The Powerful Work is Local

By ioby Co-Founder Erin Barnes

Over the last ten years, I’ve had the privilege of leading ioby’s growth hand-in-hand with my co-founder Brandon Whitney, our Board of Directors and our incredible staff. During this time we’ve served as a platform, a resource, a convener, and a community for more than 15,000 resident leaders across the country. And we’ve shared in their struggles and their victories. We’ve been with them in solidarity as kids learned how to ride bikes, as vegetables grew, as roofs got repaired, as students got new backpacks in September, as libraries went mobile, as hammers and drills were shared, as crosswalks were painted, as murals went up, as tampons were given away, as community histories were spotlighted, and as statues came down. More than 1,500 projects have been implemented, and with every single one, we have always known, “This is important.”

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Can I crowdfund all by myself?

ioby sets local leaders up for crowdfunding success. Whether you want to raise money and build support to build a better bus stop, bring healthy cooking to high school classrooms, or mount a socially engaged art public installation, we can help you make your neighborhood a better place to live, work, learn, and play.

Crowdfunding is a practical way to bring a good idea to life. Over the last decade, we’ve helped local leaders launch almost 1,500 projects all across the country! It doesn’t take any sort of degree, credentials, or superhuman powers to crowdfund successfully.

But: it does take some knowledge, time, and dedication.

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How they did it: Pittsburgh Liberty Interfaith Choir

Sometimes—okay, pretty often—the road to successful crowdfunding is not a straight and narrow one. It can take time, a few tries, and possibly a rejiggering of resources to make the stars align.

Luckily, that’s just our jam! ioby has a decade of experience helping local leaders combine the right resources in the right order to create winning fundraising campaigns.

Here’s a good example: the Pittsburgh Liberty Interfaith Choir, led by Elizabeth Chitester.

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Six racial justice organizers real talk about burnout

This spring, we published the ioby Racial Justice Toolkit: a collection of resources designed to help anyone take action for equity, wherever they live. Have you given yourself a chance to check it out?

To complement the Toolkit, we’re highlighting some of the great racial justice initiatives taking place in Cleveland, Ohio these days, with an emphasis on the great people behind them, and some of the complexities of their work. Cleveland has a robust racial justice movement that’s rooted in many decades of history, and it’s growing stronger by the year. We’re proud to support local leaders in Cleveland as they take their city’s legacy to a new level.

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Awesome Project: Building Tamir’s Legacy

Like many ioby Leaders, Samaria Rice didn’t always think of herself as an activist. Until a few years ago, she was a busy single mom, taking care of her kids and studying to start a career in real estate in her native Cleveland. “I was living in a bubble,” she says.

Then, on November 22, 2014, Ms. Rice’s 12-year-old son Tamir was shot and killed by Cleveland police while playing with a pellet gun outside the Cudell Recreation Center.

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“Fundraising 101” for your community health project

Community health initiatives can be as diverse as the people they serve.

Even the term itself has broad reach. Community health as a field concerns the health status of certain populations. Community health centers provide services to patients who lack access to traditional doctor’s offices. Community health workers act as liaisons between a specific community and health services, especially where language, culture, or other barriers exist.

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Six crowdfunding myths grassroots groups fall for

In the past decade, online crowdfunding has gone from experimental technology to budgetary mainstay.

In the beginning, crowdfunding was an intriguing new approach that individuals and grassroots groups could try as a way of gaining support for their work. Now, it’s become a cornerstone of countless project budgets for both unincorporated initiatives and established nonprofits that brings in tens of billions of dollars annually. Continue reading Six crowdfunding myths grassroots groups fall for

Meet the ioby leaders healing Cleveland’s communities through racial justice work

Racial justice work is hard.

There are many good approaches to addressing the historical and systemic injustices faced by people of color, but they all involve difficult tasks. Whether you’re bringing community agriculture back to a marginalized neighborhood, facilitating a multicultural public art project, mounting a national educational campaign, or any other initiative, there will be personalities, logistics, and budgets to deal with. There will be difficult conservations, delays, and disappointments. Sometimes, there will be burnout.

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Five food security projects that are helping to revive and sustain communities

Over 15 million households in America experience periodic food insecurity. That means over 12 percent of our population, at any given time, does not have enough food to meet their needs, or is uncertain they will be able to get enough. Continue reading Five food security projects that are helping to revive and sustain communities