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.
Continue reading 3 crowdfunding projects that honor Black History Month, plus 3 tips to start your own project!
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!
Continue reading 6 Bold Art Education Ideas To Brighten Your Community
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.
Continue reading Beyond volunteering and voting: 4 ways to boost community involvement
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!
Continue reading Year end giving: How to raise funds with an impactful campaign
If you spend a lot of time hanging out in the nonprofit world, like the ioby team, you’re likely familiar with the term “501(c)(3).” This is the Internal Revenue Service’s code for tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations like charities and foundations.
While you might not be as familiar with the classification 501(c)(7), chances are good that you’re a member of one. 501(c)(7) organizations are also tax-exempt (generally speaking), but instead of existing to serve charitable goals, they are “organized for pleasure, recreation, and other nonprofitable purposes.” (Hence why they’re often called “social clubs.”) So, while the Red Cross, for example, is a 501(c)(3), the national women’s social group Theta Phi Alpha Fraternity is a 501(c)(7). Crucially, the 501(c)(7) organizations that you’re likely a part of are run for the benefit of members, and do not pursue a profit.
Other types of 501(c)(7) social clubs include:
– Amateur sports clubs
– Supper clubs
– Homeowners or community associations
– Country clubs
– Clubs for hobbyists, like model railroaders and gardeners
What’s crowdfunding got to do with 501(c)(7)s?
Continue reading How to fundraise for your 501(c)(7)
They say that sharing is caring. But what does sharing look like in real life, in our neighborhoods?
ioby Leaders are sharing powerhouses. They share their time and talents to make their communities better places to live, play, work, worship, and relax. And because all ioby projects must have a public benefit, our Leaders’ visions are focused on sharing, too: of resources, knowledge, enthusiasm… you get the idea.
And all that sharing does a lot of good. Sharing brings people closer together, makes our communities stronger and more resilient in the face of challenges, and makes our neighborhoods better places to live.
To celebrate these great contributions to the greater good—and to inspire YOU to start your own sharing initiative where you live—we’ve gathered three favorite sharing-based projects from the ioby movement.
Continue reading Tool libraries, timebanks, and solar power: Three community projects that promote sharing
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.
Continue reading How to throw an amazing block party
“Green space” means lots of different things to different people. If you’re the the Environmental Protection Agency it might be something more formal like a park, or a community garden. To our friends at Strong Towns, green space might simply be the “non-place padding put between buildings to set them back from the street”–in other words, any place you can squeeze some trees, shrubs, and other plant life.
While your community might think of green space differently—or even disagree on exactly what it means—it’s likely that you and many of your neighbors would like to see more of it. Why wouldn’t you?
Green space provides a multitude of environmental benefits, including:
Continue reading Want more green space in your community? Here’s where to start
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!
Continue reading How to ask for donations and level up your fundraising!
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.
Continue reading 10 creative community service ideas