our mission

We use civic crowdfunding to build vibrant communities, connecting changemakers with funding partners to support community-led projects.

Born in Detroit.

It began with the idea that crowdfunding could be used to help source funds for community improvement projects. Our founders then had the idea that would differentiate us from every other crowdfunding platform: the matching grant. We call it "crowdgranting."

We're hiring!

  • Marketing Intern

    We are seeking a summer intern to work with our team between the months of May and August 2024. You will work closely with the Digital Marketing Manager to support our marketing initiatives. Specifically, the Marketing Intern will support our team in further developing our social media and content marketing strategy through content creation and implementation.

    Click here to see the full position description

  • Data Evaluation Contractor

    We are looking for a data-minded, mission aligned individual to help us prepare to implement our evaluation plan in 2024. While this role has the potential to encompass several phases of work in line with our Evaluation Plan, the first thing we need to do is get our organizational data in order.

    Click here to see the full position description

Turning bold ideas into impactful realities.

Have a great idea for your community or neighborhood, but don't have the funding or a solid plan? Our hands-on coaching and robust crowdfunding platform help you tap into your community to get financial support and make it happen.

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Dedicated Project Coaching & Vetting

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Robust Crowdfunding Platform

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Matching Grant Program Management

Placemaking Consulting & Expertise

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Community Engagement

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We're passionate about placemaking.

As a small team, spread across the United States, we bring diverse interests, experiences and passions to our roles. One thing that unites and motivates us is our desire to build better, more diverse and vibrant communities.

Meet the Team

Bridget Anderson

Indiana Director

Bridget Anderson, Indiana Director she/her

Solsberry, IN

Bridget Anderson is the Indiana Director at Patronicity. Since joining the team in 2018, she has led the CreatINg Places crowdgranting program and supported our work aimed at stabilizing and supporting small businesses. Bridget brings a passion for organization and structure to the leadership team to help manage team execution and personnel. As a ruralite, Bridget brings a service-oriented mindset and a get-it-done attitude that improves Patronicity's effectiveness and customer support.

Bridget has over six years experience working with statewide and national non-profits including civil justice and educational organizations, as well as six years serving elected officials and political campaigns. She graduated from Indiana University with a degree in political science and is inspired by civic engagement as a means to improve lives.

Why do you love where you live?

"I love where I live because I'm surrounded by hills and trees that connect me to nature and provides me room to explore, to rest, to play, to grow things, and to be inspired."

Mahala Clayton

Michigan Director

Mahala Clayton, Michigan Director she/her

Detroit, MI

Mahala is Patronicity’s Michigan Director, leading the Public Spaces, Community Places crowdgranting program. Mahala is a major asset to the Patronicity team, humanizing the crowdfunding and crowdgranting process, which could otherwise be intimidating and technical. Mahala works one-on-one with project creators to ensure they understand program parameters, what tools we offer and how to use them, and what strategies make a successful campaign. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mahala coached small business owners from around the State of Michigan. She helped those small business owners develop successful campaigns that resulted in a program supporting over 113 businesses and raising over $500,000 within a two-month period. Mahala is an amatuer hiker, yogi, farmer, and cook.

Why do you love where you live?

"I love where I live because the architecture reminds me that people used to put great care into their surroundings and effort into the finer details, making things unique and respectful."

Ebrahim Varachia

President & Co-Founder

Ebrahim Varachia, President & Co-Founder he/him

Oakland, CA

Ebrahim is the President & Co-Founder of Patronicity. He believes the cornerstone between a great idea, and it coming to life, is oftentimes the funding, and started Patronicity as a civic and community crowdfunding platform built to inspire growth and change in placemaking throughout cities and towns, both urban and rural, across the country. Growing Patronicity to be more than just a civic crowdfunding platform, he has led Patronicity to change the way grants are administered and how communities come together to envision, build, and create more sustainable and impactful projects meaningful to them.

Why do you love where you live?

Where I live is a special place; there is always a ray of sun in the sky, I can walk to my favorite bakery and bike to my favorite market, and wander down to the bay to look out into the ocean blue, with a new hike to conquer each week, my puppy and I are always adventure bound!

Maddie Miller

Digital Marketing Manager

Maddie Miller, Digital Marketing Manager she/her

Fort Wayne, IN

Maddie manages Patronicity's digital marketing and communications. She is passionate about sharing the company's purpose-driven mission to build vibrant communities. She has over five years' experience leading digital marketing strategy for nonprofit arts organizations and design firms and recently joined the team at Patronicity. Outside of her work at Patronicity, she is a visual artist, arts advocate, and avid disc golfer. Maddie regularly serves on grant panels for her regional and state arts agencies, Arts United and the Indiana Arts Commission.

Why do you love where you live?

"I love where I live, because my city is growing and pushing to be better. We have beautiful outdoor spaces with over 100 miles of paved walking and biking trails, and an incredible park system built around our three rivers."

Tim Heaphy

Lead Software Engineer

Tim Heaphy, Lead Software Engineer he/him

Los Angeles, CA

Tim manages Patronicity’s full-stack web development. He is an experienced developer and product specialist with expertise in designing and developing high-quality website features and user experiences. He is especially adept at understanding various stakeholder needs and translating those into effective solutions while simplifying technology for users of different and diverse populations.

