Our new Digital Inclusion Policy is the latest component of ioby’s larger Racial Equity & Inclusion (REI) framework, which is currently under development in a co-creation process with our staff and Board. We see ioby’s Digital Inclusion Policy as a guiding tool so that we can hold ourselves accountable to make just, equitable product and marketing decisions in both long-term and daily work. The policy was created based on formal and informal feedback from ioby Leaders throughout the years, and drafted with input from our entire staff.
The new policy is rooted in ioby’s five Principles:
- Local is Best
- Small is Big
- Inclusivity is Key
- We’re Whole People
- Learn, Experiment, Share
In order to apply these principles into our product and marketing work, here are the actions we will take as part of the Digital Inclusion Policy:
- We center the people we serve—ioby project Leaders and their teams, project donors, projects volunteers, and those who are learning with us—in our decisions about our products and marketing. We use feedback from the people we serve to inform the product roadmap. We use research recruitment guidelines to ensure the feedback we receive comes from a diverse pool of users. We use insights from ioby staff to prioritize our roadmap.
- We meet people where they’re at. We create a user experience that is simple, easy to follow, and grounds the resident leader in their place in the experience. We do this with clear communication and stages, from ideation to disbursement and project implementation, with smooth transitions between teams and third-party apps. We make it clear that each resident leader is assigned a strategist, with a photo, a name, and list of responsibilities throughout the process.
- We recognize that the people we serve are whole people with different abilities. We strive to make ioby.org and resources available in an appropriate language when we have the capacity to do so. We use videos, graphics, short-form content, and text that is accessible to the communities we serve. We use ASL interpreters or auto captioning for online events. We conform with Level AA Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to ensure we’re including anyone experiencing any permanent, temporary, or situational disability. We have a design system to ensure functionality of User Interface elements are consistent across different devices.
- We know that deep participation at the local level is meaningful and so we strive to provide the most relevant and location specific information.
- We value contributions and generosity of all kinds and so strive to make the most inclusive giving platform possible by accepting cash, check, credit / debit cards, digital wallets, employer-matched gifts, donor-advised funds, text to give, as well as sweat equity and volunteer time. We will continue to evaluate the ways that people contribute and give.
- We serve as a bridge to give resident leaders more access to institutional funding through match programs. We communicate availability, and approach distribution based on eligibility.
- We strive to simplify, streamline, and consolidate any tools to be as inclusive of all the people we serve (all ages, comfort levels with technology, and device capabilities). We strive to support any browser or device used by 1% or more of the people we serve.
- We follow the best practices of privacy protection. We publicly disclose our methods of data management and analysis as well as how they are used by ioby staff. When conducting user research related to ioby’s online services, we provide a consent and authorization form detailing types of information ioby collects and how it will be used and shared internally.
- We share learnings from our data and sometimes share raw anonymized data. Non-aggregated data is only shared when a non-disclosure agreement is in place with the third party.
To be truly effective, digital inclusion must go beyond ADA-compliant screen layouts, and must be rooted deeply in equity and inclusion. At the same time, it must be actionable enough to make a difference in the everyday user experience of ioby Leaders when they work with our staff and our digital products.
By adopting this new Digital Inclusion Policy, ioby aims for full transparency in the principles with which we measure the success of our work together. At the same time, we want to share the actionable, concrete steps we pledge to take every day. We hope you will join us in holding us accountable as we communicate with and serve our neighbors.
Questions? Reach out! firstname.lastname@example.org.
New York City resident Danielle Bagley absolutely loves living in the neighborhood of Washington Heights and Inwood (WHIN) in Uptown Manhattan. “I like to describe it as ‘lively,’” she says, and that’s why she feels connected to it. “You always have folks out on the sidewalk, chatting or listening to music; in the summertime, people are out playing games. It’s quite beautiful. There are lots of great community art projects. There’s an Audubon bird mural project. You can walk around and see murals [of different birds] that people have created.”
Continue reading Awesome Project: WHIN Food Council
New York City resident Dominique recalls the early days after George Floyd’s murder in May 2020, when she and her friends Hannah and Stephanie were looking for ways to help the Black community. Like much of the nation, they were grappling with feelings of anger, sadness, and frustration that arose in response to the murder of Floyd, as well as the countless others who came before him.
