Category Archives: Under the Hood

Miss us at #EPIPCrowd?

Last night was a fantastic event at the Housing Works Bookstore hosted by EPIP-NY with DonorsChoose, kiva, and Benevolent moderated by The Networked Nonprofit co-author Allison Fine.

If you missed it, you can listen to the whole podcast right here. Enjoy! Photos below are by Vlad Drekalo. Thank you, Vlad!

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Trust, Accountability and Your Neighbors

There is one question that every foundation and every local government partner asks us about crowdfunding, “What about accountability? How can you guarantee the group will actually do what they say?”

Of course you cannot guarantee anything. Just as in grantmaking or any other capital endeavor, there is risk. At ioby, we have spent a lot of time minimizing that risk, by building structure to ensure projects do what they promise and building policies around what would happen if someone didn’t deliver what they promised. We talk to every project leader on the phone, we review every project, and, if we have concerns about a project, we ask for others to vouch for it before it goes live.

And in 380 cases, no one has ever come close to taking advantage of the system – not once. For some reason, when people post their ideas on ioby, and get them funded online, they actually realize their ideas. And that goes for even the most “out there” ideas.

Read the rest of this blog in Erin’s guest piece “Trust, Accountability, and Your Neighbors” on Philanthrogeek.

Jack Johnson and ioby join smallwater to rebuild in the Rockaways

Thanks very much to Jack and Kim Johnson and the whole team at the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation for matching donations to smallwater’s project on ioby. smallwater began serving the Rockaways in the days immediately following Hurricane Sandy, on Beach 96th Street (across the street from Rockaway Taco), and now, with serious elbow grease put in by neighbors and Jack Johnson himself, a vacant lot that was just six months ago used to deliver food and clothing to people in the Rockaways is now being transformed into a community center and garden. Give to the project now, and the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation will match your donations.

Today is the Day! Whole Foods 5% Day Benefits ioby

That’s right! All day today, all New York City Whole Foods stores are donating 5% of sales to ioby!

We’re so excited about this great partnership for healthier communities, we could shout it from the rooftops and we would love for you to join us. 

So, stock up on groceries and know that 5% of your Brussels sprouts and sriracha are going to ioby. Swing by the ioby table in store at all NYC locations, and say hello to our friendly volunteers. And be sure to tell your friends all about this great opportunity to make a big difference for ioby. 

Rockefeller Foundation Awards Jane Jacobs Medal to ioby cofounders

Last night, ioby’s cofounders — Brandon Whitney, Cassie Flynn and Erin Barnes — were awarded the 2012 Jane Jacobs Medal in a new category, New Technology and Innovation.

To ioby, the Jane Jacobs Medal is a huge honor for a number of reasons. First of all, it is very humbling to be counted among great giants in our city — like Ron Shiffman, Rosanne Haggerty and Carl Skelton — who have dedicated their lives to making NYC neighborhoods great places for all New Yorkers, as well as ridiculously important past medalists without whom this city would be very different:  Omar Freilla, founder of Green Worker Cooperatives, Peggy Shepard executive director of WE ACT, Alexie Torres-Fleming from YMPJ, Barry Benepe, founder of the Greenmarkets, Damaris Reyes, executive director of Good Old Lower East Side, Richard Kahan, from Urban Assembly, Robert Hammond and Joshua David, cofounders of the High Line, Elizabeth Barlow Rogers from the Central Park Conservancy, Robert DeNiro and Jane Rosenthal, Paul Steely White, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives, and Janette Sadik-Khan, the transformational head of NYC Department of Transportation.

Second, Jane Jacobs, her work and her legacy is very much a part of the ioby spirit. Fiercely concerned with the people who make up cities, their role in political participation and planning and their value in the everyday ballet of the city, Jane Jacobs (de)paved the way for a platform like ioby to exist and thrive.

And finally, Jane herself was, compared to the urban planners, real estate owners, developers and architects, not expert. She was criticized for being unscholarly and challenged experts in urban planning. One of ioby’s founding principles is that people who live in a community know what’s best for the neighborhood. ioby’s role is that of a platform for leaders to bring attention to their work in urban neighborhoods — however expert or nonexpert those leaders may be. Sure, many ioby projects are led by professional urban planners or professors of urban planning or practitioners in architecture or design , and many are not. In fact, most ioby projects are led by a person who has lived in a neighborhood for many years and sees the need for positive change. And that’s as expert as you need to be to lead a project on ioby.

So, outside of being one of the greatest thinkers on urban spaces, urban planning and sociology that the world has ever seen, we would also like to call Jane Jacobs an early ioby project leader and count her among our Backyard Blazers and Heroes in Our Backyards.

Thanks to Edwin Torres, Dr. Judith Rodin, the Rockefeller Foundation, MAS, the ioby Board of Directors, funders, project leaders and donors who have been the lifeblood of our work since the very beginning.

With your vote, ioby will get to present at FEAST!

ioby is a finalist in the Feast’s Rev Up Change! The Feast, in partnership with NBC Universal is awarding a $25,000 prize and speaking opportunity at the 2013 Feast Conference to an innovative project that creates social change in the community.

We really, really want to win. The prize will help even more ioby project leaders to bring their ideas to life, making neighborhoods stronger and more sustainable. To win, we need your help! Can you help us?

To vote, follow these three easy steps.

Step 1: Click here

Step 2: Click on one of the icons

You’ll use Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, LinkedIn or Yahoo to sign in. You’ll need to enter in your login (don’t worry, they won’t use it for anything other than counting your vote).

Step 3: Vote

Once you sign in, you’ll see a big, pink button “VOTE FOR THIS PROJECT.” Click on it.

That’s it! You’ll see a pop-up box that says thank you. And if you can share it on Facebook and Twitter to get more people to vote, that would be amazing. The best part is that you can vote every single day. The more people that vote everyday, the better chance we have to win. If you can take 15 seconds each day to vote for us, we will love you forever. Voting ends March 15.

Thank you so much – your support means the world to us!!