The NYC COVID-19 Neighborhood Relief Fund provides matching dollars to projects crowdfunding on ioby that help low-income communities respond to and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Dollars are available now, on a first-come, first-served rolling basis. Every participating organization or group may be matched up to $15,000, and your total project budget can be any size. We know your community needs support now, so it’s fast and easy to get started!

Share your idea

Simply share your idea with the ioby team and we’ll confirm within 1-2 business days if your project is eligible for match funding. Then you can publish your ioby crowdfunding page and begin fundraising, with support from our experienced team of fundraising coaches. First-time fundraisers are welcome—we’re here to help!  While you fundraise, donations to your page will be instantly doubled so your fundraising work goes twice as far. 
 

New to ioby? It might be best to start with our general FAQ here.

 

To access matching funds from this program, your project must:

1. Respond to the health and/or economic impacts of COVID-19 on NYC’s hardest hit residents, particularly those who may be left out of government stimulus funding. Your project should primarily serve people who are:

  • Low-income individuals, and their children and families
  • Low-wage workers, including: low-wage healthcare and essential workers, and those who were previously low-wage workers and are currently unemployed because of COVID-19-related layoffs
  • Experiencing homelessness, living in a shelter, or are housing insecure
  • Immigrants, including undocumented immigrants or households with a mix of documentation status
  • Fixed and low-income older adults

2. Be based in the five boroughs of New York City. Priority is given to projects in lower-income neighborhoods.

3. Be led by an individual, informal group of neighbors, mutual aid group, or a grassroots, community-based nonprofit (including places of workshop, schools, neighborhood associations, or small 501(c)(3)s). ioby provides free fiscal sponsorship for COVID-19 response projects if needed, so donations to your project can be tax-deductible even if you are not working with a formally incorporated nonprofit.

  • If led by a nonprofit organization, your organizational budget must be below $500,000. This funding is not intended for large established nonprofits with access to major institutional funding. Organizations with budgets over $500,000 should apply directly to the Robin Hood Foundation for funding.

4. Be led by or co-created with residents of the neighborhoods that the project takes place in, and/or by people personally affected by the issues that the project addresses. Project leaders should have strong relationships with the communities they plan to serve. 

5. Be started by September 1st, 2021 at the latest. This funding is intended to fund urgent, immediate projects that are responding to current health and economic needs. You should have a plan to at least begin to use the funds you raise to bring your project to life within the upcoming few months.

6. Not be aimed at making a private profit for a specific individual, family, or business entity.

7. Be specific and concrete. All ioby campaign pages must include a budget outlining how funds will be spent. Please note, this funding is for specific projects and initiatives, and cannot be used for general operating support for organizations. 
 

For example, you can access match funding for:

  • Providing essential emergency supplies to those who need them. For example, you may be providing food, diapers or baby supplies, prescriptions, pharmacy or sanitary supplies, etc.
  • Supporting a local charitable institution (soup kitchen, food bank, senior center, homeless shelter, domestic abuse shelter, etc.) that is experiencing high demand.
  • Providing child care and/or personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, etc) for low-wage essential workers including grocery store workers, delivery workers, restaurant and essential retail workers, health care and home care workers, etc.
  • Addressing technological divides by providing access to home internet service or laptops for those who need them.
  • Addressing educational divides by providing educational supplies (notebooks, books, laptops, etc) and/or services (online classes, educational kids activities etc.) for children in low-income households.
  • Providing affordable health services to those who need them (please follow appropriate social distancing guidelines) such as prenatal care, doula or midwife services, trauma counseling or mental health services, etc.
  • Covering unexpected, COVID-19 related costs for your grassroots nonprofit or community-based organization, such as: 
    • Mileage or taxi reimbursements for staff and volunteers avoiding public transit.
    • Additional supplies (masks, disposable gloves, cleaning supplies, etc) needed to provide services more safely.

While there are lots of ideas that are important and worthy, there are a few things you cannot fund on ioby because we are a nonprofit platform. 

Some examples include:
●   Medical bills for a single individual or a single family
●   Compensation for lost wages for an individual (an eligible project would be for funds for several individuals who lost wages)
●   Funds raised for a single small business (an eligible project would be for funds for several small businesses)

 

Other Questions?

Please feel free to contact us at Miriam@ioby.org to discuss your project idea. We are happy to recommend another crowdfunding platform if it’s not a fit for ioby.

 

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 eligibility guidelines (below), feel free to begin building 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 not a grant program. ioby matching funds will be distributed on a first-come basis to all participating campaigns, so that funding flows toward projects with the most urgent funding needs and active teams.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 weeks, there is no guarantee that match funding will still be available later.

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. We'll also alert you if matching funds begin to run low while you are fundraising with us. 

How long will the ioby NYC COVID-19 Neighborhood Relief Match Fund be available?  This will depend on how many projects participate, and how much they raise. Funding will be distributed on a first-come basis as participating leaders fundraise. We anticipate that we'll likely have funding available until February 2021, though there is a chance funds will be used up sooner. 

When do I receive the funds I've raised? ioby is only able to send your funds at the end of your campaign in one transfer. When you choose to end your ioby campaign, you'll complete paperwork by email to transfer your donations to your 501c3 fiscal sponsor. If ioby is your fiscal sponsor, then your bank account with receive the funds and receipts are returned to ioby. More here

 

Match Caps and Budget Questions

Does it cost anything to fundraise on ioby? ioby's standard platform and fiscal sponsorship fees are some of the lowest around. For projects participating in the ioby NYC COVID-19 Just Recovery Match Fund, the only cost is the 3% processing fee we pass on to our secure third-party processor. This 3% is retained from the total you raise (including any match funding applied) at the end of your campaign, nothing is paid up front. ioby's fiscal sponsorship service is optional at 5% for eligible campaigns.

How much match funding can I receive on my campaign? $15,000 is the maximum amount that can be applied to any campaign in the ioby NYC COVID-19 Just Recovery Match Fund. This cap helps ensure that multiple projects will have access to funding.

What if my project is small and I don't need $15,000? 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 $15,000 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 $10,000 to implement your project, your public goal on your page would be $10,000—you would only need to fundraise $5,000 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 ioby 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 $1,000 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 $15,000 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 as 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 original goal: $15,000
You raise: $7,500
Match funding added: $7,500
Total disbursed at end of campaign: $15,000*

Your original goal: $30,000
You raise: $15,000
Match funding added: $15,000
Total disbursed at end of campaign: $30,000*
 

Your original goal: $10,000
You raise: $5,000
Match funding added: $5,000
Total disbursed at end of campaign: $10,000*
 

Your original goal: $20,000
You raise: $10,000
Match funding added: $10,000
Total disbursed at end of campaign: $20,000*

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 $15,000 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.

*Minus ioby fees.

 

Reporting and Receiving Your Funds

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 or e-payment. The 3% fee for our secure payment processor will be retained from that total. We will ask you to electronically sign a simple project agreement or fiscal sponsorship agreement before sending your payment. 

What reporting is required if I participate? All ioby project leaders are asked 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 minutes to fill out, and helps us consistently improve our crowdfunding coaching services. 

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?

Please feel free to contact us at Miriam@ioby.org to discuss your project idea. We are happy to recommend another crowdfunding platform if it’s not a fit for ioby.