ioby 2018 giving reportWhen our co-founders scribbled “ioby” on a paper napkin back in 2008, they shared the belief that when we think of making positive change, too often we focus on places far away from where we live. There are notable and worthy causes the world over, to be sure. But when we think about building a fairer, greener, and more just world, why not look more often to our own backyards?

The problems close to home are challenging, complicated, and monumental in their own right. But even small solutions have a ripple effect. They help jumpstart change on our block, convince our neighbors and other leaders to get on board, and soon enough a movement is built. That’s what ioby is about: growing a movement of changemakers to do good wherever they are.

ioby’s role is a simple one. ioby is a resource and a platform—a powerful one that we’re proud of—but only residents and neighbors like you have the expertise and knowledge needed to make positive change in the neighborhood because you live, work, and play in it. And over 1,750 neighbors have stepped up to get good done.

We’re here to provide coaching and support, and then we get out of the way. For ten years, we’ve built ioby to support resident changemakers because we believe that all of us matter, and that every action—small or large—means a lot.

ioby 2018 giving report

ioby stands for “in our backyards.” But it also stands for taking care of each other; for civic democracy; for trusting neighbors to know what’s best for the neighborhood.

We are the positive opposite of NIMBY, or Not In My Backyard. We believe that to truly contribute to the long term health and vibrancy of our community, we need to do more than just say no to things like new development (though that can be important work too). We also need to work together towards positive change, and work actively to build our community up.

So we stand for inclusivity and listening, for leaning back and inviting participation from those of us who are too often left out of decision making. We trust our neighbors—the experts—to know how best to strengthen their community, make it more green, more vibrant, and more just for everyone.

We're a crowdfunding platform, but we don't make decisions for or do the work of project leaders. Instead, we walk alongside them and support them as they take control of their neighborhoods' futures. We provide training, guidance, and resources, and we connect leaders with other decision makers who can help their good ideas blossom. Think of us as your support system as you get positive change done in your community.

ioby 2018 giving report

ioby 2018 giving report

ioby 2018 giving reportioby 2018 giving report

 

ioby 2018 giving reportioby projects run the gamut from community gardens to doula cooperatives. No two projects are the same—just like no two communities are the same—but many grow from similar ideas and challenges. Here’s a snapshot of the types of projects that ioby has supported over the last 10 years.
 

ioby giving report 2018

ioby 2018 giving report

For the past ten years we've worked alongside more than 1,750 passionate, committed community leaders and have watched as small projects have turned into larger initiatives and collaborations have become movements. We want to take a look back at the past ten years and tell some of our favorite stories of positive neighborhood change. We want to know: what kind of things can start with a conversation, a neighborhood meeting, a few dollars raised? Click on the stories below to learn more about how neighbors got good done in their neighborhoods.

 

ioby 2018 giving report

ioby 2018 giving report

ioby 2018 giving report

ioby 2018 giving report
ioby 2018 giving reportioby 2018 giving report

ioby 2018 giving reportioby 2018 giving reportioby 2018 giving report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ioby 2018 giving report

ioby works nationwide; anyone with a great idea for their community can work with ioby. Our Leader Success Strategists use our crowdfunding tool as a platform to guide leaders one-on-one through the process of rallying their neighbors around a cause; growing trust within their community to allow them to raise social and financial capital; and navigating the world of governments and nonprofits as they implement their projects.

 

ioby giving report 2018

 

“Maui Goodbear and Christine Nicodemou are kind of perfect examples of the people I serve every day. They run a small nonprofit in Southern Florida called StreetWaves, and they’re pretty much entirely volunteer run. They’ve got a big idea, but not a ton of resources. For some time, they were using surfing as a way to provide access to mentoring and other enrichment for kids in their community. It was a novel idea: swimming isn’t always accessible in low income communities of color, and neither is mentorship. They wanted to put the two together to help kids learn something new, but also provide a safe and nurturing environment for them.

But they needed money for a cargo van to transport their gear to the beach and to store their equipment safely. They had a big budget and were a bit apprehensive, but committed to crowdfunding. I told them that it was doable, and that I’d help them get there. I coached them on crafting a compelling story about StreetWaves, helped them strategize about who and how to ask for money, and put together a communications plan that helped them really get the word out. In the end, they got there, and raised over $10,000 to get the van.”

While ioby is national in scope, we also have certain cities of focus, currently: Memphis, Cleveland, Detroit, and Pittsburgh. We have honed in on these cities because there is tremendous power in the work that their residents are doing, but also because our work is informed by the history of disinvestment within certain neighborhoods. These communities speak powerfully to the truth that often our neighbors have a deep well of expertise, but they simply lack the resources to implement their ideas. Our City Action Strategists are community organizers who provide on-the-ground support to residents in our focus cities, and allow us to boost leaders as they work to make positive change.

 

ioby giving report 2018

 

“I remember supporting a neighborhood leader, Samoy Smith, as she tried to get a park built in her neighborhood. For some reason, she couldn’t get in touch with her District Manager for a letter of support. So I went myself to wait the District Manager out and get that letter, but couldn’t even get it then. So I called my colleague, Joe Rashid who is also an ioby City Action Strategist, and we worked our network to see if we could resolve it, to no avail. Finally, we thought “Aha,” as a last resort, Samoy could reach out to her council person for the letter. It worked.

That resilient work, standing up for resident-leaders, is what I’m so proud of. My work really is to be a connector and a coach. How often do most people really know what it takes to get approval, and get a project done in their community? My role is to make sure they have what they need to be successful before they even post their campaign, whether that’s talking with neighbors or navigating city government.”

 

ioby 2018 giving report

ioby 2018 giving reportioby 2018 giving report

The communities that ioby serves often don’t need new ideas; they just need someone to trust their expertise and support them while they implement projects that strengthen their community. That’s what ioby does. We help changemakers access the resources they need to put shovels in the ground and get good done wherever they are. We do that through tools like guides, opportunities to learn from other project leaders, toolkits, our Action Corps—a network of experts in the field that advise project leaders—and other resources to support leaders’ work. Here are a few ways we help bridge the gap between our neighbors’ great ideas and what they need to implement them:

 

 

Cleveland is a racial justice town. The city’s racial justice activism is deeply rooted in its history, and is very much alive today, with a new generation of leaders. We turned to ioby’s Cleveland Action Strategist and five Clevelanders who resourced their movements through ioby to help create a toolkit to share their tips on breaking barriers, building bridges, and healing communities. With essential support from The Cleveland Foundation, our Racial Justice Toolkit contains case studies and key advice to illustrate key moments and tools that our model organizers identified as uniquely powerful. It serves as a living blueprint for other citizen-activists to use as they chart their own path to justice.

 

ioby brings powerful stories to life through webinars, where ioby project leaders who have done the work of organizing their community, crowdfunding through ioby, and implementing their projects share what they’ve learned. “It’s such a joy to connect hundreds of people across the country each year through our learning webinars in a way that might have been challenging to do in person. It helps new leaders get a deep dive in getting their projects started, and allows them to ask questions of and connect with seasoned ioby leaders. Far beyond simply providing information, our webinars help attendees build connections for ongoing support as they make change in their own communities,” Dana J Schneider, ioby Community and Growth Manager.

 

 

ioby projects run the gamut from needing a few hundred dollars for tool purchases, to raising tens of thousands of dollars for infrastructure funding. Connecting veteran project leaders with budding ones is a powerful way to transfer hard won knowledge gained through the practice of doing and support new civic leaders. By connecting leaders, we ease the project implementation process and help ensure best practices are shared across our community.