To kick off our program “Better Bureaucracies: Three NY institutions, three collaborative approaches,” social impact designer April De Simone asked audience members to raise their hands if they had positive associations with the word “bureaucracy.”
If any hands went up, they didn’t go very high.
“This afternoon, we’ll try to shed some light on what’s going on in a few New York City bureaucracies,” she said. “So if we ask that question again at the end, maybe we’ll get a few more hands.”
We were thrilled and deeply honored to hear the Obama Foundation’s announcement today that our Co-Founder Erin Barnes is among the inaugural class of 20 Fellows!
This is an institution that clearly shares ioby’s belief that local, grassroots civic leadership is the foundation of our democracy.
A message of thanks from Erin:
For faith-based community organizations, fundraising can pose particular opportunities and challenges. Megan Klein, Chief Development & Communications Officer at STREETS Ministries in Memphis, puts it this way: “It’s heaven and hell all together.”
“It’s never too late to act. There’s always time to make your voice heard and to do something, even if it’s a small thing—especially if it’s a small thing. That’s the best place to start.”
— Indigo Bishop, ioby Cleveland Action Strategist, in ioby’s new Racial Justice Toolkit
Fifty years ago today, civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Commemorations are taking place across the country to honor his vision and achievements, from panel discussions to walking tours to the symbolic ringing of church bells. The anniversary of Dr. King’s tragic death can serve to remind us of how real the challenges to racial equity movements can be.
At ioby, we often talk about the many non-monetary benefits of crowdfunding for neighborhood projects. When local leaders crowdfund, they strengthen relationships in their community, build their own capacity to lead, and encourage the buy-in that creates lasting community stewardship, among other perks.
But there’s another important facet of crowdfunding that’s neither the money raised during the campaign, nor these types of non-financial equity. It’s this phenomenon: a successful round of crowdfunding has the power to attract other types of funding to your project.
“It started with the trees,” says Melissa Linkous, an ioby Leader in Richmond, Virginia. “There were these beautiful mature oak trees I could see from my kitchen window, but they were being choked by poison ivy. So initially I was just trying to save the trees, and that’s how I discovered we had a cemetery.”
Melissa’s project, Preserving Forest View Cemetery, aims to restore this neglected historic site so it can once again serve as a place of peace, remembrance, and beauty for the community. She’s doing it with the help of her neighbors and friends, some city employees, a local archaeologist, and… a herd of goats.
Don’t get us started about the many benefits a community garden can bring to your neighborhood. From increasing access to fresh produce, to encouraging outdoor exercise and social interaction, to improving air and soil quality, to reducing crime, the list of perks is quite long.
What gets less press are the problems many community gardens face, from theft to toxic soil to culture clashes. That list is fairly long, too!
But before you leave your shovel in the dirt and run off your plot forever, see if you can find some help and hope in our roundup of…
From the Women’s March to the #metoo and #timesup movements—in the past 15 months we’ve seen many strong civic leaders step up and create grassroots movements that speak for women’s rights in all its facets.
Here at ioby, we believe that positive change starts in our backyards. Everyday we see on-the-ground women leaders combat racial injustices, advocate for bike safety, beautify public spaces, mentor young women of color, and SO much more!
Health foundations exist to improve the wellbeing of the communities they serve. That’s why their grantmaking is often focused on local nonprofit organizations. And that’s great.
But did you know there’s a way for foundations to get their funding even closer to the ground, and encourage more community engagement in health initiatives—while helping to generate additional money for beneficial programs and projects?
All these things are possible when foundations leverage the benefits of community crowdfunding to boost the impact of their efforts and dollars.
ioby was created to give residents and community-based organizations access to timely, right-sized funding for neighborhood projects. Over time, ioby has become the crowdfunding platform of choice for people across the country who are working to make their neighborhoods stronger, healthier, greener, and more connected.