Do you have a great idea for a project that makes your community stronger, healthier, or more vibrant? Need some support to bring your idea to life?

ioby is a nationwide, nonprofit crowdfunding platform, built to support local leaders like you in bringing your ideas to life and promoting the causes you care about. Read below for some commonly asked questions about fundraising with ioby.

 

The Basics

What’s ioby about?

ioby stands for “in our back yards”-- the positive opposite of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard). ioby believes residents know what their communities need and are best positioned to be the stewards of long term positive change in their communities. We support people taking action to improve their neighborhoods, their cities, and our world. You can see our core principles here.

What services does ioby offer?

ioby provides an affordable online crowdfunding platform, paired with customized one-on-one fundraising coaching from a Leader Success Strategist, one of our experienced crowdfunding coaches. This hands-on, personalized support is available to every single neighborhood leader who fundraises with us. We also regularly provide free workshops and webinar trainings in crowdfunding.

How is ioby’s platform tailored for community projects?

We’ve designed our platform to be ideal for community-benefit projects in several important ways. With ioby, you can:

  • be sure that every donor automatically receives a donor acknowledgment letter that they can use to claim a tax deduction

  • always keep what you raise with our flexible finish policy

  • seek volunteers and donors at the same time

  • access all your donor contact info to help you cultivate your local base of support

  • fundraise with suggested donation levels instead of cash-value gifts

What can I fundraise for on ioby?

You can fundraise for any project that provides a public benefit and is not aimed at private profit. Leaders have used ioby to fundraise for community gardens, food justice, local park improvements, community organizing, neighborhood events, immigrant’s rights, school programs, public art, farmer’s markets, historical preservation, renewable energy, bike infrastructure, public transit advocacy… the sky’s the limit!

What projects CAN’T ioby support?

We cannot currently support for-profit business startups, campaigns that benefit just one individual (such as campaigns for medical costs), or international campaigns that benefit non-US residents.

Where does ioby work?

Anyone in the United States can fundraise on ioby. We support leaders everywhere from small towns to big cities. ioby has offices in NYC, Memphis, Cleveland, Detroit and Pittsburgh. Over 1,000 projects nationwide, from almost 300 towns and cities, have collectively raised over $3.5 million in citizen philanthropy through ioby.

How do I get started?

Simply share an idea anytime at ioby.org/idea to get started. After you submit your project idea, you can immediately access our Leader Toolkit training materials and begin building your ioby campaign page; within about 24 business hours you will also hear from your ioby Success Strategist, who will set up a call with you to answer any questions and set you on the path toward fundraising success.

I heard you have match funding. How does that work? 

 

ioby works with funders and nonprofit partners nationwide to develop innovative match funding programs to support community projects. With our partners' support, we occasionally offer specific match funding opportunities that can double the impact of your fundraising work. Our match funding programs are currently limited to specific kinds of projects in specific places (parks projects in NYC, for example). Sign up for the ioby newsletter on our homepage to stay up to date on these special funding opportunities throughout the year. 

 

Crowdfunding

What is 'crowdfunding'?

Crowdfunding refers to a method of fundraising for a project that uses an easily shareable and accessible online platform like ioby’s to collect many donations. With crowdfunding, even small donations from many people can add up to big impact.

Who will donate to my crowdfunding campaign?

Crowdfunding campaigns are funded by neighbors, friends, family, local businesses, and others who would love to see your project brought to life.

How long is a typical crowdfunding campaign?

Campaign length varies depending on how much is being raised and how quickly you fundraise, but an average ioby campaign last 5-7 weeks.

Will ioby fundraise for me?

No crowdfunding platform fundraises for your project, but ioby will provide the tools and coaching you need to run an effective crowdfunding campaign. ioby regularly shares projects with our national audience via our blog and social media, and our network can give your campaign some extra exposure, but know that 90% of donations to online crowdfunding campaigns are made by people in the extended network of the fundraising team. No matter what platform you use, crowdfunding always starts with YOUR crowd. Read more here.

What will make my crowdfunding campaign successful?

The top predictor of a successful ioby campaign is the size of your fundraising team. Having a committed team of at least three or four people--or more, if your goal is large--can be the difference between a successful campaign and a fundraising flop. While no two crowdfunding campaigns are the same, we’ve collected several best practices from the 1,000+ projects that have been funded on ioby's platform. Every leader who works with ioby is assigned a Leader Success Strategist, a grassroots fundraising expert who can help craft a stellar campaign page, set the right campaign target, build a winning team, plan campaign communications, and more.

 

Fees and Fiscal Sponsorship

What’s the fee for using ioby?

Our fee is one of the absolute lowest among crowdfunding platforms and there is no up-front cost for using ioby. At the end of your campaign, we retain a flat fee of $35 that helps us keep our platform running (and we waive that fee if you raise less than $1,000). We also retain a 3% processing fee that pays our secure credit card processor. Your Leader Success Strategist will add your estimated fees into your fundraising goal at the beginning of your campaign so there are no surprises. Read more here.

How is ioby funded?

As a nonprofit, ioby receives foundation grants that help fund our core operations. We also rely on the support of the community of project leaders and donors that we work with. Every time a donor supports a project on ioby, they are given the option of adding gratuity-- a small donation to ioby--to their total. Gratuity is made transparent to donors during check out and is completely voluntary, but is essential to keeping our fees low and coaching services strong. ioby does not solicit donors to ioby campaigns again after checkout. Read more here.

What if I don’t meet my goal?

You can always keep what you raise on ioby, even if it’s less or more than your original fundraising goal. Our flexible finish policy allows you to edit your campaign deadline and fundraising goal if needed, so you can adjust if things change during your campaign. Read more here.

Are donations to ioby campaigns tax deductible?

Yes, every donation to every ioby campaign is fully tax-deductible. When your donors give, they receive an automated thank you from ioby that provides them documentation of their tax-deductible donation.

What if I’m not a nonprofit?

On ioby anyone with a great idea that improves their community--even individuals and informal groups--can easily raise tax-deductible donations. If you are not a nonprofit, and not already working with a nonprofit fiscal sponsor that accepts funds on your behalf, ioby can be the fiscal sponsor for funds you raise, so all donations to your campaign remain tax-deductible.

How does ioby’s fiscal sponsorship work?

At the end of your campaign, we’ll sign a simple fiscal sponsorship contract with you, in which you’ll commit to using the funds you raised toward the charitable purpose described in your fundraising campaign. ioby charges a 5% administrative fee for fiscal sponsorship, so the amount retained at the end of your campaign would be 8% of your total raised (5% + the 3% processing fee), plus our $35 flat fee.

 

Other questions?

Contact ioby Partnerships Manager Ethany Uttech at ethany@ioby.org or 347-662-2439.