ioby - Tech Nonprofit

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ioby mobilizes neighbors who have good ideas to become powerful citizen leaders who plan, fund and make positive change in their own neighborhoods.

Founded: 2008 by Erin Barnes, Brandon Whitney, Cassie Flynn

  • Program Area

    Public Service & Civic Engagement
  • Location of Impact

    United States
  • Headquarters Location

    Brooklyn, New York, United States
  • Product Platforms

    Web, Open Source
  • Budget

    $1,000,000 +
  • Founder Demographics

    Female, Racial or Ethnicity Minority, LGBTQ

ioby helps neighbors grow and implement great ideas one block at a time. Our crowd-resourcing platform connects leaders with funding and support to make our neighborhoods safer, greener, more livable and more fun.

ioby believes that it should be easy to make meaningful change “in our backyards” - the positive opposite of NIMBY.

ioby uses the concept of crowd-resourcing (a term we coined) to drive projects to success: crowdfunding + resource organizing = crowd-resourcing

Crowdfunding is the pooling of small online donations for a cause or project.

Resource organizing is a core tenet of community organizing that considers activists and advocates the best supporters to ensure the success and long-term stewardship of a cause or project.

As a combination of these two, ioby's platform gives everyone the ability to organize all kinds of capital—cash, social networks, in-kind donations, volunteer time, advocacy—from within the neighborhood to make the neighborhood a better place to live. Additionally, ioby staff provide leaders with training and capacity-building services to leaders working to implement neighborhood projects that visibly improve the places we work, live and play.

ioby believes that successful and lasting change comes when we embrace struggle and uncertainty as opportunities for creative experimentation and trust its potential for transformational impact. ioby’s founders channeled this experimental spirit of leadership: In 2008, Erin Barnes, Brandon Whitney, and Cassie Flynn, former graduate school classmates at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, created ioby. Through their work doing community-based environmental management, the founders were struck by the great ideas and energy of local residents, but heard time after time that these would-be leaders lacked access to tools to bring their ideas to reality.

So, they founded ioby to facilitate the interaction of neighborhood leaders, donors, and volunteers online to crowd-resource the capital—financial and social—leaders need. ioby is the first and oldest civic crowdfunding platform in the world, and the only crowdfunding platform that offers wrap-around services like fiscal sponsorship and technical assistance to ensure that projects are implemented, not just funded.

Funders and Awards

Assisi Foundation, Cleveland Foundation, Ford Foundation, Fund for Shared Insight, George Gund Foundation, Grable Foundation, Hillman Family Foundation, Hyde Family Foundation, JPB Foundation, Knight Foundation, Kresge Foundation, New York Community Trust, New York State Health Foundation, Overbrook Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Saint Luke’s Foundation, Summit Foundation, Transit Center