Crowdfunding  

What is 'crowdfunding'? Crowdfunding refers to combining many donations (often small to mid-sized donations) to support a specific project, via an easily shareable and accessible online platform like ioby's. You can see a great example of a crowdfunding campaign page here.  

Who will donate to my crowdfunding campaign? Crowdfunding campaigns are funded by friends and family, neighbors, local businesses, and others who would love to see the project brought to life. 

How long is a typical crowdfunding campaign? Campaign length varies depending on how much is being raised, but an average ioby campaign runs 4-6 weeks and raises between $3,000-$7,000 dollars. 

Will ioby fundraise for me? No, ioby will coach you and your team and provide the tools you need to run an effective crowdfunding campaign. We will feature campaigns participating in this match on a special page on our website, and direct attention to them via our blog and social media. ioby’s network can give your campaign some extra exposure, but know that 90% of donations to online crowdfunding campaigns are made by people in the extended network that the fundraising team reaches out to directly. Read more here.

Your Fundraising Team

Why do I need a team? A strong and dedicated team is one of the best indicators of successful crowdfunding campaign. Crowdfunding works best when individuals make donation asks of other individuals they know--neighbors, colleagues, friends--as well as extended networks such as neighborhood organizations, religious communities, sports teams, etc. Having a team of individuals committed to making direct fundraising asks of their extended networks is the best way to ensure the success of your campaign. It also makes the workload lighter for you and makes fundraising more fun! 

Who should I ask to be on my fundraising team? To help identify possible team members, ask yourself the following questions: Who do I know who is already working with me on this project or is passionate about this project? Who do I know who’s very outgoing and has a large network? Who do I know who’s organized, dependable, and a good manager? Be sure at least one person on your team has regular internet and computer access, and is able to comfortably handle online tasks like attending webinars, uploading and downloading files, and editing your campaign page. That person should ideally plan to act as ioby's primary contact from your team.

How many people do I need on my team? Your team should ideally have at least three people (you and two others) dedicated to spending a few hours each week on campaign planning and fundraising for the duration of your campaign. 

Match funding

How does match funding on ioby work? When you are fundraising, your campaign page will show the entire goal for your campaign, including match funding. For example, if your team plans to raise $1,500 and have that matched through this program, the total goal shown on your page will be $3,000. As people donate to your campaign, their donations will be doubled, so you move toward your goal twice as fast. Your page will continue to accept donations after your goal is met and you can raise or lower your campaign goal at any time if needed. 

Here are some possible budget examples for a project that has been awarded $1,500 in match funding:

You raise: $1,500
Match funding received: $1,500
Total disbursed at end of campaign: $3,000

You raise: $3,000
Match funding received: $1,500
Total disbursed at end of campaign: $4,500

You raise: $800
Match funding received: $800
Total disbursed at end of campaign: $1,600

What if I use up my match funding but want to keep fundraising? Great! You are welcome to fundraise more than your original goal. Dollars raised after you’ve used all of your match funding will not be doubled. 

Does my page automatically shut down when I hit my goal? No. Your page will remain active and be able to continue receiving donations even after you've hit your goal. You can communicate with you Success Strategist to either close out your campaign at that point, or raise your goal and continue fundraising if you like. 

What happens if I don’t meet my goal? You can always keep what you raise (and equivalent match funding received), even if you don't meet your original fundraising goal. ioby will work to give your team the support you need to have a successful campaign, but sometimes things change along the way and you can't fundraise as much as originally planned. In those cases, your ioby Success Strategist will ask you to simply adjust the budget on your campaign page to show how you will use the funds you did raise toward your project. 

Can I apply match funding 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. Therefore we’ll only be matching up to the first $250 of any single donation. 

Does ioby accept checks? Yes. It's not standard practice, but if you have a donor who prefers to give by check instead of making a credit card donation online, they can send that check to ioby to be applied to your online campaign. ioby's processing fee applies to check donations as well, and check donations are able to be matched in the same way that online donations are. 

What sort of expenses are eligible? You’ll be able to use the funds you raise for any expense directly related to your project including: materials and supplies, transportation, printing, marketing, equipment purchases, intern stipends, permits, food and event expenses, space rental, staff time, administrative overhead costs, capital improvements, software and hardware, and consultant or contractor fees.

Can I use ioby if I don't receive match funding? Yes! If you are not selected to receive match funding, but would like to run a crowdfunding campaign, you will still receive the one-on-one support of an ioby Success Strategist. If you are fundraising on ioby without match funding, you may fundraise whenever works best for you and your team, and are not bound by the specific timeline of this program. 

About ioby

What does ‘ioby’ mean? ioby stands for ‘in our backyards’-- the positive opposite of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard).  ioby helps neighbors grow and implement great ideas one block at a time. Over 1,000 projects nationwide have collectively raised over $3 million in citizen philanthropy through ioby.

What is ioby’s fee? ioby’s fee is one of the absolute lowest among crowdfunding platforms. Participants in this program will pay our standard, rock-bottom donation processing fee of 3%, plus a $35 flat fee for projects that raise more than $1,000. If your project raises less than $1,000, the $35 fee is waived. All fees are taken out of the total that is disbursed at the end of the campaign so that nothing is paid up front. Read more here

How is ioby funded?  To keep our coaching services strong and fees below market-rate, we rely on the support of the community of project leaders and donors that we work with. Every time a donor supports a project on ioby, they are given the option of adding gratuity-- a small donation to ioby--to their total. Gratuity is made transparent to donors during check out and is completely voluntary, but is essential to keeping our fees low and services strong. ioby does not solicit donors to ioby projects again in the future.  Read more here. As a nonprofit, ioby also receives foundation grants that help fund our core operations. 

Where does ioby work? ioby's platform and services are available to project leaders anywhere in the United States. We work in a wide variety of cities, towns, and neighborhoods, but have a mission-driven focus on serving project leaders in low-income communities. ioby has offices in NYC, Memphis, Cleveland, Detroit and Pittsburgh. 

Can I use ioby for other projects in the future? Yes! You and your neighbors can use ioby anytime for any project that improves your community. Simply share an idea anytime at ioby.org/idea to get started fundraising. 

Other Questions? 

Contact ioby Match Programs Director: Miriam@ioby.org