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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

ioby

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Philanthropy

Mission: ioby stands for “in our backyards,” but it also stands for taking care of each other, for civic democracy, and for trusting neighbors to know what’s best for the neighborhood. ioby gives leaders the ability to organize all kinds of capital—cash, social networks, in-kind donations, volunteers, advocacy— to build real, lasting change from the ground up. Our crowd-resourcing platform at ioby.org helps connect leaders with support and funding from their communities to make our neighborhoods safer, greener, more livable and more fun.

Results: We've supported nearly 2,000 resident leaders, from start to finish, as they crowdfunded over $5.5 million in grassroots donations and built support from their neighbors, government leaders, and the community to create lasting positive change in their neighborhoods.

Target demographics: emerging leaders fund their visions for change.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 450 neighbors successfully crowdfund and launch projects that created lasting change in their community, and trained over 3,500 residents to crowdfund effectively, working with government leaders, and more!

Geographic areas served: Neighborhoods across America

Programs: Project Support: ioby provides a host of tools and services for neighbors that crowdfund using the ioby platform. We offer an online crowdfunding platform, and a host of digital resources that leaders can tap into. We also have a dedicated team of strategists to help leaders with one-on-one support as they plan and manage their projects, tell a compelling story digitally, and strategize a successful grassroots fundraising campaign. We also offer limited fiscal sponsorship to support leaders collect tax-deductible donations for projects that provide a clear public benefit. We've successfully supported and launched 1,850 projects to date!

Online platform: This program is the functional heart of our organization and the core of our unique model; it enables most other aspects of our work. We design, build and maintain a web platform (ioby.org) focused on meeting the needs of the project leaders we serve and the donors that support their work. This platform is constantly evolving through iterations and enhanced by feedback from both project leaders and donors.

Project advocacy & recruiting: We actively recruit neighbors with great ideas to launch projects, and connect with potential donors and volunteers. This program also includes all our events and communications to keep donors involved and up to date with projects they have supported, as well as a variety of outreach activities to promote the work of our projects to the broader community of interested community activists and neighborhood leaders. We have built strong relationships with hundreds of local community groups and nonprofits across the country, and recruited thousands of projects.

Community Stories

26 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

ioby is an incredible organization that might well change the nature of philanthropy. It tackles larger issues by encouraging projects on a local level. By making everything local, issues become personal; impact can be seen immediately; and people become more engaged with their communities. The staff--comprised mostly of founders--is smart, efficient, and relentless. Technology is core to how they help communities, but they are unafraid to use modern tools to stay lean. ioby is an organization that solves problems in a systemic way, rather than purely focusing on symptoms, and for that reason and many others too numerous to list, I am a committed supporter

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ioby helped me fund a student community project in Raleigh, NC. This was my first attempt at raising money online through crowdfunding, or as ioby calls it crowd-sourcing. I am grateful to ioby for being an easy to use platform that made it possible to share and fund our dream community project.

Partnering with ioby was a wonderful experience. Ioby’s staff are incredibly responsive and proactive! It was easy to reach staff whenever I had a question. Also, staff provided helpful support resources, time, and enthusiasm to maximize the likelihood of our success.

I would highly recommend ioby to anyone looking for a positive community building experience.

Thank you ioby! We couldn’t have done it without you!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We have a very close working relationship with ioby as we have worked together to roll out their program and platform in Memphis neighborhoods. It has been very rewarding to help our grassroots leaders take their ideas from concept to funding to implementation. Like others I believe ioby is advancing the world of philanthropy as well as that of capacity building for neighborhood leaders.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ioby helps connect people with their place, weaves together neighbors and communities, helps repair our relationship with the Earth and build our relationships with one another. It is so good - in the way that garden-grown tomatoes are good, or riding a bike on a sunny day is good, or watching children play in dirt is good. Ioby provides those of us who are easily overwhelmed with a manageable and real way to make this world a better place.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Ioby was born out of a desire to empower people to create the change they hope to see in the world by being able to help support projects in their own backyard. In the few years since its founding, it has facilitated the investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars of citizen philanthropy into local projects, and amassed wonderful support and following from city governments, non profit and for profit entities, and communities all over the country.

