Category Archives: Neighbors making neighborhoods

Why do crowdfunding campaigns fail?

All the buzz surrounding crowdfunding can make it seem like some kind of magical cash machine: put your idea online, tweet a few times, and watch the money roll in. What could be so hard about that? Everyone’s doing it!

It’s true that there are many thousands of active crowdfunding campaigns online at any given time, but plenty of them will fail to reach their goal. The last time we checked, Kickstarter’s full-funding success rate was about 40 percent; Indiegogo’s was about 12 percent. ioby’s? We’re sitting pretty at 80 percent!

We think our project leaders are so successful because with ioby, you won’t be tempted to just set up a page and let the money roll in (because trust us, it won’t). We provide the coaching and support for you to plan, build, and market your own campaign both on and offline to build donor interest and trust. Then (and only then) you’ll see the Benjamins.

Of course, any crowdfunding campaign can fall short of its target. In the past decade, we’ve supported over 1,600 local leaders in raising over $5 million to improve their neighborhoods. But between those many awesome successes, we’ve noticed some common missteps made by campaigns that don’t hit their mark. Fortunately, these gaffes are all avoidable. Continue reading Why do crowdfunding campaigns fail?

Small budget projects, BIG impact

What can you do for $500 or less?

$500 may not seem like a huge amount of money, but in the 10 years we’ve been helping local leaders fundraise for community projects we’ve seen just how much of an impact even small budget projects can make. There’s a reason the phrase “throwing money at the problem” has developed a negative connotation, after all. At the end of the day, it’s simply a matter of how your project gets done. Here are a few of the top low-budget best practices we’ve learned from our local leaders in the past decade.

Continue reading Small budget projects, BIG impact

5 ideas to crowdfund money (and more!) for your school

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.

Continue reading 5 ideas to crowdfund money (and more!) for your school

Three ways events can help you crowdfund

Events are a cornerstone fundraising strategy for many community groups, nonprofit organizations, and grassroots initiatives.

It’s easy to understand why. Who isn’t tempted by a beautiful bake sale? Who hasn’t heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? There are even charity runs for couch potatoes now!

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.

Continue reading Three ways events can help you crowdfund

Crowdfunding for Advocacy and Organizing

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

Can I crowdfund all by myself?

ioby sets local leaders up for crowdfunding success. Whether you want to raise money and build support to build a better bus stop, bring healthy cooking to high school classrooms, or mount a socially engaged art public installation, we can help you make your neighborhood a better place to live, work, learn, and play.

Crowdfunding is a practical way to bring a good idea to life. Over the last decade, we’ve helped local leaders launch almost 1,500 projects all across the country! It doesn’t take any sort of degree, credentials, or superhuman powers to crowdfund successfully.

But: it does take some knowledge, time, and dedication.

Continue reading Can I crowdfund all by myself?

Six racial justice organizers real talk about burnout

This spring, we published the ioby Racial Justice Toolkit: a collection of resources designed to help anyone take action for equity, wherever they live. Have you given yourself a chance to check it out?

To complement the Toolkit, we’re highlighting some of the great racial justice initiatives taking place in Cleveland, Ohio these days, with an emphasis on the great people behind them, and some of the complexities of their work. Cleveland has a robust racial justice movement that’s rooted in many decades of history, and it’s growing stronger by the year. We’re proud to support local leaders in Cleveland as they take their city’s legacy to a new level.

Continue reading Six racial justice organizers real talk about burnout

“Fundraising 101” for your community health project

Community health initiatives can be as diverse as the people they serve.

Even the term itself has broad reach. Community health as a field concerns the health status of certain populations. Community health centers provide services to patients who lack access to traditional doctor’s offices. Community health workers act as liaisons between a specific community and health services, especially where language, culture, or other barriers exist.

Continue reading “Fundraising 101” for your community health project

Six crowdfunding myths grassroots groups fall for

In the past decade, online crowdfunding has gone from experimental technology to budgetary mainstay.

In the beginning, crowdfunding was an intriguing new approach that individuals and grassroots groups could try as a way of gaining support for their work. Now, it’s become a cornerstone of countless project budgets for both unincorporated initiatives and established nonprofits that brings in tens of billions of dollars annually. Continue reading Six crowdfunding myths grassroots groups fall for