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Founded in 2012, Public Innovation is an early stage place-based, impact-focused organization committed to building a civic innovation and social entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Sacramento region. Our mission is to accelerate measurable quality of life improvements by developing, testing, and scaling new forms of creative problem solving.

Our team has studied the best models from across the country and placed them within a single entity to drive civic and social impact in an integrated way. Our solutions are generating with people, not for people, and we believe in cultivating and leveraging latent human capital among public servants, social impact leaders, and engaged citizens.

Operating Model

As an open organization, we are digital by default and operate as a platform. This civic infrastructure will enable the networked approach needed to realize collective impact that transcends what any single individual or organization or organization could accomplish on their own.

In general, we employ the following process to the projects we pursue:

  1. DISCOVERY: Identifying unmet needs and opportunities.
  2. IDEATION: Forcing serendipitous collisions to generate new ideas.
  3. CO-PRODUCTION: Supporting the co-development of civic and social innovations.
  4. INTRAPRENEURSHIP: Giving public servants and social impact leaders the tools to evangelize change.
  5. DEPLOYMENT: Deploying solutions through civic and social entrepreneurship.
  6. STORYTELLING: Measuring progress and celebrating success.


We believe culture must come before policy, so we have a "culture first" philosophy. Rather than forcing behavior changes by mandate, we believe it's necessary to create the conditions in which people are motivated to change their behavior.

Innovation is not a methodology, but a mindset. To incubate the ideas that will have exponential impact, we must allow for and embrace failure. Public Innovation will provide that space where failure can happen quickly and without great expense. We will push for iteration upon iteration until success toward a given problem is achieved.


Public Innovation's phased approach includes the following goals:

Phase Goals

Testing and refining strategies to generate, develop, and deploy new methods of creative problem solving.

January 2014 - December 2015 (2 years)

  • Recruit initial board of directors and establish governance structure
  • Gain tax-exempt status and independence from fiscal sponsor
  • Develop leadership team and hire core staff
  • Formalize partnerships
  • Launch core engagement platform (CivicExchange)
  • Build customer pipeline and sales funnel
  • Build and engage user community through in-person events
  • Create measurement system

Scaling proven strategies at a regional level to transform and fundamentally reinvent civic culture.

January 2016 - December 2018 (3 years)

  • Launch incubator
  • Pursue growth opportunities
  • Make necessary course corrections


We are seeking $250,000 in initial seed funding. By our third year, we expect to be financially sustainable and by our fourth year, earned income will comprise 85 percent of total revenues.

Revenue Source 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Seed Capital 203,125 49,219 - - -
Grants 46,875 131,250 94,336 65,092 74,856
Earned Income 62,500 147,656 283,008 368,854 424,182
TOTAL $312,500 $328,125 $377,344 $433,945 $499,037

Revenue by Source

Share of Revenue 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Seed Capital 65% 15% - - -
Grants 15% 40% 25% 15% 15%
Earned Income 20% 45% 75% 85% 85%

Phase One
Earned Revenues 388,281
Expenses 640,625
Profit/(Loss) (252,344)
Committed Philanthropy 0
Capitalization Amount ($252,344)

Assuming we can get through Phase One, civic technology projects—the lion's share of our earned income strategy—will sustain our activities into Phase Two and beyond.

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