Basics | Eligibility | Not Eligible | Caps & Your Budget | Reporting & Receiving Funds | Contact Us

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

The ioby Neighbor Up Match Fund provides matching dollars to ioby crowdfunding campaigns for projects that help Cuyahoga County area residents thrive.

Please note: Immediate emergency response projects, such as food relief or purchase of protective equipment for vulnerable groups, should instead apply for a grant from Neighborhood Connections. This ioby match fund is intended for recovery programming, not emergency aid.

Please note: Arts and culture projects should first submit their idea to ioby.org/CAC, the ioby Cuyahoga Arts and Culture Match Fund.

 

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 Neighbor Up 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 have funding for projects at least until early June. 

 

Eligibility

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.

Who is eligible to receive matching funds? 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.

You do not need to be 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 501c3's, schools, municipalities, government agencies, and places of worship).

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.

What kinds of COVID19 recovery projects are eligible for match funding?
To access the ioby Neighbor Up Match Fund, the project that you are fundraising for must:

1. Occur within and serve residents of Cuyahoga County as they recover from the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. See eligible and ineligible project examples below. 

2. Provide a public benefit or service that helps your community manage and address a challenge or opportunity due the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, and not be aimed at securing private profit for one specific individual, family, or business. 

  • Please note: Immediate emergency response projects, such as food relief or purchase of protective equipment for vulnerable groups, should instead apply for a grant from Neighborhood Connections. This ioby match fund is intended for recovery programming, not emergency aid.
  • Please note: Arts and culture projects should first submit their idea to ioby.org/CAC, the ioby Cuyahoga Arts and Culture Match Fund.
     

3. Be led by residents, or local organizations, within the community served by the project.

  • You do not need to be 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 an individual/informal community group that chooses ioby to serve as the fiscal sponsor, or any type of local nonprofit (including 501c3's, schools, government agencies, or places of worship). 

 

4. If the project leader is a 501c3 nonprofit: have an organizational budget of $500,000 or less.

  • This matching fund is intended for smaller community organizations. 

 

5. Receive final approval from Neighborhood Connections. 

6. Begin implementation within 2020. This funding is intended to fund near-term projects, and it is a crowdfunding best practice to fundraise for projects happening in the near future. 

 

Eligible project examples that you can access match funding for:

1. Creating a campaign to support multiple local businesses in your neighborhood.

2. Expanding your community gardening efforts to provide food relief to your neighborhood. 

3. Addressing digital equity by providing laptops, internet service, or technology education to those who need them. 

4. Providing youth programs to support youth through these stressful times when typical summer activities might not be available. 

5. Educating your community about COVID-19 through local media or online events. 

6. Providing online or COVID-adapted, socially distanced events that fight isolation and help neighbors connect. 

7. Neighborhood based wellness initiatives to focus on mental health of neighbors during times of anxiety and isolation.

8. Public, participatory projects that help bring the community together, lift spirits, and have a focused message on making change. 

9. Covering unexpected, COVID-19 related costs for your local nonprofit or community based organization, such as:  
          a. Technology needed to continue your work virtually.
          b. Expenses related to rescheduling events.
          c. Mileage or taxi reimbursements for staff and volunteers avoiding public transit.
          d. Additional supplies (masks, disposable gloves, cleaning supplies, etc) needed to provide services more safely.

 

Please note: All donations to all projects on ioby are fully tax-deductible. 
You do not need to be 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 501c3's, schools, municipalities, government agencies, and places of worship).

 

Ineligible project examples:

Because all donations on ioby are tax-deductible, we cannot support campaigns that benefit one specific individual, family, or business, such as:

1. Gap funding for your small business.
2. Covering a specific individual’s loss of income or medical expenses.

3. Immediate emergency relief projects providing essential support such as direct cash assistance, food, pharmacy and medial supplies, child care for essential workers, etc should apply to Neighborhood Connections for grant support instead of participating in this match fund. 
 

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

 

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, but we are waiving them for COVID-19 response projects. For projects participating in the ioby Neighbor Up 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 free for COVID-19 response projects.

How much match funding can I receive on my campaign? $3,000 is the maximum amount that can be applied to any campaign in the ioby Neighbor Up 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 $3,000? 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 $3,000 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 $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 $3,000 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: $6,000
You raise: $3,000
Match funding added: $3,000
Total disbursed at end of campaign: $6,000*

Your original goal: $4,000
You raise: $2,000
Match funding added: $2,000
Total disbursed at end of campaign: $4,000*
 

Your original goal: $7,000
You raise: $4,000
Match funding added: $3,000
Total disbursed at end of campaign: $7,000*
 

Your original goal: $10,000
You raise: $7,000
Match funding added: $3,000
Total disbursed at end of campaign: $10,000*

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 $3,000 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 Matches@ioby.org to discuss your project idea. We are happy to recommend another crowdfunding platform if it’s not a fit for ioby.