Why do crowdfunding campaigns fail?

All the buzz surrounding crowdfunding can make it seem like some kind of magical cash machine: put your idea online, tweet a few times, and watch the money roll in. What could be so hard about that? Everyone’s doing it!

It’s true that there are many thousands of active crowdfunding campaigns online at any given time, but plenty of them will fail to reach their goal. The last time we checked, Kickstarter’s full-funding success rate was about 40 percent; Indiegogo’s was about 12 percent. ioby’s? We’re sitting pretty at 80 percent!

We think our project leaders are so successful because with ioby, you won’t be tempted to just set up a page and let the money roll in (because trust us, it won’t). We provide the coaching and support for you to plan, build, and market your own campaign both on and offline to build donor interest and trust. Then (and only then) you’ll see the Benjamins.

Of course, any crowdfunding campaign can fall short of its target. In the past decade, we’ve supported over 1,600 local leaders in raising over $5 million to improve their neighborhoods. But between those many awesome successes, we’ve noticed some common missteps made by campaigns that don’t hit their mark. Fortunately, these gaffes are all avoidable. Continue reading Why do crowdfunding campaigns fail?

Ten Year Stories: Roundhouse Revival

ioby was founded in 2008 in order to make it easier for local leaders to gain the funding, knowledge, and resources needed to make positive change on a local level. For the past ten years we’ve worked alongside more than 1,600 passionate, committed community leaders and have watched as small projects have turned into larger initiatives and collaborations have become movements.

In the coming months, we’re taking a look back at the past ten years, and tell some of our favorite stories of positive neighborhood change. We want to know: what kind of things can start with a conversation, a neighborhood meeting, a few dollars raised?

This month, Roy Barnes tells us about how Memphis is rallying together to save a historic coliseum from being demolished, and creating new memories and community along the wayContinue reading Ten Year Stories: Roundhouse Revival

Small budget projects, BIG impact

What can you do for $500 or less?

$500 may not seem like a huge amount of money, but in the 10 years we’ve been helping local leaders fundraise for community projects we’ve seen just how much of an impact even small budget projects can make. There’s a reason the phrase “throwing money at the problem” has developed a negative connotation, after all. At the end of the day, it’s simply a matter of how your project gets done. Here are a few of the top low-budget best practices we’ve learned from our local leaders in the past decade.

Continue reading Small budget projects, BIG impact

Tactical urbanism, the Memphis way

“Memphians don’t always do well with rules,” explains lawyer and city planner Tommy Pacello. Memphis-raised, he left for college and was drawn back to join the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team, an effort funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies to generate neighborhood economic vitality and reduce gun violence among youth. “The city’s got this grit and soul and texture to it that comes from being a river town, I think. It’s part of our DNA as Memphians.”

But that grit and that soul, in a city that faces its share of systemic challenges, haven’t always found creative outlets. “For many years,” says Pacello, “we had lived in an environment where people felt somewhat stifled. Felt they had to wait on other people to do things for us, to find the silver bullet.” For a community to see itself as dependent on slow-moving government, or on anyone, for positive change, safety, and cohesiveness, is deeply demoralizing. Something had to give.

Continue reading Tactical urbanism, the Memphis way

5 ideas to crowdfund money (and more!) for your school

Utter the phrase “school funding” and—whether you’re among friends, strangers, or just querying the internet—you’re likely to incite a storm of opinions.

Public or private, from pre-K through 12th grade, in rural communities and urban, the subject of paying for education in America has always been a complex one. In the past year alone, declining government support, teacher strikes, and systemic funding inequalities have made headlines across the country.

What to do about it all?

ioby doesn’t have all the answers, of course. But one thing we do know is that teachers, students, parents, administrators, and local nonprofits all have the power to rally their communities and raise the support they need to bring real, tangible, positive change to their schools. And we can help.

Continue reading 5 ideas to crowdfund money (and more!) for your school

What makes ioby different?

We’re ioby, as in “👁-oh-🐝.” We know, it’s not a traditional name, so we don’t mind when people ask what it stands for (in our backyards, by the way). We also stand for a bunch of other things, like trusting our neighbors to know what’s best for their neighborhood, and helping them lead the charge to bring positive change to the places we live. And we’re pretty different from most of the other crowdfunding sites out there. Here are just a few ways we stand out.

Continue reading What makes ioby different?

Cheers to $5 million worth of neighborhood change

You might have noticed that we say “neighbors” a lot here at ioby, often interchangeably with “residents.” To us, “neighbors” means experts; it means the people who know their community best because they live in it, work in it, and play in it. They know how the block was, how it is now, and how it could be to better serve everyone in the neighborhood. They are our guiding stars and the people who shape what we do. After all, who better to turn to than the experts?

Today, we’re excited to announce that the work of all our expert change makers led up to something pretty big this month: with a median donation of just $35, 1,600 leaders rallied thousands of their friends, neighbors, and families to give over $5 million to community-led change since ioby got started. Continue reading Cheers to $5 million worth of neighborhood change

Meet our City Action Strategists

ioby works nationwide; through the magic of the internet and good old-fashioned phones, we are able to provide support to anyone in the United States with a great idea to bring more good to their neighborhood. We also have staff on the ground in Pittsburgh, Memphis, Detroit, and Cleveland–our City Action Strategists. They’re especially tuned into the cities they live in, are experts at supporting neighbors organize and fundraise online, and help residents turn great ideas into great community projects. Get to know our team!

Continue reading Meet our City Action Strategists