This idea that citizens can have a hand in shaping their local communities in a meaningful and tangible way ignites a passion in people that is palpable in Ioby's community. That passion is met by the staff's commitment, talent, and skill for identifying and supporting projects, taking them from start to funded, making sure that participants are well resourced with tools and a cohort, and a deep understanding the issues projects are trying to address. This along with their smart and measured approach to measuring impact, makes ioby a unique and well positioned organization that can help to facilitate this new and powerful form of civic engagement.

Board Member

Rating: 5

ioby is truly a unique and remarkable organization. the founders do not just care for the cause, but are extremely passionate. at the end of the day, ioby is really trying to help change communities and make them better for all citizens. the service it provides to those who want start a project to volunteers is above and beyond.

Board Member

Rating: 5

ioby is an incredible organization that I am eager to see develop a more national presence of the deep need for this approach to social change in other parts of the country. ioby's bold, innovative yet humble approach to citizen driven philanthropy hence citizen empowerment is refreshing in an environment of tremendous need but shrinking resources and high levels of risk mitigation from traditional funders and investors. ioby's SMART approach is also refreshing seeing the number of new nonprofits often started with the best of intentions but lacking deep analysis and strategic planning to understand how they will carry out thier work to meet the needs of the people they are trying to serve. Finally, ioby has distinguised itself as a crowd-resourcing platform by providing high quality training and tools and support of particularly populations of color and women to empower them to make change in thier communities. Kudos to the staff of this incredible organization for thier vision, bravery and committment to change.

Review from Guidestar

Benjamin6

Board Member

Rating: 5

ioby's team is incredibly passionate and their project leaders are even more so. what a great organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

ioby helps to seed and grow local civic engagement, neighborhood action, and environmental change. They facilitate all of this work with a strong commitment to grassroots action, social justice, and diverse participation (including women, people of color, and low income people). They bring the 21st century tools of internet based crowd-resourcing to local neighborhood leaders. I've seen firsthand the difference that they made in their first pilot city (New York City) and am excited to watch them transform to a national organization. Block associations, community gardens, school groups, and informal groups of friends and neighbors are the people who power the projects behind ioby (composting, bike sharing, investigatory journalism, toolshares, rainwater harvesting gardens, play spaces -- you name it). Sometimes all these leaders need is an internet platform, some sound advice, and a network of peers -- ioby provides all of this.

Board Member

Rating: 5

ioby has it all: smarts, humanity, energy and a sustainability-driven goal. By providing an easy-to-use project "crowd resourcng" platform, ioby builds community leaders, strengthens neighborhoods, and enables projects to raise needed funding to carry out important local work. Not only that, EVERYone attracted to this valuable organization brings fresh vitality and great energy - qualities that ripples out and amplify the chorus of voices for greater sustainability locally and beyond.

____705

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ioby provides a platform for bringing ideas into reality. The ioby team is innovative and dedicated to supporting community environmental projects. We've raised over $20,000 on the ioby.org website and for projects small and large. By making fundraising for projects easy, flexible and social, we have been able to grow and succeed in our projects, mission and goals.

Client Served

Rating: 5

IOBY is incredible and happy that it is based in New York; the rest of the country is lucky for its expansion. I have been involved with several ioby projects from funding of my community garden in Brooklyn and assisting with teaching initiatives at my school. The staff is wonderfully kind, responsive, and generous with their time and energy. I am happy to connect with them on a frequent basis.

Donor

Rating: 5

As someone that has donated both money and time to ioby's various projects, I have seen vacant lots turned into thriving community gardens, rundown parks turned into vibrant recreational areas, and every day citizens transformed into community leaders and activists. With the help of ioby, people are able to take an idea and create something that has an immediate, real world impact on their surrounding community. ioby makes it easy to place donors and volunteers with environmentally-related projects they care about in their neighborhoods, and I will continue to support the work they are doing in any way I can!

George29

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ioby has provided numerous opportunities for me to create my own environmental projects, AND has taught me how to become an effective leader. I cannot thank Erin, Brandon, Cassie, and David for their constant support over the past couple of years!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ioby has a real shot at making a difference in our neighborhoods.

