Sometimes a community garden just needs a little extra TLC, and this is one of those times for the Bryant Hill Community Garden, in the Bronx. One of only two community gardens in the South Bronx, and an easy 5 minute walk away for half of all Hunts Point residents – whose neighborhood is a food desert with asthma-triggering air quality – it’s desperately needed, and brimming with potential. Unfortunately, its vegetation and stone pathways, battered by years of rainstorms, are also brimming with debris.
Do you know about “third spaces?” Even if you’re not familiar with the term, you certainly do. If we think of our homes as our first space, and our workplace as our second space, then a third space is anywhere else we regularly spend time and that’s part of the fabric of our neighborhood: community centers, barber shops, libraries, parks, cafes, and even sidewalks are all good examples.
Third spaces are where most ioby projects take place. Soon, we hope a lot more of them will be starting up in Boston, where we’re embarking on a new partnership with the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM) to bring ioby to community-based organizations and residents with awesome ideas for their neighborhoods’ third spaces.
Arts nonprofits help people express themselves and build community to create new ways of looking at the world. In order to do this well, arts groups need to juggle many priorities, from planning programs to spreading awareness on social media to enlisting volunteers – and of course, there’s FUNDRAISING. At ioby, we think crowdfunding can be an important tool in every nonprofit’s toolkit, and arts nonprofits have been some of our greatest fundraisers.
When Namira Islam had just finished law school and taken the bar exam four years ago, she paused for breath, and went online to check in with her friends and communities. She had thought about the ways in which she’d felt discriminated against during her life – both as a Bangladeshi immigrant in America, and as a non-Arab in the Muslim community – and found herself drawn to the dialogue on exclusion happening on Twitter.
Want to make more crosswalks on the streets in your neighborhood? Or make the ones you have better? Here’s a bit of background on what makes streets so great (and not so great) and how you can make crossing them easier, safer, and more fun where you live.
If you’re a devoted sustainability planning or policy leader in the public sector today—particularly within a city or state government office or agency—you’ve probably asked yourself one or more of these questions:
- How can we be sure we’re responding quickly and effectively to residents’ ideas and needs concerning environmental issues?
- In our planning processes, how can we include the voices of residents in neighborhoods with long histories of disinvestment?
- How can we expand and deepen our community engagement with a tight budget and scarce resources?
Well, we have a few ideas, courtesy of some outstanding ioby Leaders, projects, and friends:
Samoy Smith grew up in Detroit, with a Jamaica-born mother who wasn’t comfortable letting her venture far from the family’s tight-knit Jamaican community. It wasn’t until a school friend invited Smith to her church’s youth group one weekend, during middle school, that she really saw just how fulfilling it could be to build one’s own diverse “chosen family,” to accept invitations from neighbors and then extend them right back out to the next person.
Wondering if your group needs to formally incorporate as a nonprofit organization before you can fundraise? Friends, we are here to tell you that the answer is a loud-and-proud: NOPE!
Crowdfunding large amounts of money on ioby is totally doable, but it does take some extra planning. If you have your sights set high, your budget — and fundraising skills—will just have to rise to the challenge.