Creative Urban Budget Solution of the Day: Crowdfunding City Programs

Chicago is trying to raise $480,000 for a youth basketball league.

Image City of Chicago
City of Chicago

Is this the future of city budgeting?

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is looking to expand the city's basketball league for at-risk youth. But instead of funding "Windy City Hoops" through raised taxes or a rejiggered budget, Emanuel is crowdsourcing the project, complete with a page on IndieGoGo. The city hopes to add 3,200 spots at 10 parks across the city. With 58 days to go, they've raised $30,260 of their $480,000 goal.

The city sees the basketball league as a way to fight youth violence. According to their IndieGoGo page:

Basketball programming has a proven impact on providing youth with alternatives to drugs, gangs, and violence, and the $480K raised on this page will go toward funding a year-round basketball league hosted by the Park District on Friday and Saturday nights in targeted communities across the city.

Here's a video explaining a bit more:

About the Author

  • Amanda Erickson is a former senior associate editor at CityLab.