Category Archives: Neighbors making neighborhoods

Go Green: How to make your community more sustainable

You’ve done it: you’ve gone green at home! You’ve replaced your incandescents with LED light bulbs, you’re eating less meat, and that low-flow showerhead is in effect. High five!

Now that your home is in good green order, you might be wondering what it would mean to go green in your community. What could it look like to make your whole block—or neighborhood, or town—a little more sustainable? And how would you go about it?

For over 10 years, ioby Leaders have been going green in their communities in all kinds of ways. Get inspired by three of their very impressive, highly replicable environmental projects, along with the guiding visions that helped them succeed. (March 8 is International Women’s Day 2019, so we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that these three commendable Leaders are all women!) Continue reading Go Green: How to make your community more sustainable

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

4 Ways Communities Can Bridge the Digital Divide

The phrase “digital divide” is often used to describe the disparities in technology access between different groups; like the divide between young and old, urban and rural, and rich and poor. Naturally, the digital divide can influence many aspects of our lives, like where we get our news, what opportunities we can access, and the kinds of jobs we qualify for.

When it comes to community organizing and fundraising for neighborhood projects, digital divides can come into play in several ways. ioby works with people and organizations of all different kinds, all around the country; many of them have had to come up with smart ways to bridge (or work around) the technology gap as they crowdfund for community projects. We’re glad to share some of their most successful tactics here. Continue reading 4 Ways Communities Can Bridge the Digital Divide

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

Online fundraising 101: 7 steps to success

Community crowdfunding isn’t rocket science, but successful project leaders do take the time to learn some online fundraising best practices before taking the plunge.

When you’re ready to start raising money, where can you turn for good advice?

ioby has been helping local leaders get support for their projects for over 10 years! In the past decade, we’ve learned a few things about what inspires people to donate money (and time, and materials, etc) and how to run a smooth, successful campaign from start to finish.

We collected seven of our top tips in this video. Here’s a little more explanation of each: Continue reading Online fundraising 101: 7 steps to success

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

4 fundraising ideas for grassroots movements

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

How to start a movement

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

Crowdfunding for social justice issues

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

7 projects that unite, not divide, our communities

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