January 23, 2012
For Immediate Release
Executive Director, ioby.org
917-464-4515 x2 o
Director of Community Development
Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation
Micro-Funding Platform ioby.org Teams up with Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation to stimulate green projects at NYC Community Development Corporations
A New Farm in Cypress Hills/East New York and Gowanus Green Wayfinding Project
Take the Lead in Initiating Crowd-Funding Match
New York, NY – ioby, the only online micro-funding platform designed to promote civic environmental projects in cities, announces a new match campaign for all projects led by Community Development Corporations (CDCs) in NYC. Deutsche Bank is the first leading global investment bank to support ioby.org by providing a matching grant to stimulate green projects at NYC Community Development Corporations.
“Any New Yorker can post their project on ioby, but we have a special interest in supporting the ideas and initiatives of New Yorkers in neighborhoods that have a greater burden of environmental problems and fewer resources to address them,” says Erin Barnes, executive director and co-founder of ioby. “With Deutsche Bank’s match for CDC-led projects, we have a special opportunity to work with an existing infrastructure in neighborhoods like this.”
In New York City, CDCs are not-for-profits that work to address problems of social, economic, and physical distress in the low and moderate-income communities in which they are based. Their fundamental mission is to build community leadership and empower low-income people to take charge of their future.
“CDCs bring a comprehensive point of view to neighborhood development, and in many neighborhoods, they are playing a leading role engaging their constituents in local environmental issues,” says Sam Marks, Vice President, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation. “We were compelled by the notion that ioby could provide a platform to allow CDCs to take advantage of grassroots crowd-resourcing for block-level sustainability projects aligned with their broader community visions.”
Leading off this match campaign are two innovative projects. First, the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation (CHLDC), as part of their community-wide sustainability initiative, Cypress Hills Verde, is raising $5,940 for an urban farm in the East New York/Cypress Hills neighborhood of Brooklyn. The project – Pollos Del Pueblo – will transform an overgrown, City-owned vacant lot into a community resource with a chicken coop, a chicken run, storage shed and community compost station.
“East New York/Cypress Hills is a food desert. Fresh, nutritious food is hard, if not impossible to come by out here. The result is a devastating health crisis where a third of adults are obese and 19% have diabetes. Additionally, more than half of residents live below the poverty line, unemployment is a high 19% and more than 80% of students qualify for free lunch,” says Betsy MacLean, Director of Community Development, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation. “At the same time, demand for fresh, nutritious, affordable food is overwhelming – community members desperately want more healthy, affordable choices — for themselves and their families. In a recent survey, we found that more than half of residents said that they would like to grow their own food if they could. This project and grassroots fundraising campaign offer the opportunity to take a real blight on the community – one of many vacant, overgrown lots – and transform it into a site for exciting, important community building AND expanded access to fresh food – including organic eggs!”
The second project in this pilot program is a partnership between Living City Block Gowanus and the Gowanus Community Development Corporation. Together, the groups will host a series of charettes and design contests to create the best wayfinding signs for visitors and residents of the Gowanus neighborhood. The signs will lead pedestrians, cyclists and car traffic to various green infrastructure sites in the area, such as bike racks, solar panels, bioswales and micro-wind turbines.
“Gowanus has a special culture of its own, and the community should play a role in creating and designating the interest spots of the neighborhood,” says Llewelyn Wells, president and founder, Living City Block. “Since the entire process of the project is about citizen engagement, the fundraising for it will be, too.”
Crowdfunding has become an effective way for small organizations and individuals to raise timely cash from their social networks. ioby pools small donations of thousands of micro-donors so far fully funding nearly 100 projects in all five boroughs. The average donation is $35 and the average project budget is $1,200. Most ioby micro-donors live within two miles of the project they are supporting.
“After finding matching campaigns to be a very effective way for us to support the work of ioby’s project leaders, we couldn’t be happier about this initiative,” says Brandon Whitney, COO and co-founder of ioby. “Matches embolden project leaders and micro-donors alike.”
On ioby.org, any New Yorker can post their project idea, connect with top social media sites, raise tax-deductible donations, organize volunteer workdays and share ideas in a likeminded community. Projects on ioby include safe cycling improvements, urban farms, classroom field trips, community gardens and compost initiatives, urban chickening and beekeeping, parks conservation, water conservation, trash cleanups, waterfront, lake and beach restoration, small-scale solar and wind and more.
See Deutsche Bank-matched projects here. http://ioby.org/campaign/cdc-match-campaign-deutsche-bank-americas-foundation
If you have an environmental project for NYC, apply to post your project today. http://ioby.org/idea
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