Whether you’re the driving force behind a new grassroots movement, or are helping your neighbors achieve a simple project on your block, one thing is almost certain: you need money!
Grassroots initiatives large and small require good ideas, serious dedication, and adequate funding to succeed. ioby has worked with hundreds of grassroots groups to get funding, get resources, and get off the ground. Below, we discuss four common funding strategies for the grassroots: their benefits, limitations, and our recommendations for getting the most donor bucks for your fundraising bang.
Continue reading 4 fundraising ideas for grassroots movements
The internet has revolutionized how we reach and communicate with each other, and it’s changing how we interact with government and politics. Recent surveys have found that Americans are becoming more politically engaged. With more options than ever for connecting, and growing interest in how we are governed, there’s never been a better time to start a movement—starting right where you live.
But wait—does that sound daunting? Do you wonder how you can make a difference when you’re not rich, famous, or in government? Are you thinking, “What do I know about how to start a movement?!”
We hear you! Movements aren’t built in a day, and they require time, effort, and funding to build momentum. But you’re one of the top experts on what’s going on in your community, and how to make it stronger–alongside your neighbors–and ioby exists to support YOU.
For the past decade, we’ve been working to grow and support a movement of resident changemakers in doing good, wherever they are. Since 2008, we’ve worked alongside more than 1,750 passionate, committed community leaders and have watched as their small projects have turned into larger initiatives, and as they’ve have grown into movements. Continue reading How to start a movement
For better and for worse, social justice issues are in the limelight these days. It’s heartbreaking that events like the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, abuse and harassment exposed through the #MeToo movement, and crises like the first rise in American homelessness in over a decade are making headlines every day. But it’s also important to shine a light on these problems, and encouraging to see such a swell of energy rising to overcome them.
Since 2008, ioby Leaders have been taking on social justice issues right in their own communities. By seeing something that needs to be addressed, thinking through a plan to make it better, and rallying their neighbors around implementing their good ideas, these resident activists are tackling social justice issues in one of the most effective ways: locally, right where they live, and led by the people who will be affected most by whatever happens next.
We’re so proud to have helped local leaders raise over $5 million for over 1,600 community-level projects in the past 10 years. Below, we shout out a few who’ve focused their efforts on specific social justice issues that are manifesting in different ways across the country, accompanied by some of our best advice for bringing such projects to life. Continue reading Crowdfunding for social justice issues
For the past three summers, every day that it looks like it might rain on a day that she teaches at Borland Garden in Pittsburgh, Emily Carlson talks to the weather and asks for it hold back the rain until two o’clock. That’s when the kids at Art in the Garden, a youth summer program in the garden, go home for the day. Without any shelter in the garden, programming has been at the whim of the weather, though they’ve been lucky. “Every single day for the past three summers it has worked except for one day,” Emily says. “But that feels like a lot to ask the weather, and it feels stressful to me, so we’d really like to have a structure built.”
So she and her community are kicking off their third ioby campaign to raise funds to build a shelter in Borland Garden for all weather–and extended season–learning, after previously having successfully nearly $8,000 with ioby to fund programming in the summer of 2017 and 2018. Continue reading Awesome Project: Art in the Garden
2018 was no ordinary year for ioby. We broke a lot of our records, got hundreds of projects done, and pushed the needle further on building a movement of changemakers. We’re not done yet, but the great progress we’ve already made was only possible thanks to the hundreds of neighborhood leaders–like you!–across the country who jumped in with us to get good done in our backyards. Whether you started a crowdfunding project on ioby, volunteered to help make it happen, or gave to a project or directly to ioby, we couldn’t have had an incredible year without you. Continue reading Thanks for an amazing 2018!
You may have heard about a crowdfunding campaign for a border wall. We at ioby think this campaign—motivated by fear and hatred—not only runs against our principles, but runs counter to what crowdfunding can be: a powerful tool for change within our communities. Instead of a tool to wall us off, crowdfunding has tremendous power to build bridges across difference. When used to bring our communities together, there’s no shortage of ways crowdfunding can encourage community members to have a stake in a project, bring people together, and build civic strength.
Here are a few powerful examples of neighbors coming together and using crowdfunding to bridge differences and celebrate what makes our communities strong. Continue reading 7 projects that unite, not divide, our communities
When the temperature drops, the daily drudgery factor can shoot up. Those of us in colder climes are about to start shoveling sidewalks, de-icing windshields, and spending 15 minutes lacing boots and buttoning coats before we can so much as step out the front door.
But not all winter activities are such a grind. When daylight retreats, it sets the perfect tone for huddling up, sharing ideas, and working on shared goals together—preferably over a plate of warm cookies.
Here are a few great examples of winter activities, brought to our attention by ioby friends and leaders, that make the most of cooler days and nights—and make neighborhoods better places to live, work, and play. Continue reading Winter activities that build community
Our communities are at a critical crossroads; in the face of myriad challenges, how do we strengthen our democracy and restore trust? How do we make lasting change across differences and continue to build our neighborhoods? Join us on Dec. 18th at 1 pm for a lunchtime webinar to see how neighborhood leaders (like you!) are looking both inside and outside the election cycle to build year-round relationships and make meaningful, lasting change in the communities they call home. Learn how they rallied their communities to take down confederate monuments, build food security, and inspire movements. Continue reading Beyond Voting: A national webinar
2018 was a big year for ioby. It was a year of empowering young people to invest in our democracy, of honoring our elders, of fighting for justice, building community gardens, bringing beauty to our cities, and so much more. It was also a big year because it’s ioby’s tenth anniversary. So we’re celebrating $5.5 million raised for neighbor-led change, nearly 2,000 powerful projects, over 33,000 of neighbors pitching in to get it done, and ten years of getting good done in our backyards.
It can feel like too much. Fake news, real news, natural disasters, mass shootings, racism, sexism, voter suppression—and let’s not forget bee colony collapse disorder.
Troubling as they are, even these big threats sometimes feel like just the tip of the iceberg. Especially when we hear assertions like, “Americans are less socially and politically engaged now than 30 years ago,” it’s easy to conclude that consumerism has become our unquestioned king, to lament that our humanity has gone up in smoke, and to yell into the wind, “For crying out loud, what is civic engagement now, anyway?!”
Friend, we feel you. But at ioby, we also have the privilege of working every day with residents all across the country who look at challenges and see opportunities. These people are aware of the problems—large and small—in our neighborhoods, schools, parks, roads, downtowns, and town halls, but they also know that they can help create solutions, right where they live. These people are walking out their front doors, linking arms with their neighbors, and saying, “Let’s do this.” Continue reading What is civic engagement in a bad-news world?