Have an idea for your community, but not sure how to get it done? At the 24 Hour Citizen Project, we’ll connect you with the expertise, key decision makers and financial backers to help make your idea a reality. Be prepared to experience the ups and downs of pursuing your idea, the pressure of getting it done in 24 hours, and the encouragement given to you by your fellow citizens cheering you on.
Should I participate?
Here’s a couple of questions to ponder in making your decision: Do you have an idea for the community (big or small), and not sure how to get it done? Do you feel disengaged and not sure how to contribute to the community? If so, then you’ll likely find that this event is for you. You’ll experience a fun and creative weekend of where we bring together all the people in the community to make things happen. It’s an opportunity to network, and engage with community movers and shakers. There are four ways to participate: Citizen Team, Backer, Expert, or just attend the pitch event.
What is a Citizen Team?
A Citizen Team are people with ideas for the community. Just as an entrepreneur may have an idea for a business, citizens have ideas for the community. Citizen Teams may consist of friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, or even strangers to participate in a fun and creative weekend of bringing great ideas to reality.At the 24 Hour Citizen Project, we’ll connect your vision with the expertise and financial backers to make it happen. Be prepared to experience the ups and downs of pursuing your idea, an incredible sense of accomplishment, and the encouragement given to you by your fellow citizens cheering you on – in just 24 hours!
Participating is easy:
- Submit an idea (for review by the Selection Committee)
- Form a team (of friends, neighbors, co-workers, or even strangers to help you with your idea)
- Prepare to pitch. (We’ll provide you with experts before and during the event if your idea is chosen, including a pitch coach)
- Pitch your idea for funding.
- Build your funded project. Your team will be responsible for coming up with a plan to get the project done and for executing the project after the event is over. Note that civicside follows and promotes your team’s progress every step of the way.
What is an Expert?
We admit… The term “expert” may leave some people feeling left out. The truth is that the “expert” can be anyone who feels that they can contribute, even in a small way. Every community project needs advice and guidance. Whether it be an attorney providing legal advice, a local government official, a designer on aesthetics, a handyman on how to build something, or just someone to give you critical feedback. Be a resource to the citizens who may (or may not) need you depending on what you know, and how you can help. You can do this by being available to the citizen teams before and during the event.
Participating is easy:
- Tell us how you can contribute (by registering here.)
- We’ll add you to our Expert Roster.
- We’ll assign you to a team if your expertise is needed (before or during the event)
What is a Backer?
Backers are like investors, but are contributing to their community instead of a business. Backers will hear teams of citizens pitch ideas to be evaluated, judged and funded by you! Be prepared to be faced with the difficult decision of deciding which projects are worthy of funding. We’ll keep you informed of the ideas leading up to the event, so that you know what to expect. Contributions to projects will be tax deductible unless otherwise noted.
Participating as a Backer is easy:
- Register here. (by telling us who you are, which organization you represent (if applicable), and an estimation of your pre-committed funds)
- Be promoted. We want our audience to know that you’re investing in your community, so plan for the 24 hour citizen project to publicize your participation through social media and other media outlets. You’ll also be considered a Sponsor for our event.
- Participate. During the pitch, you’ll have a microphone and the freedom to question or make recommendations to the teams.
- Follow the teams. After the event, teams that are funded will keep you updated on their progress.
Why are citizens required to build a team?
We’ve all heard the saying “it takes a village…” And when it comes to pursuing community projects, that is also true. There’s plenty work to get done in a short amount of time. You’ll need the extra helping hand. Trust us, you’ll thank us later that you have teammates to lean on at some point during the weekend! The ideal team is 3-5 people. For the purpose of the event, each team will nominate one person to be the ‘Team Lead.’ This person will be responsible for pitching (or delegating the pitch) during the event, and leading their teammates to a successful project.
How can I register to participate?
Once I apply as a Citizen Team, what happens next?
First off, the application deadline for registering as a Citizen Team (applying to pitch) is June 16th. There is a Selection Committee that reviews all ideas, and chooses which ideas participate/pitch during the event. The committee takes into consideration the factors such as cost, feasibility, impact on community and likelihood of funding. Once chosen, we’ll announce the ideas approximately 3 weeks prior to the event.
I'm part of a team... What should I bring?
- Laptop if you are your team need to meet, or you need to finalize your presentation
- Props to show people who visit with your team during the launch party.
- Friends to participate
- Camera (you’ll take lots of pictures)
- Creative energy!
How do I prepare for the pitch?
- Try to do research on your idea ahead of time. Think about things like feasibility, cost, impact on the community as a whole, and make sure that it fits into our guidelines for an approved project.
