All posts by ioby

Ways to Donate to COVID-19 Response and Relief Projects

Taking a look at the news, and in our communities around us, there’s no doubt that there are lots of clouds overhead. But there are also lots and lots of silver lining—and they’re helping to lighting up the sky with hope! We’re so inspired by the heartwarming stories of people who are giving their time and resources to uplift others. Students are translating COVID-19 information, people are hosting birthday parades, and robotics teams are helping kids stay active. Each story is different, but their message is the same: we’re all in this together. People are looking for ways to help, and that’s a beautiful thing.

Many project leaders are turning to crowdfunding to finance the great work they’re doing and to help fund and provide support to each other in the wake of COVID-19. If you’re looking to make a difference by donating to a grassroots effort, ioby is a great place to start! We rounded up a few places to give you a head start in exploring, and supporting, neighbors that are making a difference in neighborhoods across the country. 

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Women’s History Month: Celebrating neighbors uniting for gender justice

Women’s History Month is special to us here at ioby. For one thing, roughly two-thirds of ioby leaders and supporters, the folks who dream up big ideas and the neighbors who help bring them to life, are women! And for another, fighting against sexism is an important value to us, and it’s important to the many ioby leaders who are working to shape women’s history today. It’s a key part of the lens through which we see our work; a lens that looks keenly towards an expansive and intersectional vision of justice.

Honoring Women’s History Month to us is as much about celebrating the good as it is about continuing the struggle against sexism, so we wanted to share six ioby project leaders who are organizing their communities for gender justice. Many of them are still fundraising; we hope you’ll take the time to learn more about what these remarkable women are doing to get good done, and maybe consider donating to help them achieve their goals!

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3 crowdfunding projects that honor Black History Month, plus 3 tips to start your own project!

As we celebrate Black History Month this February at ioby, we want to celebrate the fact that Black History is a living history. It’s something to look back on to learn from and take pride in, but it’s also something that lives today—something to build on and to grow. Something that’s happening right now! Our neighbors are showing us the way to do that. 

This year, we want to lift up the incredible work that neighbors are doing to honor Black history, celebrate Black culture and Black people, and fight back against anti-black racism. We’ve highlighted a few projects that are working to strengthen bonds in their neighborhoods and that are moving us all toward a more just world. Many of them are still crowdfunding, too! If you’re feeling inspired, we’ve also pulled together a few of our best tips for starting your own project that fights for racial justice.

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6 Bold Art Education Ideas To Brighten Your Community

Art has a way of making a splash and bringing people together. When folks dedicate themselves to bringing a personal touch to a part of their neighborhood, it makes a place feel more like home. Public art can have a big impact on the people who make it as well as everyone who gets to experience a completed art project. Working together on a public project can help strengthen neighborhood bonds to each other, and to the physical place they share. 

What is art education?

Art education is about learning and practicing new creative skills. These can be visual skills, like painting or drawing, as well as music, writing, dancing, even designing computer games. Art education can take place in a school or in organized programs led by professional artists, but you don’t have to be in a classroom to learn creative skills that help you express yourself better, explore your own ideas, and create art! 

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Beyond volunteering and voting: 4 ways to boost community involvement

If you’re like us, community is important to you. The neighbors you see every day, the folks you work with, the groups you’re a part of shape who you are and where you live. Maintaining those bonds and making sure our neighborhoods are strong, welcoming, and enjoyable places to be takes some work. But you might be wondering how to get involved in your community beyond simply volunteering and voting? We’ve got your back. Check out our step-by-step guide to getting involved in your community in deep ways, and find out what kind of project you could make a difference in your neighborhood. 

