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
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?
ioby was founded in 2008 in order to make it easier for local leaders to gain the funding, knowledge, and resources needed to make positive change on a local level. For the past ten years we’ve worked alongside more than 1,600 passionate, committed community leaders and have watched as small projects have turned into larger initiatives and collaborations have become movements.
In the coming months, we’re taking a look back at the past ten years, and tell some of our favorite stories of positive neighborhood change. We want to know: what kind of things can start with a conversation, a neighborhood meeting, a few dollars raised?
Rev. Eleanor Williams tells us about how she and her coalition of partners in Pittsburgh’s Northside neighborhood is coming together to support their community together, and how they crowdfunded to help bring all their services under one roof. Continue reading Ten Year Stories: Northside Resource Mall
With midterm elections in the rearview, it can feel like this season’s chance to stand up and be counted has passed, and we just need to wait for the next opportunity to cast our votes.
At ioby, we love scoring that “I Voted” sticker as much as any righteous ballot-puncher, but we also know that democracy isn’t a date on the calendar, and voting isn’t the only way to speak your mind. People power can go strong all year long!
One great way to make it happen, no matter the season? Crowdfund with ioby! Continue reading How to build people power any time of year? Crowdfund!
The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming!
As the weather cools down, the calendar heats up. Between Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Halloween, Diwali, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa (among many others), the last quarter of the year is packed with events that bring people together for fun, fellowship, and commemoration.
The holidays are all about community, making them a perfect time of year to get eyes and ears on your community crowdfunding campaign—and win some hearts (and dollars) in the process. Continue reading How fundraising events can boost your project this holiday season
As our beloved colleague Indigo moves on from her role at ioby, we’re excited to welcome Dawn Arrington as our new Cleveland Action Strategist! She brings her own big shoes to the role, and has no shortage of big ideas for her city. Service is in Dawn’s DNA and she’s ready to get to work.
“My mom, my step dad, my father, his twin brother, my uncle, and several cousins all served in the military in one capacity or another,” she says. “I don’t think everyone needs to serve that way, but I do believe that we all have a duty as residents of a place to maintain and contribute to it. That was instilled in me at an early age.” It’s an ethic that she’s stuck to throughout her life. Continue reading Meet Dawn, our new Cleveland Action Strategist!
Fighting for racial justice can be daunting. We know it can sometimes make you feel like tearing your hair out, because sometimes it makes us feel that way too. But like you we at ioby remain firmly committed to racial justice. We’re also committed in our belief that everyday people can play a BIG role in tearing down systems of injustice, especially because we’ve seen so many people do it; people like Samaria Rice, Amanda King, and Leah Lewis.
Many of the resident leaders we work with live in neighborhoods that have endured decades of structural racism and other forms of oppression, from redlining to police violence. And when you’re faced with such tremendous structural racism, coming together to build something positive using your community’s collective resources can help reclaim power and be an act of healing. Continue reading How to fundraise for racial justice projects
The work of community organizing is complex, difficult, and vitally important. It is also something that anyone—even those of us without degrees, special training, or loads of experience—can take part in, wherever we live.
The twenty-first century’s most famous community organizer so far might be former president Barack Obama, whose experience in the field helped make it cool for a new generation of changemakers. Saul Alinsky, known to many as the founder of modern community organizing, helped low-income communities across the U.S. band together to improve living conditions in their neighborhoods, offers another example.
But while the luminaries of community organizing deserve their due and have helped move the needle on critical issues, equally important is the community organizing happening in your neighborhood. It may not make front page news, but it’s just as important. It’s local, it’s grassroots, it can bring meaningful change to people on their own terms, and you–yes you–can do it! And ioby is here to help. Continue reading Why asking for donations is community organizing in disguise
It’s a well-known fact that kids rule. They’re curious, energetic, and won’t bore you with small talk. Kids come up with great ideas. They’re often refreshingly (and embarrassingly) honest. They tend to prioritize the best things about living: family, friends, food, fun, and fuzzy little creatures.
With all this zest for life, it makes sense that kids have played a starring role in many great ioby projects: as leaders, co-designers, and participants. Who better to be at the forefront of positive change than the people who stand to benefit from it the longest?
Continue reading Amazing neighborhood projects by, for and all about kids