Compiled by Beth Buczynski for Shareable:
"Unlike Kickstarter, which launches hundreds of campaigns a day, Lucky Ant features only one project per week. Also unlike other crowdfunding platforms, the projects chosen are all already established businesses. Members list their neighborhood when signing up, and every week Lucky Ant lets them know about a local business that needs to be funded. The great part is, you get rewards and perks from the business in which you invested, creating a lovely little reciprocal loop designed to keep you coming back for more. Founded last year, Lucky Ant is currently operating in Downtown New York City with plans to expand to more cities this year."
"Founded in the sunny little town of Fort Collins, Colo., this crowdfunding platform is focused on finding and spotlighting projects in the community that might otherwise be swept under the carpet. Among other things, CommunityFunded recently helped prevent two-screen, downtown movie theater from closiing, and helped a local designer realize her dream of having a storefront in which to showcase her clothes. If you don't see a project that piques your interest, there's also an open fund that helps CF provide a boost to campaigns that need it." (http://www.shareable.net/blog/crowdfunding-goes-hyper-local)
"a crowdfunding platform designed exclusively for small, independently-owned businesses. No franchises. No big box stores. Smallknot aims to help local businesses connect with fans and gain new customer by offering products or services in return for providing financial support. For instance, making a small investment in the Saucey Sauce Co. (actual name) will earn you a 3 pack of their newly bottled Vietnamese dipping sauces, but a big investment earns you a private dinner for four. "If you desire a neighborhood full of diverse and independent businesses," write the SK founders, "you have the power to step up and ensure your neighborhood stays that way."