Tag Archives: detroit

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!

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

How to hold a successful social entrepreneurship fundraiser

Are you a new social entrepreneur launching a new social enterprise? If so:

  1. Congratulations! America’s marketplaces could use a lot more businesses that prioritize beneficial outcomes for people (and/or the environment) alongside their profits. At ioby, we champion the growing number of social entrepreneurships using their interests, skills, and drive to start effective social enterprises all over the country.
  2. Are you, by any chance, trying to raise money?

If you are, we’d like to offer one big general suggestion followed by some specific advice from successful social entrepreneurs we’ve supported in the past. Continue reading How to hold a successful social entrepreneurship fundraiser

Awesome Project: Detroit’s Unity in Our Community TimeBank

When you make a deposit in a TimeBank, you won’t have to worry about whether it’ll lose value over time. You won’t have to worry about bank robbers, or sky-high interest rates. That’s because the only things a TimeBank holds is time, and the tremendous promise of an alternative way of valuing work, community, and each other.

“Time banking is about thinking about our communities and our economy a little differently,” says Alice Bagley, Unity in Our Community (UOC) TimeBank’s coordinator. “Our money economy only tends to highly value certain kinds of work, and places very little value on things like checking in on our senior neighbors, or the wisdom that people with different experiences might have, or the important work of community building through things like game nights. But we also know that if those things all went away tomorrow then we would no longer have functioning communities.” Continue reading Awesome Project: Detroit’s Unity in Our Community TimeBank

Meet our City Action Strategists

ioby works nationwide; through the magic of the internet and good old-fashioned phones, we are able to provide support to anyone in the United States with a great idea to bring more good to their neighborhood. We also have staff on the ground in Pittsburgh, Memphis, Detroit, and Cleveland–our City Action Strategists. They’re especially tuned into the cities they live in, are experts at supporting neighbors organize and fundraise online, and help residents turn great ideas into great community projects. Get to know our team!

Continue reading Meet our City Action Strategists

How they did it: Two Detroit projects draw on ioby resources to succeed

ioby is a community crowdfunding platform. In the past 10 years, we’ve helped more than 1,500 local leaders raise over $4.5 million to improve their neighborhoods.

But as proud as we are of these numbers, there’s much more to ioby than fundraising.

ioby is also a connector, an advocate, and an information hub. We offer leaders free guides, webinars, events, and more to help them build successful campaigns and win lasting positive change where they live. On and offline, we build connections that increase accountability and get things done. In the face of daunting bureaucracy, we can help you surmount roadblocks. We’re even known to chip in with yard work on occasion!

Continue reading How they did it: Two Detroit projects draw on ioby resources to succeed

AWESOME PROJECT: MuslimARC is coming home to Detroit

When Namira Islam had just finished law school and taken the bar exam four years ago, she paused for breath, and went online to check in with her friends and communities. She had thought about the ways in which she’d felt discriminated against during her life – both as a Bangladeshi immigrant in America, and as a non-Arab in the Muslim community – and found herself drawn to the dialogue on exclusion happening on Twitter.

Continue reading AWESOME PROJECT: MuslimARC is coming home to Detroit

AWESOME PROJECT: Creating a multi-generational green space in Bagley, Detroit

Samoy Smith grew up in Detroit, with a Jamaica-born mother who wasn’t comfortable letting her venture far from the family’s tight-knit Jamaican community. It wasn’t until a school friend invited Smith to her church’s youth group one weekend, during middle school, that she really saw just how fulfilling it could be to build one’s own diverse “chosen family,” to accept invitations from neighbors and then extend them right back out to the next person.

Continue reading AWESOME PROJECT: Creating a multi-generational green space in Bagley, Detroit

Three great youth music programs we love

Love music? Love working with young people? Interested in organizing a music program for youth in your community, but not sure what it could look like?

You’ve come to the right place. Over the years, we’ve worked with many leaders who have started creative initiatives in their communities that get young people involved in music, often in conjunction with something else engaging like the outdoors, visual arts, or technology. They’re all different,  but they all have some common threads (such as, we’ll just say it, being awesome).

Continue reading Three great youth music programs we love

Our new City Partnerships Director, David Weinberger, gets to know Detroit

This spring has brought huge and exciting changes for us here at ioby. First, we brought on  five awesome new staff members    at our home base in Brooklyn, and seriously ramped up work in Memphis. And now we’re thrilled to announce that (thanks to funding from the Kresge Foundation) we’re laying the groundwork for a brand-new set of partnerships to support neighbor-led projects in Detroit!

But we’re not just rushing in headlong with our New York model, or even our Memphis model; Detroit’s unique set of challenges and opportunities mean that a one-size-fits-all approach would be a big mistake. It’s ioby policy to make sure we’re adding to, not duplicating, the work that’s already being done and that means we spend a lot of time in the getting-to-know-you phase.


“It’s always better to come in informed,” says David Weinberger, our brand new, first-ever City Partnerships Director. “In Memphis, we learned a great deal about the city during our research phase, and we’ve been wildly successful there. It’s really important that we fully understand the civic landscape in Detroit before we try to provide anything of value to any leader in that city. We take a contextual approach to working intentionally inside a city. We don’t want to be an organization that jumps in and jumps out.”

To that end, David’s work as he explores Detroit (and all partner cities to follow) will rest on three important pillars:

  1. Extensive research on the existing civic landscape, we call this “phase zero” research
  2. Careful synthesizing of the data and network knowledge collected, and only then:
  3. Creation of a Detroit-tailored ioby model.

And what does all this phase zero research look like? Let’s just say that David has a semi-permanent hands-free headset-shaped dent in the top of his hair from talking on the phone so much. So far, he’s managed to interview more than 70 Detroit-based community leaders in the two short months since he took on his new role. He’s talking to folks in community-development organizations, churches, business improvement districts, small start-up grassroots organizations, government, philanthropy, you name it.

“It’s a city that’s in constant transition,” says David of Detroit. “It’s an incredibly dynamic place, which makes it harder to get your bearings. So what I’m really interested in doing is learning more about the networks of civic leaders and organizations that exist before we start to stake out our place in the city’s civic landscape.”

We think all the up-front time David’s investing in getting to know Detroit is a bit of a unique approach. “I’d say that our holistic approach to understanding a city and where can add value to citizen leaders is novel on its own,” says David, “but also the way we support citizen leaders is novel. It’s why I wanted to work with ioby, and something I’m excited to see stay consistent, even as we grow.”

Creating a new model for each new city sounds like quite a challenge, right? Naturally, we looked far and wide to find the best person to lead our City Partnerships – and it turned out that he was right under our nose. Formerly ioby’s Leader Success Strategist and Partnership Manager, David has a background in transportation policy and a major thing for cities (his current obsession is Pittsburgh). He grew up in a suburb of New York, and didn’t realize until he moved to the city for college how much he’d wanted a stronger sense of place. “When I moved to New York, I immediately found comfort in my neighbors,” he says, “and I found power in contributing to civic life in my neighborhood. I want to give that to everybody. I love the idea of lowering barriers to getting involved.”

Interested to learn more? Stay tuned – up next in city partnerships news are Pittsburgh, Atlanta, DC, Cleveland, LA, and then – who knows? Oh, the places we’ll go.