Continue reading Awesome Project: Easy Activism, Fundraising for Black Mental Health
From serving up hot meals to writing cookbooks and everything in between, Brooklyn resident AD knows the ins and outs of their local restaurant community. As a former barista, bartender, and server, and a current activist and hospitality consultant, their roots run deep in the industry. “I’m pretty entrenched in the restaurant community here in Brooklyn,” they say.
Continue reading Awesome Project: Service Workers’ Coalition: Grocery Stipends
On Saturday mornings, Abi Gildea makes her way to 50 50 Liberty Avenue in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield neighborhood. Any other day of the week, her route would lead her to an empty parking lot. But on Saturdays, the area transforms into a bustling market filled with dozens and dozens of local vendors. From vegetables to prepared foods to home goods and everything in between, Bloomfield Saturday Market is a place for people to enjoy a taste of Pittsburgh. And Abi is the woman behind the market’s magic.
Continue reading Awesome Project: Bloomfield Saturday Market
Sister Marie Benzing smiles as she recalls the most recent graduation ceremony from La Casa Guadalupana, a family literacy program based in Detroit. “They were so proud, you know. They were each in their car, in the parking lot with their families, and Lourdes called their names. They got out of their car and walked up. She put their certificate on the corner of the table and then backed away. They took their certificate and all the horns were honking. It was so cool.” In the middle of a year that brought so many challenges to their community, the graduation was an occasion truly worth celebrating.
Continue reading Awesome Project: La Casa Guadalupana
At ioby, we’re constantly looking for ways to improve our user experience and offer features that help meet your needs. It’s why we always ask for feedback from project leaders like you, and why we invite your thoughts at every step of the crowdfunding process.
One of the most requested features from project leaders has been for an easy and simple way to download your list of donors. We’re happy to share that this feature is now live!
Here’s how to download your donor lists on your ioby campaign page:
Continue reading NEW FEATURE! How to download your donor list on ioby
Fighting for racial justice is an ongoing, multifaceted process. The challenges we face are interconnected and will take actions big and small from all of us to overcome. To commit to the movement for Black lives, then, is to be committed to a continuous and systemic approach to our fight for racial justice. It’s a tall order, but we know some folks who are up to the task!
We put together a three-part blog series to offer just a few examples of what the fight for Black lives might look like in your community; we invite you to support these projects and to draw inspiration from them for your own project. It features powerful examples of Black-led projects on ioby that fight for a world where Black Lives Matter in their own unique ways. Explore them below, then, check out our resources to help bring your own idea to life.
Continue reading Organizing your neighborhood for justice: Past, Present, and Future
As we edge closer and closer to Election Day on November 3, folks across the country are heading out to the polls to cast their votes and let their voices be heard. And although there are many things about this election that make it different from those of years past, one thing remains the same: as Americans, we have the right and the responsibility to use our vote to build a better society for ourselves and our neighbors.
We know that while voting is powerful and important, our civic duties don’t end there. So today, we’re bringing you five ways that you can get involved in local elections, increase voter participation where you live, and boost civic engagement in your community. In doing so, you’ll be helping yourself and your neighbors build the habit of becoming lifelong civic doers!
Continue reading 5 ideas to get involved in local elections and boost civic engagement
Right now, we are living in a pivotal moment in our nation’s racial trajectory, and the whole country is paying attention to the Black Lives Matter movement’s call to action. From small backyard gatherings to busy city streets, people everywhere are standing in solidarity with Black lives. They’re listening, they’re learning, and they’re fighting positive change that will move us all toward a more racially just society.
We know that we have a long way to go until we get to justice, but we know that achieving racial justice is possible. It will take neighbor leaders like you uniting to celebrate and honor Black history, stand against racism and fight for justice in the present, and look toward the future with hope.
So today, we’re sharing the stories of several ioby projects that are exploring what a just future might look like, and investing in their communities as they chart a path to that future. We hope you’ll be as inspired by these changemakers as we are! This is the final piece of a three-part series on fighting for Black lives; be sure to check out our previous posts about honoring Black lives of the past and sustaining the fight in the present.
Continue reading Organizing the Neighborhood for Justice: Building the future