Category Archives: ioby Leader Guide

Getting Good Done in the Cold & Snow

Those of us in the northeast are currently bracing for Winter Storm Juno, which is slated to pummel us tonight and into tomorrow. But even if you’re not facing a blinding blizzard, late January is still a perfect time to hunker down with a cup of hot cocoa and catch up on your reading.

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To this end, we’re very pleased to drop our latest resource guide to getting good done tonight. The ioby Getting Good Done Guides illustrates five projects any community can accomplish together in five steps.

This one is all about the unique opportunities winter affords for cool communal involvement; it’s called In The Cold. Where else can you learn how to build an all-season outdoor pavilion, throw a successful winter event in your community garden, and harness snow to help your city make improvements to pedestrian infrastructure?

That’s right: nowhere.

We recommend letting it download while you mix up your cocoa, then enjoying both from the comfort of a warm set of flannel pj’s.

We’re always grateful to the esteemed contributors who make our guides possible, and to our readers, who send us actionable feedback and heartening stories about their experiences. Please keep your messages coming!

Please stay safe during the storm, too. There will be a great need for snow-person building later this week!

Tactical Urbanism’s History Discovered in Google’s Streetview

Ever wish you could get a 360-degree look at what your block looked like before that community garden was planted? Or wish you could give your newer neighbors a glimpse of the overgrown vacant lot that, after years of hard work, has become the pride of the block?

Thanks to Google, you can do just that. Now, when you search for an address using Google Street View, you can toggle back and forth between past and present. Here’s the front of the ioby office in 2013 and in the upper left hand corner you can see it in Aug 2007.
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The Moore family, some of our most prolific ioby Leaders, sent us this incredible series of snapshots.

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Capturing the same site in Indianapolis three times between 2007 and 2013, the Google van documented the destruction of an industrial building, the vacant lot left in its wake, and the birth of Fall Creek Gardens. A great example of a crowd-resourced placemaking project, the iconic sunflower mural in this garden was entirely funded by neighbors on ioby.

This is more than just an interesting “before-and-after.” We think that this is a powerful illustration of the restorative and creative power of community investment. We know that crowd-resourcing can have definite, if incremental, impacts on a streetscape. Now we finally have a way to go back and see where we started and how far we’ve come.

Guide to Green Infrastructure

Today, ioby is proud to release our Guide to Green Infrastructure, 5 Projects that any Community Can Do to Reduce Storm Water Runoff in 5 Easy Steps. You can can download this free guide by clicking here.


This guide is released as a resource for ioby leaders applying to qualify for the green infrastructure matching funds, also announced today here.

The Guide to Green Infrastructure was written collaboratively by ioby leaders and experts in the field. We are grateful to Robyn Mace, Devona Sharpe, Irene Nielson, Eric Rosewell and Philip Silva for sharing their expertise with all of us.

This resource includes an easy how-to guide on creating a rain garden, a bioswale, installing a rain barrel, depaving and caring for street trees.

We hope you enjoy it! Please share it widely, and if you want to send us feedback, please do so at

Getting Good Done Miami

The January 30 Getting Good Done Miami conversation at the Miami Green Lab was an exciting event. More than 60 of you came out on a rainy night to share practical skills and challenges in doing positive community-based work in Miami.

A full podcast from the event will be available soon. Until then, you can read the storify here.

We were really grateful to have several members of Miami city and Miami-Dade county staff at the event to work with community activists on expediting their great ideas for Miami. Special thanks to Nichole Hefty and Susannah Troner from the Miami-Dade County Office of Sustainability, for initiating this partnership with ioby that is now one year in the making.

We also wanted to recognize Christian Guerrero, the Chief of the Environmental Plan Review at the county, Carlos Hernandez from the County Wastewater Division, and Patrice Gillespie Smith, from the County Community Image Manager for bringing their great ideas to the table. Thanks also to Glen Hadwen from the City of Miami Sustainability for hosting the event at the Miami Green Lab.

Our speakers, Marta Viciedo, Eric Katz, Ileana Collazo and Gayle Zalduondo shared fascinating presentations with us about their projects (all found on


Notable among the practical skills shared to Get Good Done were a focus on taking small steps initially to build support and work within a limited budget at first. The speakers shared that using a light, tactical intervention at first, like a pop-up park, pop-up parklet, or even a pop-up train station, can be great ways to introduce new ideas to a community. Many speakers talked about building creative partnerships and working in neighborhoods where they don’t live and building community, person to person. Marta mentioned that it’s really important to “be nice” when you’re asking people to help you with your ideas. Ileana noted that creative alliances, like hers between artists and developers, can be long lasting. Eric shared his passion for transit-oriented development and said that it is a useful skill he’s acquired in articulating his vision for bringing ecological commodities to all Miami-Dade residents. He emphasized the importance of bringing other people into his network by connecting to them to a shared vision, similar to how one might do so in a grant proposal. Gayle described her surprise when an informal conversation with a new friend about her idea to install a public chalkboard in Wynwood ended up landing her a partnership with a women and girls organization at Miami Dade College.


The Office of Sustainability at Miami-Dade County offered to create a resource guide to try to help ioby leaders and community groups figure out how to get different types of permitting. Miami-Dade County will share this resource guide with all ioby project leaders once finalized. The Office of Sustainability also offered to assist in making connections with other County staff members (and municipal staff when possible). Office of Sustainability staff can be reached at 305-375-5593 or It’s a good idea to contact ioby first so we can help you prepare for your meeting with the county. All ioby staff are notified when you email If you have an idea for an ioby campaign visit or email


Thanks to Luis Munoz for these great photos!

December Fundraising: Effective Last Minute Planning

No joke. A lot of charitable gifts are made during the month of December, like more than a third of all annual charitable gifts from individuals. And, more than 70% of them are made during the last two or three days of December.


Why? Because people want to squeeze in an additional tax deduction in before December 31. Also, a lot of people start feeling charitable because their religions’ holidays might remind them to think of others. Those two motivations can make a big difference.

A lot of organizations have written a ton of literature and tip sheets on year-end giving. A few of our favorites are from Network for Good, GIFT, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

So it’s December 10th (or later! YIKES!) and you haven’t done any planning yet. Click here to visit the ioby Leader Guide to Year End Fundraising, download some of our favorite tip sheets and see instructional videos from successful ioby leaders.