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!”)
Continue reading Winter fundraising: How to get attention & dollars for your project after the holiday rush
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.”
Continue reading Nerd alert! Shiny new data about our ioby community and fundraising!
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.
Continue reading 10 great crowdfunding projects for nonprofit arts organizations
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!
Continue reading How to fundraise if you’re not a 501(c)3 nonprofit
Dawn Glasco, a Community Engagement Coordinator who works with children, has lived on East 76th street, Cleveland, for the past 10 years. And right outside her window, across the street from her home, all those years, had sat a large vacant lot — run down, overgrown with tall grass that the city wasn’t mowing, and littered with trash. A couple of years ago, Glasco started to feel ready to do something about it, summoned her courage, and began going door to door, asking neighbors if they’d join a group effort to beautify the street and turn the lot into an outdoor classroom. She also called the city, asked them to come and mow, and got permission to improve the lot. Glasco’s neighbors were receptive, and so was the city. For her, a door had opened.
Continue reading AWESOME PROJECT: A garden classroom and a space for possibility in Cleveland
New to ioby? New to crowdfunding? Trying to decide whether our platform is right for your idea?
Our introductory webinars give a basic introduction to crowdfunding with ioby, including our top tips for successful campaign planning, proven grassroots fundraising techniques, case studies of successfully funded projects, and an opportunity for you to ask questions.
We offer a general webinar, “Secrets of Crowdfunding Success,” that is geared toward anyone with an interest in crowdfunding for neighborhood projects. We’ll be conducting this webinar three times in coming weeks:
- Thursday, May 28th @ 12:30 – 1:30 pm EST
- Wednesday, June 3rd @ 5:00 – 6:00 pm EST
- Tuesday, June 9th @ 9:00 – 10:00 am EST
Click here to register for one of our introductory webinars.
We also regularly offer introductory webinars in major topic areas such as parks, safe streets, and community gardening.
We’re offering Crowdfunding for Parks Projects on Wednesday, May 27th @ 12:00 – 1:00 pm EST
Click here to register for our “Crowdfunding for Parks Projects” webinar.
If you’re interested in finding out more about crowdfunding for neighborhood projects but can’t make any of these times, or want to ask specific question about your idea, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
James McGirk’s calculus equation (Wired, June 2014) to a successful crowdfunding campaign has some good points.
Your campaign should be presented as professionally as possible, it should be communicated in an interesting way, it should be interesting in and of itself, and there should be some tangible and some intangible benefits to the potential donor. The “Money Woe Multiplier”, defined as ‘the factor by which the donor’s rent exceeds the national mean multiplied by their student debt loan,’ is where ioby’s mission and Kickstarter’s business part ways.
ioby is a funding tool for all people, not just young creatives with access to wealthy roommates and uncles (young creatives welcome, too!). If you’re working to make positive change in your community, we’ll make sure you can build support from within your neighborhood, from an important source of patient capital: your neighbors. You can learn an actual formula to a successful crowdfunding campaign with ioby’s friendly staff through our training program, FastCash, or join us in person at GIFT’s Money For Our Movements in Baltimore August 2-3.
Like Kim Klein says, no matter who you are, you already know all the people you need to know to fund your work.
How is ioby different from other crowdfunding sites? Glad you asked! There are some important differences.
1. ioby is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so all donations to projects on ioby are tax-deductible. Anyone can use ioby, so if you’re not a 501(c)3 yourself, ioby can offer you a limited form of fiscal sponsorship.
2. As a nonprofit, we have a mission to make sure your project is successful. This means we go the extra mile to make sure our platform is designed to serve you.
• NEW DONOR ACQUISITION. We give donors an easy way to join your mailing list after they’ve supported your project and send you the contact information of those who have given to you. Using ioby to power your campaign means a long-term investment in building your own base of donors.
• HIGH SUCCESS RATE. We have a very high rate of fully funded projects. That’s true because we’re here to help throughout the process.
• FLEXIBLE FINISH. We have a unique flexible finish policy that makes it easy for you to keep the funds you raised. “All or nothing” policies might work for contests, but not for real people doing important work on the ground.
• LOW FEES. We have a fee structure that intentionally supports early stage ideas and small projects. No matter how you figure it, we’re cheaper than our competition.
• TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE. We host webinars specifically designed to support civic leaders. We take the best lessons we’ve gathered from successful campaigns to date and share them.
• FRIENDLY STAFF. We care about your work and want to help leverage the ioby community of leaders to support you. We’re always here. And we listen to what you have to say.
3. ioby is more than a funding platform. We call ioby crowd-resourcing because we want you to get all the resources you need for a successful project. We connect you to other civic leaders, host meetings and discussions to support thought leadership in local solutions and civic engagement, like our Getting Good Done series, and bring you into a community of peer learning through our Recipes for Change toolkit. Check out our Resources.
4. You know what’s best for your neighborhood. All projects that are good for the community and make no profit are eligible to use ioby. We never judge how cool or innovative or creative your project seems to us. You know what’s best for your neighborhood, and we’re here to support you.
Last night was a fantastic event at the Housing Works Bookstore hosted by EPIP-NY with DonorsChoose, kiva, and Benevolent moderated by The Networked Nonprofit co-author Allison Fine.
If you missed it, you can listen to the whole podcast right here. Enjoy! Photos below are by Vlad Drekalo. Thank you, Vlad!
Thanks very much to Shannon Dixon and Janis Foster Richardson for this thoughtful piece about the transformation of civic life in communities across the U.S.
They write, “As asserted by Robert Putnam in his much discussed work Bowling Alone and in subsequent writings, Americans are less socially and politically engaged now than 30 years ago. However, are these new forms of connection shifting that trend? For funders that prioritize civic engagement, this topic has relevance. Often this work is being done by informal groups of citizens. Sometimes this work needs an infusion of cash, and funders can certainly provide that ingredient. Members of the Grassroots Grantmakers’ network have experience funding informal groups (non 501c3) and our white paper details how (forthcoming to www.grassrootsgrantmakers.org).” There’s a lot to learn from this interesting report on the landscape; click here to read it.
Oh, and Grassroots Grantmakers, we’re looking forward to that white paper on funding informal groups.