Awesome Project: A Historic Cemetery Comes Alive… With Goats!

“It started with the trees,” says Melissa Linkous, an ioby Leader in Richmond, Virginia. “There were these beautiful mature oak trees I could see from my kitchen window, but they were being choked by poison ivy. So initially I was just trying to save the trees, and that’s how I discovered we had a cemetery.”

Melissa’s project, Preserving Forest View Cemetery, aims to restore this neglected historic site so it can once again serve as a place of peace, remembrance, and beauty for the community. She’s doing it with the help of her neighbors and friends, some city employees, a local archaeologist, and… a herd of goats.

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Why community gardens fail & how yours can succeed

Don’t get us started about the many benefits a community garden can bring to your neighborhood. From increasing access to fresh produce, to encouraging outdoor exercise and social interaction, to improving air and soil quality, to reducing crime, the list of perks is quite long.

What gets less press are the problems many community gardens face, from theft to toxic soil to culture clashes. That list is fairly long, too!

But before you leave your shovel in the dirt and run off your plot forever, see if you can find some help and hope in our roundup of…

 

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12 currently funding projects, led by women, on International Women’s Day!

From the Women’s March to the #metoo and #timesup movements—in the past 15 months we’ve seen many strong civic leaders step up and create grassroots movements that speak for women’s rights in all its facets.

Here at ioby, we believe that positive change starts in our backyards. Everyday we see on-the-ground women leaders combat racial injustices, advocate for bike safety, beautify public spaces, mentor young women of color, and SO much more!

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Funders! Matching crowdfunding campaigns gets your money closer to the ground

Health foundations exist to improve the wellbeing of the communities they serve. That’s why their grantmaking is often focused on local nonprofit organizations. And that’s great.

But did you know there’s a way for foundations to get their funding even closer to the ground, and encourage more community engagement in health initiatives—while helping to generate additional money for beneficial programs and projects?

All these things are possible when foundations leverage the benefits of community crowdfunding to boost the impact of their efforts and dollars.

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Crowdfunding for our newest neighbors: immigrants and refugees

ioby was created to give residents and community-based organizations access to timely, right-sized funding for neighborhood projects. Over time, ioby has become the crowdfunding platform of choice for people across the country who are working to make their neighborhoods stronger, healthier, greener, and more connected.

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Administration, competition, restriction: Why going nonprofit is not always good for grassroots groups

If you and your neighbors have been working on a project to improve your community, the idea that you should file for nonprofit status has likely come up. That’s understandable, since there are good reasons for some groups to do so.

But for other groups—especially small ones just starting out—incorporating can be an unnecessary, and even counterproductive, expenditure of time and money. In some cases, it can be such a drain that it actually deprives communities of the very services the group is working to provide!

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How they did it: Georgia’s Firefly Trail unlocks public funding through a grassroots campaign

The Firefly Trail was one of ioby’s largest-budget projects to date. Learn how its leaders leveraged their ioby campaign to bring even more good change to their community.

In the spring of 2017, ioby Leader Ivette Lopez Bledsoe led her fellow Firefly Trail board members in raising over $62,000 on ioby for the trail’s Model Miles Project. An effort to build a 39-mile multimodal rail trail from Athens to Union Point, Georgia, had been afoot for at least the past 10 years, but progress was slow. The Board realized that raising funds for “Model Miles” in the communities of Athens, Maxeys, and Union Point would help move the project forward. Then, the board saw a rare opportunity that promised to transform the trail-creation process.

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Love and bike lanes: how to turn bike lane haters & skeptics into lane lovers

One thing we really love here at ioby are BIKE LANES. Unfortunately, we understand that not everyone feels this way. But, Cupid knows, feelings can change!

That’s why we’re pleased to present the following list of of bike lane benefits, categorized to appeal to skeptics of every stripe. Even if your friend or neighbor thinks they feel meh about bike transportation, they’re sure to feel good about traffic safety, having fun, and saving money! So next time the topic comes up, try talking about bike lanes through one of the lenses below. We bet you’ll get them on board.

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Awesome Project: An Oak Tree for Bronx Squirrels

For Bronxites who live near it, the Bronx and Pelham Parkway is a mini Central Park. “When you’re here, you’re isolated from everything else for a moment,” says ioby Leader and nearby resident Roxanne Delgado. “It gives you a moment of zen.”

Sadly, this two-mile-long zen oasis has developed an ugly problem: untamed garbage. As a CBS New York story reported in December 2017: “Instead of taking their trash to the curb, people are taking it to a public park in the Bronx, and residents are outraged.” Roxanne says she was seeing everything from bags of clothes and kitchen scraps to bathroom sinks and window frames strewn around the lawns. The situation reached a breaking point for her last spring, when she saw a squirrel—one of her favorite features of the park—rummaging through a pile of trash. She decided enough was enough, and founded Friends of Pelham Parkway to promote stewardship of this prized green space that serves residents of several adjacent neighborhoods.

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Green infrastructure checklist for local leaders

Interested in learning about what green infrastructure is, why it’s important, and how you can help your neighborhood and your city by starting a green infrastructure project where you live? Start here!

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