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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How can I slow down traffic on my street?

“Historically, streets were not just for traffic,” writes David Engwicht, the irreverent public space thought leader, in his book Street Reclaiming: Creating Livable Streets and Vibrant Communities. “They were the epicenter of community life – a place for socializing, children’s play, drama, education, celebrations, social events, and economic activity. These important functions have been slowly eroded as car traffic has exerted its dominance.”

A glut of vehicular traffic—particularly of the high-speed variety—can quickly make your neighborhood feel less like a safe haven and more like the Autobahn. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to help calm your community’s streets.

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Winter fundraising: How to get attention & dollars for your project after the holiday rush

Toward the end of each year, many Americans give more than thanks and gifts.

As you’re likely aware, the six-or-so winter weeks between Giving Tuesday (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving) and the start of the New Year is when one third of annual giving takes place. Despite a fairly disastrous news year in 2017, donors remained energized, and gave even more generously this past “giving season” than the one before.

That’s great news, but it does beg the question: what happens once that holiday rush is done? How can people and organizations trying to better their communities still fundraise effectively once giving season is over and it’s just plain old boring winter for the next few months? (Or maybe for you it begs the question: “I started this project, but now I’m wondering if the timing is all wrong. Help!”)

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AWESOME PROJECT: A hotline for low-income victims of workplace sexual harassment

In this wild, historic, sea change moment for women’s rights – marked by the global #MeToo and Time’s Up movements – a very small Brooklyn-based legal center is working to give voice to low-income, disempowered victims of workplace sexual harassment. The women we don’t hear speaking up in the news. The women who don’t have movie credits or extra letters behind their names. The women who might be most afraid to speak up, and could have more than anyone to lose. Janitors, restaurant workers, undocumented immigrants.

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Nerd alert! Shiny new data about our ioby community and fundraising!

How does ioby staff help project leaders decide which fundraising strategies are best? Well, up to this point, experience, “best practices,” and intuition have been our guide. ioby Leader Success Strategists, ioby’s in-house fundraising coaches, have supported 1,400 ioby Leaders in raising over $4 million in funding. They’ve done this work for years. “We have a pretty good sense for which strategies are helpful to ioby Leaders and which are duds” says Lauren Patti, Leader Success Strategist since 2014, “but we can do even better.”

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