding, capacity building, and an online crowdfunding platform for 10 Main Street America programs to implement a “lighter, quicker, cheaper” placemaking project in their downtown. These projects should have a catalytic impact on local economies, activate public spaces, and engage community residents.

The Placemaking on Main Crowdfunding Challenge will connect selected Main Street America programs with ioby, the nonprofit crowdfunding platform, to raise funds for placemaking projects downtown and build local fundraising and crowdfunding capacity. This opportunity is available to all NMSC members and includes a $2500 matching grant to be applied towards each project, thanks to the generous support of Edward Jones.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. The last day to apply is May 17, 2017.

Want to learn more? Join us for a webinar, Crowdfunding our Main Streets, April 25th, 1-2pm ET. We’ll cover program details and crowdfunding tips taken from past examples of successfully-funded projects. REGISTER HERE.  

About ioby

ioby (in our backyards) is a nation-wide nonprofit crowdfunding platform for projects that make communities more sustainable, vibrant, and livable. Crowdfunding using ioby’s platform allows project leaders to raise funds, cultivate a local donor base, find volunteers, and build visibility for their project, all with one-on-one support and training from ioby staff.

Participants in this program will have access to ioby’s training materials, and receive customized one-on-one fundraising support from one of ioby’s experienced crowdfunding coaches. While fundraising on ioby, donations to their campaigns will be doubled in real time, until the $2,500 cap in match funding is met.

Campaign Details

  • The application period opens on April 14, and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until May 17.
  • Ten (10) programs will be selected to participate.
  • The online crowdfunding campaign will take place in June-July 2017.
  • Project implementation and impact reporting will take place from September 2017-January 2018.
  • Applicants selected to participate in the program will receive $2,500 in a 1:1 match to apply towards the funding they raise through their ioby crowdfunding campaign.
  • Total project budget minimum is $5,000. There is no cap on the project’s total budget size; applicants may raise additional unmatched funds as much as they like over the $2,500 match.

Match funding is made possible through the generous support of Edward Jones.

Placemaking Project Eligibility and Guidelines:

  • Project must benefit the community and not be directly aimed at private profit.
  • Project must be led by or deeply engage residents of the community it takes place in.
  • Project should implement the Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper model described by the Project for Public Spaces. See examples.
  • Project should be ready to implement by September 1, 2017.
  • Applicant should be staff, board, or volunteer of a National Main Street Center member organization.
  • No experience in online fundraising or crowdfunding is required to participate. ioby will provide fundraising coaching to all participants, and this program is applicable to programs of all sizes.


  • April 14: Application available online to the Main Street America network. Applications reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • April 25: ioby informational webinar. Register here! Webinar will be recorded for those who cannot attend.
    May 17: Applications due to NMSC via the form below.
  • May 29: Applicants selected and notified by NMSC. Shortly thereafter, ioby Success Strategists will contact participants with next steps on planning campaigns and building campaign pages. Success Strategists are from ioby’s team of in-house fundraising coaches and will provide flexible, customized support to selected applicants throughout their fundraising process. 
    May 31-June 21: Participants work to build their campaign pages and plan their campaigns, with the support of their Success Strategist.
  • June 5: Winners announced publicly.
  • June 22-July 31: Participants fundraise! All participants should plan to do their online fundraising during this time frame.
  • September 2017-January 2018: Placemaking projects take place.


Check out the April 25th webinar or the detailed ioby FAQ here!


Thank you for your interest in becoming a Main Street America Affiliate. This questionnaire will provide us with the baseline information required to process your information, and will allow us to include your reinvestment statistics in our national impact reporting.

Your responses will be aggregated with data from all other Main Street America designated programs and never reported individually.

Once you have completed and submitted the form, you will receive licensing information from National Main Street Center staff.