- Share your idea. Sharing your idea ahead of time with people is key. It will help you with your pitch and get feedback ahead of the event.
- Start thinking about what you need to pursue the idea. And let us know so that we can recruit that expertise to be present to you before and during the event.
- Begin the vetting process. We strongly encourage you to begin the process early. You can use the event to put the final touches on the project.
What types of ideas can I pitch? (Project Definition)
We’ve given a lot of thought to this question as projects come in all different shapes and sizes. To help with this effort, we have a committee that evaluates all ideas against the guidelines below:
A project is…
– A project is anything that improves the greater good of the community in a specific way; expenditures of project should be clearly defined; projects cannot offer backers fiscal gain.
– A project must be in the public realm.
– A project should be feasible enough to be built/completed by a team of citizens.
– A project should that is pitched during the event should not exceed $10,000; the lower the cost = the higher probability of funding. Note: The total project cost may exceed $10,000, but the amount pitched should not exceed $10,000 (relevant when Citizen Teams find organizations or individual donors to match funds or partially fund the project prior to the event)
– A project is something that may be replicated and may serve as an example to other cities.
– A project may fit into any of the following categories: Public Art, Public Spaces, Fun, Aesthetics, Food/Farming, Cultural Amenities, Preservation of Natural Ecosystem, Walkability/Bikeability, Recreation.
– Projects must be honest and clearly presented. Projects can’t mislead people or misrepresent facts, and creators should be candid about what they plan to accomplish.
A project is NOT…
– A project is not intended to be a platform for groups to support their general cause or agenda.
– A project is not a funding mechanism for organizational budget shortfalls.
Past projects include:
Public art installations, community gardens, drinking water fountains in neighborhoods, bus stop prototype, improvements to bike path.
Other Guidelines: – An organization associated with a team cannot participate as a backer during the event, though can commit to partially funding (or match funding) in an effort to reduce the total funding amount pitched during the event.
What happens if my idea is not approved by the Review Committee?
This may happen, and it’s ok. There are limitations to what we can do and can’t do. If the idea is good enough, maybe it will encourage our decision makers to think about our community differently.
What happens on Friday? (Citizen Teams and Experts)
What happens on Saturday morning? (Citizen Teams)
What happens on Saturday evening?
The Pitch Event happens on Saturday!
The 24 Hour Pitch Event (FREE for participants) – Teams will will have a private meeting with Backers one hour before the start of the event. This is an opportunity to sell your project to the backers before your final pitch. During the final pitch event, each citizen team lead will be given 3 minutes on stage to pitch their project showing visuals on the projection. Following the pitch, the backers will have a couple minutes for Q&A. After all pitches are completed, the backers will huddle, and announce how the funds will be distributed. The crowd will also have the opportunity to purchase “Project Dollars” and donate to a project of their choosing. Then, celebrating begins!
Can I just attend the event without participating?
Of course! Come sit back, have some fun, and join the party. Be prepared to show your support to the Citizen Teams through lots of cheering, yelling, hugs, and high fives. We treat the event as a celebration of community. You should too!
If I'm not a citizen team, do I have to participate for the entire event?
Where the bulk of the work will be on the Citizen Teams, we ask the Experts to make themselves available whenever they’re needed. This can be in person or via the phone before or during the event. And backers are only required to attend the final pitch event, although they’re invited to visit the teams on Friday night to see how work is coming along.
Do Citizen Teams have to work the entire 24 hours?
No. Some teams may need to work longer hours than others. It’s completely up to you and the progress that you’ve made so far.
What happens if my idea is not funded at all?
This is completely fine. Not all ideas will be funded. It’s equally important to understand that sharing ideas and being part of the process allows you to connect with people in the community that you wouldn’t have had the opportunity of doing otherwise. Remember… “It’s the journey. Not the destination.”
What happens after the event is over?
The work doesn’t stop just yet… After the event, you can expect civicside to follow your progress until the idea is fully implemented. We want everyone in the community to know what you are working on, and how it’s getting done. Expect the media to be interested in what you’re doing, and to talking about your progress publicly.
A central theme of the weekend will be about how self-directed (i.e., citizen led) projects are key to building communities. Everything we do is intended to be documented meticulously and shared with other communities with hopes that it can be replicated. That said, we’ll expect you to remember how you implemented the project, including the highs, lows, mistakes and key decisions to your success. Your effort from one weekend will live on for others to enjoy.
Will there be other events like this?
Our goal is to continue this event if successful, so that other communities can learn from the other.