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Questions? Email: Cleveland @ ioby .org 

Eligibility Requirements:

Projects are eligible to be part of The Fowler Family Foundation Creative Arts Match Fund if they meet the following criteria. Project donations are matched instantly up to $500 per donor, and matching stops at $2,500 or when the program ends. 

To enroll in this match program:

  1. Campaigns must fund the implementation of a local arts and/or culture project. (Arts and/or culture must be the primary focus of the project or program.)

  2. Projects must take place in Cuyahoga County and be for the benefit of Cuyahoga County residents.

  3. Projects must create a public benefit and not be aimed at making private profit for a specific individual, family, business, or other entity. (This means that art cannot be installed on one private business, one private home, or other private property. Art can be installed on nonprofit property.)

  4. Projects must be led by an individual resident, volunteer group of friends and neighbors, school, place of worship, or nonprofit organization (with AN ANNUAL ORGANIZATIONAL BUDGET of less than $300,000) located within Cuyahoga County limits. Note that you do not need to be part of a nonprofit organization to access match funding. Projects may be led by an individual/informal community group with a local fiscal sponsor to steward funds on their behalf, or ioby can serve as the fiscal sponsor. Please contact ioby directly if this is needed.

  5. Be specific and concrete. All ioby campaign pages must include a budget outlining how funds will be spent.

  6. Projects must complete fundraising and cash out by March 31, 2024. Here's why.

  7. ioby policy requires that match participants achieve a minimum of five distinct donors in order to cash out with matching funds. Here's why


Ineligible Projects and Budgets:

  1. Projects that lack a primary focus on arts and/or culture are not eligible. (For the purposes of this match program, projects with a primary focus on the natural sciences or sports are not eligible.)

  2. Because all ioby projects must have a public benefit, projects that benefit one specific individual or family, or a single private business are not eligible. (Note: projects that benefit a nonprofit are considered for public benefit.)

  3. Organizations with an annual budget larger than $300,000 are not eligible for this match program.

  4. Projects involving: political campaigning, lobbying, or contributions to political campaigns are not eligible.

  5. Fundraising for a pool of funds to be re-granted to others or used for an unspecified purpose in the future is not eligible.

  6. Match funds cannot be applied to any project led by a current Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation arts & culture grantee


Examples of potential projects include:

  • Murals on a local school or neighborhood building

  • Temporary or permanent public art installations in a local park

  • Arts fairs and parades

  • Afterschool art classes such as music, digital arts, literary arts, visual arts, etc.for youth

  • Community gardening

  • Musical street fairs and affordable/free public concert.

  • Summer film screenings in a local plaza or community garden

  • Dance classes offered at the local community center

  • A new mosaic beautifying the entryway to a school or park

  • Outdoor dance performance for the public

  • An event series for local artists to gather to share work and build community

  • Funding for a community gallery or existing arts nonprofit


Funds raised on can be used to cover any cost directly related to your specific project, including:

  • advertising and marketing

  • materials and equipment

  • educator, performer, speaker or intern stipends

  • local travel

  • food and other event costs

  • event permitting and insurance fees

  • volunteer rewards such as T-shirts

  • software and hardware

  • contracted services

  • consultant fees

  • staff salaries and administrative overhead, prorated for the time spent on the project

  • nonprofit operating support

Please note that you cannot participate in two ioby match opportunities at the same time, but if you exhaust one fund and are eligible for another one, then you may participate in an additional match fund opportunity.

All donations to all projects on ioby are fully tax-deductible. You do not need to be part of a formal nonprofit to access match funding and raise tax deductible donations on ioby. ioby is a 501c3 nonprofit and can serve as the fiscal sponsor for projects led by individuals or informal groups. ioby can also disburse funds to your local nonprofit fiscal sponsor if you prefer (including 501c3s, schools, municipalities, government agencies, and places of worship).

Questions? Email Cleveland @ ioby .org  

Share your idea today to get started!

If your project isn’t the right fit for this opportunity, you may still be eligible to fundraise on ioby without matching funds, which will still give you access to our training materials, low-fees, fiscal sponsorship, and one-on-one support from an experienced ioby Success Strategist.


Match funding basics 

How does match funding on ioby work? When you fundraise on ioby with match funding, donations to your campaign will be doubled instantly, so you move toward your goal twice as fast. So if someone donates $25, your page will reflect a donation of $50!

How do I get approved for match funding? Simply share your project idea via the brief form here. You’ll need to create an ioby account, or sign into an existing ioby account, to do this; the process typically takes 5-10 minutes. After you share your project idea with us, you'll be contacted by a member of our team within 1-2 business days. They can confirm for you if the project idea you shared is eligible for matching funds, or ask questions if we need a little more information. If you’re fairly confident your project fits the public guidelines, feel free to begin filing out a fundraising page immediately after sharing your idea, or you can wait to hear from us.