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Year end giving: How to raise funds with an impactful campaign

It’s pretty hard to top the warm fuzzy feelings you get when donating to a group or cause you care about, and it’s a feeling that pretty much everyone is chasing at the end of the year. Maybe the cold winter weather makes charitable giving feel even warmer, or maybe people just want to end the year and ring in the new one on a positive note. Whatever the reason the numbers are pretty clear: 31% of giving happens in the month of December, and in just the last three days of the year 12% of all charitable giving occur. Even in the lead up to the holidays, from October to the end of the year, 50% of nonprofits receive most of their annual donations. That means that if you’re looking to raise money, the sooner you start planning for year-end giving, the better!

Whether you’re looking to raise money for a nonprofit organization, an issue, or for a community project, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to ramp up and connect with folks to participate in your year-end giving campaign. Pull your team together and follow these simple steps to design a year-end giving campaign that hits your fundraising goals and help you get good done!

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5 Art Therapy Project Ideas To Make Art With Heart

Art therapy is about giving your mental health a boost, while working on a craft. Creative work often helps folks relax and destress, and gain insight into their own lives. Engaging in an art therapy project in a group can give your community the chance to express ideas or access feelings that might not be easy to talk about, or may not be front and center in your regular lives. Starting an art therapy project not only allows your community to work together creatively, it can also help you build a stronger, healthier community.

What is art therapy?

Art therapy is essentially classic therapy mixed with a form of visual art. Art therapists are often trained, credentialed therapists who use creative work to help people heal and learn more about themselves. It can be a powerful way of digging deeper, and reflecting on what our minds are telling us.

But even if you aren’t a trained art therapist or aren’t working with one, you can still start an art therapy project to bring the benefits to your neighborhood! Projects that engage people in creative expression can be an accessible way to work through emotional struggles, learn useful skills, and work toward a new future. What’s more, health—and mental health—doesn’t just happen in a doctor’s office or a therapy session. It happens all around us, with the people we interact with every day, and there are lots of ways you can work with your community to boost health. 

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How to throw an amazing block party

In communities across the country, block parties liven up our streets in all but the coldest, darkest months. Some might say that block parties originated in Manhattan during World War I, when residents roped off their block to sing songs and hold a parade in honor of their neighbors who had gone overseas to serve. But we’re pretty sure that even your town has its own special origin story for the neighborhood block party.

Wherever they got their start, block parties are hugely popular the world over, and now come in flavors ranging from kid-centric to faith-based to activism-focused.

ioby, too, has a block party hit to share! Neighbors have crowdfunded with ioby to bring people closer together, invite people to walk more, and just celebrate the beauty of being in a community together. Read on to get inspired by three awesome ioby projects with a block party element: each led by a visionary neighborhood resident, and each representing a different type of block party.

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How to ask for donations and level up your fundraising!

Have a great idea for a neighborhood project but nervous about how to ask for donations? Join the club!

The first-time crowdfunding club, that is.

Since 2008, we’ve supported nearly 2,000 local leaders as they’ve crowdfunded to make positive change right where they live. Did all of these people turn out to be successful grassroots fundraisers? Yes! Did they all love fundraising and know how to ask for donations when they started out? Heck, no!

Few of us wake up each morning excited to pound the pavement for cash. But once you learn a few basics about how to ask for donations—and after you practice a few times—we can all but guarantee that the process will get easier, seem more natural, and even feel gratifying. Read on for some of our best tips!

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10 creative community service ideas

Opportunities to serve our communities are everywhere, and can take many forms. Some of the most popular community service ideas are rooted in volunteering with an existing organization—like a soup kitchen, school, or house of worship. We at ioby think this type of community service is stellar, and we applaud anyone who makes the time to get good done with an organization they love.

But we also know there are some that are moved to act by the unique issues in their own neighborhood, and want to imagine, build, and execute their equally unique community service ideas. That’s why we’ve been helping residents bring their good ideas to life for over 10 years. ioby’s community crowdfunding platform—and the expert fundraising support that goes with it—gives people the tools and information they need to raise the cash, awareness, and buy-in necessary to take the positive change they envision from idea to reality.

Below, we’re happy to share 10 of our (many) favorite ioby projects that illustrate how creative, fun, and impactful resident-led community service ideas can be.

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