I've been a bit surprised at the two offers I've received because I've never solicited any funds. I figure I'm not to that stage yet since I'll be paying myself to have the conduit installed. The next stage is likely when I'd need to look for funding to run a trunk line out from our residence to the exchange.
I will certainly approach both friends as soon as I am farther along in the project if I decide to fund it this way. However, the fact that both of them approached me about participating gives me hope that I could raise the money necessary for our local project using small investments from a number of people. What I think is even more promising though is the possibility of getting the neighbors to invest themselves.