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.
ioby is a community crowdfunding platform. In the past 10 years, we’ve helped more than 1,500 local leaders raise over $4.5 million to improve their neighborhoods.
But as proud as we are of these numbers, there’s much more to ioby than fundraising.
ioby is also a connector, an advocate, and an information hub. We offer leaders free guides, webinars, events, and more to help them build successful campaigns and win lasting positive change where they live. On and offline, we build connections that increase accountability and get things done. In the face of daunting bureaucracy, we can help you surmount roadblocks. We’re even known to chip in with yard work on occasion!
To kick off our program “Better Bureaucracies: Three NY institutions, three collaborative approaches,” social impact designer April De Simone asked audience members to raise their hands if they had positive associations with the word “bureaucracy.”
If any hands went up, they didn’t go very high.
“This afternoon, we’ll try to shed some light on what’s going on in a few New York City bureaucracies,” she said. “So if we ask that question again at the end, maybe we’ll get a few more hands.”
“It started with the trees,” says Melissa Linkous, an ioby Leader in Richmond, Virginia. “There were these beautiful mature oak trees I could see from my kitchen window, but they were being choked by poison ivy. So initially I was just trying to save the trees, and that’s how I discovered we had a cemetery.”
Melissa’s project, Preserving Forest View Cemetery, aims to restore this neglected historic site so it can once again serve as a place of peace, remembrance, and beauty for the community. She’s doing it with the help of her neighbors and friends, some city employees, a local archaeologist, and… a herd of goats.
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.
If you walk around any city or town in America, you’ll see them. If you have one in your neighborhood, you’ve certainly wondered how it came to be there. If you’re like many in our ioby community, you imagine all the great things you could do with it.
Why, it’s the ubiquitous vacant lot!
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.
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
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
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.