Why do you love where you live?

"I love Los Angeles for the diversity of cultures and experiences you get on a daily basis, the natural landscape, and of course the weather."

Marina Sencalar

Connecticut Program Manager

Marina Sencalar, Connecticut Program Manager she/her

New York City, NY

Marina is passionate about helping people and bettering her local community. In her previous role as a Bilingual Educator of ten years, she worked tirelessly to help her students succeed. Marina is excited about empowering local communities through project coaching for the Biz-M-Power program at Patronicity. In marina's free time, she enjoys going to different areas of New York, supporting the local Jazz community, and spending time with her two dogs.

Why do you love where you live?

"I love where I live because there are endless opportunities to support the local businesses and support the local community within New York City. I look forward to exploring and taking my two dogs to the local parks and beaches and visiting the different boroughs."

Jae’da Turner

Small Business Program Manager

Jae’da Turner, Small Business Program Manager she/her

Boston, MA

Jae’da is an entrepreneur herself, founder of Black Owned Bos. and recipient of the MGCC’s Biz-M-Power matching grant. She joins our team now managing this program and assisting applicant businesses through the process. She is passionate about creating change in her community through service, mentorship, collaboration, and creative solutions.

Why do you love where you live?

"As a Boston native, I love where I live because it is home but also because it is full of rich history and is a melting pot of diverse perspectives and culture."

Bushra Varachia

Administrative Assistant

Bushra Varachia, Administrative Assistant she/her

Alexandra, New Zealand

Bushra is the administrative assistant for Patronicity. She uncovered a deep passion for urban agriculture and community gardens during her work with AmeriCorps in 2019, and has since then moved to New Zealand to run a small farm with her partner.

Why do you love where you live?

"My favorite things about living in small-town New Zealand are fairly simple: being able to walk to get groceries, trading homegrown zucchinis for a punnet of fresh strawberries, and attending the Thursday afternoon arts and crafts sessions with the old ladies."

Chris Blauvelt

Founder

Chris Blauvelt, Founder he/him

Detroit, MI

Chris is the founder of Patronicity, and was inspired to start it after he moved to Detroit in 2010 and saw how, despite the city declaring bankruptcy, communities were vibrant because they were working together to build common spaces and experiences. At this time, he read Happy City by Charles Montgomery and believed a crowdfunding platform focused on civic projects could make a small dent in the world - and from this, Patronicity was born! Chris lives in Michigan with his wife and 3 kids, is a proud Michigan alum, and is in denial he’s too old to be playing basketball.

Why do you love where you live?

“I love where I live because it’s very walkable - my kids can walk to school, I can walk to my house of worship, and there are nice little parks and ponds we can walk to almost daily. I love living in a diverse community of young families. Every day our kids go out and play with their neighbors and they come from various backgrounds - white and black American, South Asian, Arab etc. I love working in Midtown Detroit (where I lived for a time too). There’s great urban architecture and a variety of old and new, urban and green, fancy and down to earth.”

Evelyn Pinho

Front-End Developer

Evelyn Pinho, Front-End Developer she/her

São Paulo, Brazil

Evelyn is a software developer and designer with over 6 years of experience. She started her career in programming through Reprograma, a Brazilian initiative which teaches programming to women. As a result, she mentors women in programming whenever she can because she believes that through education and knowledge-sharing, we can make the world a better place.

Why do you love where you live?

"I live in São Paulo, one of the biggest cities in the world, and I love this city because of the convenience and diversity of cultures. I love exploring the city and there are always new places to visit."

Melanie Hamon

Assistant Program Manager

Melanie Hamon, Assistant Program Manager she/her

Oxford, Ohio

Melanie Hamon is passionate about breaking down barriers and supporting accessibility in the arts, education, and placemaking projects. She has two years of experience working in the nonprofit sector and writing grants. In her free time, Melanie plays cello, rides horses, and plays with her cat Annabelle.

Why do you love where you live?

“Three things I love about living in my community are the wide variety of people there, the frequent use of public spaces, and the way the community will take any excuse to celebrate together.”

Lauren Zuber

Outreach Manager

Lauren Zuber, Outreach Manager she/her

Indianapolis, Indiana

Lauren is the Outreach Manager for Patronicity. She has over a decade of experience in connecting people: to causes, to each other, to community. Lauren believes that when people lead the development of their communities we create an equitable future full of engaged citizens. When she isn’t working to create more opportunities for successful and sustainable community-driven development, you can find her knitting something, cooking something, or reading something.

Why do you love where you live?

“I love that my neighborhood feels like a small town, even though it’s in a city. Neighbors spend time on their porches and in their gardens getting to know each other. There are plenty of destinations to walk to and sidewalks and trails to walk on. It’s the historic mixed use neighborhood of my dreams. The annual Halloween Festival is a fun and spooky bonus.”

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Martell Ventures Team

Web Development

Want more?

Read our placemaking blog and listen to our team interview industry leaders on our podcast

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