“Memphians don’t always do well with rules,” explains lawyer and city planner Tommy Pacello. Memphis-raised, he left for college and was drawn back to join the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team, an effort funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies to generate neighborhood economic vitality and reduce gun violence among youth. “The city’s got this grit and soul and texture to it that comes from being a river town, I think. It’s part of our DNA as Memphians.”
But that grit and that soul, in a city that faces its share of systemic challenges, haven’t always found creative outlets. “For many years,” says Pacello, “we had lived in an environment where people felt somewhat stifled. Felt they had to wait on other people to do things for us, to find the silver bullet.” For a community to see itself as dependent on slow-moving government, or on anyone, for positive change, safety, and cohesiveness, is deeply demoralizing. Something had to give.
Utter the phrase “school funding” and—whether you’re among friends, strangers, or just querying the internet—you’re likely to incite a storm of opinions.
Public or private, from pre-K through 12th grade, in rural communities and urban, the subject of paying for education in America has always been a complex one. In the past year alone, declining government support, teacher strikes, and systemic funding inequalities have made headlines across the country.
What to do about it all?
ioby doesn’t have all the answers, of course. But one thing we do know is that teachers, students, parents, administrators, and local nonprofits all have the power to rally their communities and raise the support they need to bring real, tangible, positive change to their schools. And we can help.
Did you know that a crowdfunding campaign was created last month to help make Kylie Jenner a billionaire? (Right now, she has about $900 million to her name.)
We at ioby do not dispute that variety is the spice of life, and we love that crowdfunding can help so many types of individuals and organizations achieve their goals—even if those goals can sometimes seem, um, a little silly? But we have to admit, we get more excited about some crowdfunding possibilities more than others.
We’re ioby, as in “👁-oh-🐝.” We know, it’s not a traditional name, so we don’t mind when people ask what it stands for (in our backyards, by the way). We also stand for a bunch of other things, like trusting our neighbors to know what’s best for their neighborhood, and helping them lead the charge to bring positive change to the places we live. And we’re pretty different from most of the other crowdfunding sites out there. Here are just a few ways we stand out.
You might have noticed that we say “neighbors” a lot here at ioby, often interchangeably with “residents.” To us, “neighbors” means experts; it means the people who know their community best because they live in it, work in it, and play in it. They know how the block was, how it is now, and how it could be to better serve everyone in the neighborhood. They are our guiding stars and the people who shape what we do. After all, who better to turn to than the experts?
Today, we’re excited to announce that the work of all our expert change makers led up to something pretty big this month: with a median donation of just $35, 1,600 leaders rallied thousands of their friends, neighbors, and families to give over $5 million to community-led change since ioby got started. Continue reading Cheers to $5 million worth of neighborhood change
When it comes to crowdfunding for neighborhood projects, we’ve been around the block a few times. From telling your story, to planning your asks: here are some of our top tips on running a successful campaign and getting your project done.
ioby works nationwide; through the magic of the internet and good old-fashioned phones, we are able to provide support to anyone in the United States with a great idea to bring more good to their neighborhood. We also have staff on the ground in Pittsburgh, Memphis, Detroit, and Cleveland–our City Action Strategists. They’re especially tuned into the cities they live in, are experts at supporting neighbors organize and fundraise online, and help residents turn great ideas into great community projects. Get to know our team!
Events are a cornerstone fundraising strategy for many community groups, nonprofit organizations, and grassroots initiatives.
As fun and effective as events like these can be, raising money with ioby tends to look a little different, and often brings in more than just money.
Fundraising can be daunting, but it shouldn’t have to be! At ioby, we support neighborhood leaders from start to finish–from building your team to getting your project done, and everything in between. Get to know Dominique, one of our Leader Success Strategists who will help you plan and fundraise for your project!
You could say the concept of crowdfunding is as old as civilization itself—or, at least as old as money. The act of pooling assets to achieve a common goal is nothing new. (Fun fact: did you know the Statue of Liberty was a crowdfunded project?)
In the past 20 years or so, crowdfunding campaigns to launch new businesses, pay for medical expenses, and support charitable missions have become as popular as venture capital meetings and bake sales. The internet has revolutionized individuals’ and organizations’ ability to drum up funding for things people care about, and for that, we thank it. But crowdfunding is not a one-trick pony whose only talent is raising cash. Continue reading Crowdfunding for Advocacy and Organizing