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March 16, 2016

By: ioby

Cleveland, OH

Clevelanders trying to improve their neighborhoods have a new ally with the opening today of ioby Cleveland, the local office of a national organization that combines online fundraising with community organizing to support citizen leaders in small-scale projects that can have big impacts. 

New York-based ioby (In Our Backyard) today announced that the office in Buckeye will be staffed by Indigo Bishop, a “Cleveland action strategist” who will connect local civic and neighborhood leaders with the organization's online and offline tools and resources to plan, fund and implement projects.

The launch is made possible with support from the Saint Luke’s Foundation. 

“We want to support Clevelanders make a positive impact on their own neighborhoods,” said Erin Barnes, ioby’s Executive Director, “We hired Indigo to do the crucial work of connecting leaders to each other to build mutual support and learning so together we can make Cleveland’s neighborhoods even stronger.” 

“Many people have heard of crowdfunding,” said Barnes. “We call what we do ‘crowd resourcing,’ meaning that we use an online platform to connect neighborhoods with various forms of capital – including cash, social networks, in-kind donations, volunteer time and advocacy – for a cause or project.” 

Founded in New York City in 2009, ioby has helped neighborhood leaders in more than 100 cities and towns raise more than $2.3 million in what it calls “citizen philanthropy” for more than 750 local projects ranging from schoolyard compost programs to pop-up bike lanes, from playground improvements to public art. On average, project leaders raise just over $4,000 in small donations that largely come from their own neighbors. 

ioby – whose name is conceived as the positive opposite of “not in my back yard” or NIMBY – has offices in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Memphis. In addition to the Cleveland office ioby today announced the opening of new headquarters in Detroit. 

“Anyone from anywhere in the US can use ioby’s platform and services, but we are actively expanding in communities where we can make the greatest possible impact in helping neighbors make positive change – like Memphis, and now Cleveland and Detroit,” added Barnes. 

"I am thrilled to join the ioby team where I'll continue to build relationships and develop leaders in my hometown,” said Indigo Bishop, who worked previously with Neighborhood Connections, a program of the Cleveland Foundation and the nation’s largest grassroots grants program, “Cleveland is buzzing with projects and innovative ideas that add culture, identity and value to neighborhoods. I'm looking forward to connecting my neighbors with assets and showing them that with the right tools, anything is possible.” 

“This work is clearly aligned with the Foundation's Strong Neighborhood program strategy of making enhancements to the built environment and improving social conditions. We are honored by this partnership and with Ms. Bishop's intimate understanding of this place, we are excited to see this work unfold,” said Nelson Beckford, Senior Program Officer for A Strong Neighborhood, “While tactical in nature, this work will provide insights, narratives and data that will inform the Foundation's strategy. Suffice to say, we are excited and hopeful that good things will result from this work.”

Images available on request: Katie Lorah, ioby: 917-464-4515 x13; katie@ioby.org