Better Places is a non-competitive, community matching grant program empowering Vermonters to create inclusive and vibrant public places serving Vermont’s designated downtowns, village centers, new town centers, or neighborhood development areas. The program provides one-on-one project coaching, local fundraising support, and two to one (2:1) matching grants ranging from $5,000 to $40,000 to make your community-led placemaking ideas happen.
How it Works
Better Places uses a method of grantmaking called “crowdgranting”. Crowdgranting combines crowdfunding – the practice of funding a project with small donations from a large number of people – paired with a matching grant from the State. Crowdgranting builds local awareness, excitement, and shared investment in community-led placemaking projects. Better Places participants will:
- Complete pre-flight check, then apply, and receive project approval
- Work with a Patronicity project coach to launch crowdfunding campaign and raise 33% local match
- Receive Better Places 2:1 matching grant from the State
- Implement project and celebrate success
Better Places offers one-on-one consultation to interested participants to determine project readiness and compatibility for this program. All participants have access to educational tools and resources, including a personal crowdfunding coach, the Better Places program guide, the Better Places Placemaking Toolkit, Getting Started one pager, and Crowdfunding Strategy guide.
Better Places is a place-based economic development program that:
- Activates and revitalizes public spaces to build vibrant communities
- Empowers residents to play an active role in shaping their community
- Advances “quick build” projects which boost community confidence and local pride
- Builds inclusive and welcoming spaces for social connection, health, and recreation
- Increases integrity of and equitable access to green spaces
- Stimulates the creative economy and provides equitable access to the arts
- Spurs entrepreneurship, partnerships, and public and private investment
- Connects viable projects to individual contributors and matching fund
The Better Places program is currently accepting projects. Please fill out the Pre-flight form and the Better Places team will reach out to discuss your project idea.
Check out our program website and FAQs to learn more.
Those who are interested in the Better Places program can learn more by viewing the program launch webinar presentation and recording with closed captioning.
In addition, learn more about placemaking efforts in Vermont communities on our blog post, our annual report, our recent article on VNRC's blog, and sign-up for AARP's monthly virtual placemaking meet ups to connect with other Vermont placemakers. In addition, explore the 2020 Better Places pilot projects here.