All posts by Noah Lumbantobing

How to hold a successful social entrepreneurship fundraiser

Are you a new social entrepreneur launching a new social enterprise? If so:

  1. Congratulations! America’s marketplaces could use a lot more businesses that prioritize beneficial outcomes for people (and/or the environment) alongside their profits. At ioby, we champion the growing number of social entrepreneurships using their interests, skills, and drive to start effective social enterprises all over the country.
  2. Are you, by any chance, trying to raise money?

If you are, we’d like to offer one big general suggestion followed by some specific advice from successful social entrepreneurs we’ve supported in the past. Continue reading How to hold a successful social entrepreneurship fundraiser

Awesome Project: We Run Brownsville

Lifelong friends Sheila Barksdale-Gordon and Dionne Grayman tapped into Brownsville’s strength and pride when they organized We Run Brownsville, a womens’ running group aimed at developing healthy habits–like going for group runs, stretching together, and sharing tips. But they’re so much more than a running club. “It’s more of a sisterhood, it’s more a place where women feel safe and feel confident take ownership of their own health,” says Sheila.

As they develop a support network within the running club, they’ve found that women are able to leverage that as they go out and advocate for their community; attending government meetings, and making sure that their voices are heard.

With support from ioby, they’ve raised over $25,000 over the years to help them lace up and hit the field, and grow their community’s agency. Check out their feature in the news to learn more about them.  Continue reading Awesome Project: We Run Brownsville

Ten Year Stories: Barrier Free

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?

Yancy Villa-Calvo, in Memphis, tells us about how she created a living art installation that responded to the danger that vulnerable communities experience and encourage empathy. Through ioby, she was able to access quick financial support in a way that she wouldn’t have been able to access through a grant, and that let her quickly react to the vitriol that came out of the 2016 election cycle. Read more about Yancy and her Barrier Free installation.  Continue reading Ten Year Stories: Barrier Free

Miriam Parson: Building a movement in Pittsburgh

We talk a lot about building a movement of positive civic change here at ioby, but how do you do that? The thing is, organizing your community around a project that strengthens the neighborhood is no easy task. But it gets a little easier when you realize many of our neighbors are already doing this work, and already have great ideas to strengthen their communities; our movement is about the tools and support leaders need, connecting neighbors with one another, and working to make getting good done a natural response for even more people.

Here in Pittsburgh, our movement is already starting to catch fire thanks to leaders like you, and 6,000 other neighbors who have played a part in an ioby project in Pittsburgh. That’s 2% of the entire city! Continue reading Miriam Parson: Building a movement in Pittsburgh

6 crowdfunding projects that celebrate Black history

Racial justice has always been a key value to us here at ioby. We know that in many of the communities we serve, people have been denied justice and denied opportunity. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t strong, resilient communities. On the contrary, they are vibrant neighborhoods with powerful leaders who fight every day to work for a stronger, more just world.  

This Black History month, we want to highlight the neighbor-led projects that honor the powerful legacy of Black communities, Black people, and Black culture, and the projects that are leading the way to stronger, fairer, and more just communities.

Many of these projects are still fundraising, and donating to them can be a powerful start to kicking off your own racial justice project!

Continue reading 6 crowdfunding projects that celebrate Black history

Fight for racial justice, double your donations in Cleveland!

Fighting for racial justice has never been more important, and Clevelanders are rising up to the challenge. Whether its hosting neighborhood conversations, or challenging injustice in the halls of power, Clevelanders are fighting for justice right here in our backyards.

ioby and Neighborhood Connections are excited to be a part of that fight, and are launching a dollar-for-dollar match for eligible projects up to $2,000.  Do you have an idea for a project that confronts injustice and nurtures racial equity in your neighborhood? We want to hear about it! Continue reading Fight for racial justice, double your donations in Cleveland!

Double your donations in Memphis!

ioby and the City of Memphis are launching our New Century of Soul matching fund, and we want you to be part of it! If you have an idea for a project that will improve your neighborhood for years to come, our matching fund will double what you raise on ioby.org up to $10,000.

New park bench? Check. Community garden? Check. Solar street lights? Check. If it’s a project that will last in your community for years to come and help make it more fun, more green, and help strengthen your neighborhood’s community, you could be eligible! Learn more about how you could get up to $10,000 matched through the New Century of Soul Match Fund. Continue reading Double your donations in Memphis!

Awesome Project: Ohio City Bicycle Coop

The Ohio City Bicycle Co-op has been an anchor for Cleveland’s biking community for years, maybe even before they had a physical space, or even a name. Jim Sheehan, the Co-op’s Executive Director, has been involved with Co-op since it was an informal group of bike lovers who got together with a cool idea back in 1995. 

“We did an earn-a-bike program and got hooked on teaching a kid to ride and keep their bike running, and they’re happy and smiling and you can go on to the next one,” Jim says. The program was a huge hit, and since then, the Co-op has grown significantly. They moved into a donated storefront in 2002, and then into a “little shack on the river,” along the Cuyahoga, before their community of bikers outgrew the space. In 2010, they moved into their current location on Columbus Road; a 16,000 square foot former industrial building that happens to sit across the street from their very first shop, a reminder of just how much they’ve grown. Looking to offer still more to their community, Jim and the OCBC recently wrapped up their first ioby crowdfunding project, and fundraised over $8,000 to replace workshop equipment and offer even more high-quality workshops

Continue reading Awesome Project: Ohio City Bicycle Coop

Alternatives to 311: a citizen-led movement for change

311 is a toll-free, non-emergency phone number that people in many cities can call to get information about municipal services (like trash collection), make complaints (like a pothole), or report urgent problems (like a downed power line). Even in cities where a number other than “311” is used, 311 is the most recognized name for this type of phone system. In many places, 311 is now also available as a smartphone app.

Residents are the natural eyes and ears of their neighborhoods, so any system that amplifies their voices straight to city hall gets a gold star from ioby. But what about those residents who want to do more than make a 30-second call to 311 when they notice something amiss on their block? What can neighbors do when they decide it’s not enough to make a report—they also need to take some action?

We’re proud to introduce you to three ioby Leaders who saw opportunities for improvement where they live, and who didn’t wait for someone else (even the government) to step in. While their projects are quite different in nature, they all used ioby’s crowdfunding platform to raise the money needed to make them happen.

Continue reading Alternatives to 311: a citizen-led movement for change