It’s cities that provide what we need to live a full, productive life. The list of services provided is long for even small towns: garbage, streets, transit, housing, police, education, libraries, parks, etc., etc. And, if cities don’t do a good job, citizens move somewhere else. Community is that important.
At the same time municipal budgets have been clobbered. Property taxes nationwide (the primary source of revenue) did a deep dive with the housing market and never recovered. State and federal aid, now exhausted by the recession, is as rare as congressional agreement.
NamePlace was founded to help.
It’s genesis was simple: For years, as individuals, we’ve volunteered in one way or another — attending committee meetings, coaching youth sports teams, that sort of thing — but the stark reality of funding shortfalls always tempered our sense of satisfaction.
Our thought process for making things better was equally simple:
Who has the money? Businesses. Large corporations, in particular. Yes, they already write checks to support communities. But what if we could offer a new value proposition, where businesses could directly support neighborhoods and get something extremely valuable in return?
NamePlace is a marketplace for hyper-local sponsorships and naming rights. Where they already exist, we’re making it easier to do a transaction. Where they don’t, we’re helping create them. Our specialty is the “long tail.” Our daily focus is simplicity and transparency, and multi-city aggregation (large companies need scale).
What do businesses get that they didn’t get before?
Neighborhoods, where soccer games happen, swim competitions take place, evening walks occur and baseball games are played, represent the very definition of community. Now, brands can engage with these audiences. The neighborhoods will decide who to let in, but there is no shortage of high-integrity and high-impact possibilities.
We’re not going to replace all the tax revenue lost in the recession. But we’re going to do a lot more than another bake sale ever could.