If I’m approved for match funding, am I guaranteed to receive a specific amount?  No, this is a challenge match, not a grant. Your team needs to raise a dollar to receive a dollar, and no amount of match funding is guaranteed in advance. If you begin a campaign, but then stop fundraising for several months, there is no guarantee that match funding will still be available later. Funds will be matched on a first-come basis donation by donation to all participating campaigns, so that funding flows toward projects with the most urgent funding needs and active teams.

How do I know if match funding is still available for my project? When you share your project idea, our team will alert you in the case that match funds are running low and you may not be able to access the maximum amount; then you can decide if you would like to go forward with fundraising or not. If you are already participating in the program, but have not yet met your fundraising goal, ioby will alert you when match funds begin running low.

How long will match funding be available?  This will depend on how many projects participate. Funding will be distributed on a first-come basis as participating leaders fundraise, but we currently expect to have enough funding to support campaigns at least through winter of 2023/2024.

Who is eligible to receive matching funds? Anyone working on a project that brings arts and culture alive in Cuyahoga County! Individual residents, informal groups of friends and neighbors, nonprofits, schools, community-based organizations, and community development corporations are all invited to submit their project ideas.

What if I have more than one eligible project idea? It’s best to pick one thing to crowdfund for at a time. If you’re trying to decide between several possible funding needs, keep in mind that crowdfunding works best for projects that are concrete and specific, where residents will be able to see the results or participate in the project they helped fund.

How much match funding can I receive on my campaign?  $2,500 is the maximum amount that can be applied to any campaign in this program. This cap helps ensure that multiple projects will have access to funding.

What if my project is small and I don't need $2,500? Or what if I don't think I can raise that much?  That's totally fine! This program is appropriate for small-scale, grassroots projects and ioby has lots of experience supporting smaller campaigns. You are not required to try to use the full $2,500 in match funding.

Should the goal I set on my fundraising page include the amount of match funding I hope to receive? Yes. For example, if you need $2,000 to implement your project, your public goal on your page would be $2,000—you would only need to fundraise $1,000 of that goal, which would be doubled as you fundraise.

Shouldn't I set a really big goal and hope for the best? You will only receive match funding equivalent to what you raise, so we encourage you to aim for an amount of funding that fits your team’s fundraising capacity and immediate budget needs. Also, it makes crowdfunding more difficult to set a larger goal than you have a plan to reach, because donors are less likely to give to campaigns that don't look likely to meet their goal. Our webinars, campaign planning tools, and your Leader Success Strategist can all help you set a goal that fits your team size and fundraising plan.

Does match funding apply to any donation? Match funding is meant to make it easier for you to reach out to your networks broadly to ask for donations, and not meant for doubling just one or two large gifts. For that reason, we’ll only be matching up to the first $500 of any single donation.

Does ioby accept checks and can they be matched?  Yes. It's not standard practice, but if you have a donor who prefers to give by check instead of credit card, they can send their check to ioby to be applied to your campaign. ioby's donation processing fee of 3% also applies to check donations, and check donations can be matched. We won’t be able to match a check donation until we receive and process the check, whereas online donations are matched instantly.

What if I use up all the match funding I was originally planning for, but want to keep fundraising? Great! With ioby’s flexible finish policy you can always raise your goal mid-campaign if needed. If you hit the $2,500 match cap, you are also welcome to keep fundraising additional unmatched dollars.

What happens if I don’t meet my goal? Our trainings and one-on-one support are intended to give you and your team the best shot at success. However, if you fall short of your goal, you'll still keep anything you raised and match funding you've earned. When you close your campaign, your Leader Success Strategist will ask you to adjust the budget on your page to show how you’ll use the smaller amount of funds toward your project.


Here are some examples of possible budget scenarios:

Your page will continue to accept donations after your goal is met and you can raise your campaign goal at any time during your campaign. When $2,500 in match funding has been applied to your page, the match will automatically shut off. At that point, donations will no longer be matched but you are always welcome to continue fundraising additional unmatched dollars.


Your original goal: $3,000

You raise: $1,500

Match funding added: $1,500

Total disbursed at end of campaign: $3,000*


Your original goal: $1,000

You raise: $500

Match funding added: $500

Total disbursed at end of campaign: $1,000*


Your original goal: $2,000

You raise: $1,000

Match funding added: $1,000

Total disbursed at end of campaign: $2,000*


*Minus ioby fees.


When will I receive my match funding?  Donations to your ioby campaign page will be doubled instantly as people donate to your page. When you decide to close your campaign, you’ll receive the total you raised plus match funding as one lump sum, via check. ioby’s super-low fees will be retained from that total. Please allow 20-30 business days from closing your campaign to receiving your check. 

What reporting is required if I participate? All participating campaigns are required to complete an online survey that we'll ask you to fill it out at the point that you close your campaign and request your funds. It should take about 10-15 minutes to fill out.

We may also follow up with you after you've implemented your project to ask you to share any great photos that we may use in public reports or blog posts to help share the power of your work and inspire other leaders.  


Other questions?  

Contact Cleveland @