Their platform is one of the best uses of pairing technology with local community growth.

Their team is one of the most passionate in this space and have worked tirelessly to help hundreds of local ideas turn into dreams for local members.

Donor

Rating: 5

ioby is a very easy and direct way for people to create the change they would like to see in their neighborhoods, by raising funds and volunteers, crowdsourced by their community members.

Board Member

Rating: 5

ioby provides crucial support for community leaders working to improve their communities from within, by helping groups to find volunteers and raise greatly needed funds, in small amounts, from their neighbors -- spurring civic participation and enabling local solutions to global issues. And ioby makes it easier for people looking to support compelling projects in their own communities.

I've worked for over a decade to help local groups create positive change in their communities, and I have seen firsthand how few sources of support exist for small neighborhood groups. ioby provides an answer to that tremendous challenge -- helping local groups connect to and grow a sustainable source of funding and volunteers.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The real way to change the world is by small actions, taken by groups of neighbors working together, across cities and neighborhoods all over the world. ioby supports and kickstarts these actions by giving a fundraising and crowd-resourcing platform to these groups, giving communities a tool to make ideas into actions. From community gardeners to LGBT high school activists to entrepreneurs, ioby supports the diverse set of heroes who make our lives better, one backyard at a time.

ioby went from a NYC-based program to a national one in 2012 and the result has been hundreds more projects supported all over the country. it provides a platform for small groups and small projects to find resources. It also provides accessible philanthropy for the 99%. Donors know that their gifts, no matter how small, are critical to the community groups they support.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been on the board of ioby for 2 years now. Coming from a grassroots perspective, I felt a personal commitment to funding programs in inner cities and in low income neighborhoods. I am extremely proud that ioby looks at and sponsor's organizations that are doing work that directly impacts local neighborhoods and communities. This organization is not top down, but support is from the bottom up, recognizing that community people build leadership. If we are going to change the way people think about funding resources, it can not be done by writing big grants. This is not sustainable. What is? Is people power, individuals willing to give their own personal donation and time to a project in need of resources.
This is why I am a board member of ioby; we have created an online funding platform that supports community initiatives not only locally but now nationally as well.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

IOBY has gotten better with age and more community support. When i first started with them the site was just getting started. Now there are great projects from all over the 5 boros and as more and more small NPO's hear about it, more projects are listed. I love that many gardens and compost projects are on board now. Its great to see how many other people are doing things to make NYC greener and cleaner-all with help from ioby.org

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ioby.org has been a great help in finding funding for worthwhile projects that might otherwise go undone because of a lack of funding. Ioby provided the means for this project to go forward and become a reality

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer with ioby and have been so impressed with the vision and professionalism of its founders. They are definitely not only changing the way citizens engage in environmental action in their communities, but also how nonprofits utilize technology to better achieve their missions and to reach their audience.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had an idea but didn't know where to start. I asked Ioby - how can I make this happen? They reached out to their network and found the people I needed to talk to. Ioby not only helped get my project started but they also attended the cleanup I organized. The folks at Ioby are a great group of people making a huge difference one project at a time!

4

Donor

Rating: 5

I've had a great experience interacting with IOBY both online and in person at their events. It's truly an idea (empowering folks to work towards positive environmental change within their local sphere of influence) who's time has come! I've personally donated and volunteered at a few local projects and found the experience personally rewarding and I'll certainly participate again.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

I really like IOBY because I felt overwhelmed by the task of finding a green cause to support; I didn't have a lot of money to give, but I wanted to give a series of smaller donations to a cause that would benefit the neighborhood I love. I knew I wanted to give at the grassroots level, but I didn't know where to start looking. A friend pointed me to IOBY and their easy to use website. I liked seeing photos of the different projects and knowing exactly where my $25 would go. Highly recommended to anyone who wants to help keep their neighborhood and all of New York clean.

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I'm so glad to see micro philanthropy coming to U.S. (so much is focused in other countries). What a great concept IOBY is! I'm really excited to see it replicated in other cities/states.