Double your donations in Memphis!

ioby and the City of Memphis are launching our New Century of Soul matching fund, and we want you to be part of it! If you have an idea for a project that will improve your neighborhood for years to come, our matching fund will double what you raise on ioby.org up to $10,000.

New park bench? Check. Community garden? Check. Solar street lights? Check. If it’s a project that will last in your community for years to come and help make it more fun, more green, and help strengthen your neighborhood’s community, you could be eligible! Learn more about how you could get up to $10,000 matched through the New Century of Soul Match Fund. Continue reading Double your donations in Memphis!

Awesome Project: Ohio City Bicycle Coop

The Ohio City Bicycle Co-op has been an anchor for Cleveland’s biking community for years, maybe even before they had a physical space, or even a name. Jim Sheehan, the Co-op’s Executive Director, has been involved with Co-op since it was an informal group of bike lovers who got together with a cool idea back in 1995. 

“We did an earn-a-bike program and got hooked on teaching a kid to ride and keep their bike running, and they’re happy and smiling and you can go on to the next one,” Jim says. The program was a huge hit, and since then, the Co-op has grown significantly. They moved into a donated storefront in 2002, and then into a “little shack on the river,” along the Cuyahoga, before their community of bikers outgrew the space. In 2010, they moved into their current location on Columbus Road; a 16,000 square foot former industrial building that happens to sit across the street from their very first shop, a reminder of just how much they’ve grown. Looking to offer still more to their community, Jim and the OCBC recently wrapped up their first ioby crowdfunding project, and fundraised over $8,000 to replace workshop equipment and offer even more high-quality workshops

Continue reading Awesome Project: Ohio City Bicycle Coop

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

Awesome Project: Art in the Garden

For the past three summers, every day that it looks like it might rain on a day that she teaches at Borland Garden in Pittsburgh, Emily Carlson talks to the weather and asks for it hold back the rain until two o’clock. That’s when the kids at Art in the Garden, a youth summer program in the garden, go home for the day. Without any shelter in the garden, programming has been at the whim of the weather, though they’ve been lucky. “Every single day for the past three summers it has worked except for one day,” Emily says. “But that feels like a lot to ask the weather, and it feels stressful to me, so we’d really like to have a structure built.”

So she and her community are kicking off their third ioby campaign to raise funds to build a shelter in Borland Garden for all weather–and extended season–learning, after previously having successfully nearly $8,000 with ioby to fund programming in the summer of 2017 and 2018. Continue reading Awesome Project: Art in the Garden

Thanks for an amazing 2018!

2018 was no ordinary year for ioby. We broke a lot of our records, got hundreds of projects done, and pushed the needle further on building a movement of changemakers. We’re not done yet, but the great progress we’ve already made was only possible thanks to the hundreds of neighborhood leaders–like you!–across the country who jumped in with us to get good done in our backyards. Whether you started a crowdfunding project on ioby, volunteered to help make it happen, or gave to a project or directly to ioby, we couldn’t have had an incredible year without you. Continue reading Thanks for an amazing 2018!

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