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COVID-19: Times are tough, but our communities are tougher. Learn more about how you and your neighbors can play a part in tackling community challenges.

November 15, 2016

By: ioby

Pittsburgh, PA

After a divisive election season, it’s time for Pittsburgh to get back to its roots and seek healing through community service.  In the spirit of service and cooperation, national civic crowdfunding platform In Our Backyards (ioby) is deepening its presence in Pittsburgh with a new office and dedicated full-time staff, the nonprofit announced today alongside Pittsburgh community leaders and social justice advocates. 

By establishing an office and staff full-time in Pittsburgh, ioby, which empowers community members to take charge of small but meaningful projects to improve their neighborhoods with assistance in online fundraising and volunteer mobilization, hopes to inspire more residents to activate their communities and help create a vibrant Pittsburgh for all. 

“Pittsburgh residents have shown what’s possible when citizens band together for positive local change,” said ioby Pittsburgh’s new Action Strategist, Miriam Parson. “We’re ready to put down deeper roots in the city, and empower more residents than ever to improve food security, activate vacant land, mentor each other and help Pittsburgh flourish and grow.” 

ioby is building on a two-year history in Pittsburgh.  To date, it has helped local leaders to raise more than $30,000 in tax-deductible donations and hundreds of volunteer hours for their projects.

Among many initiatives, residents have organized public art projects like the Deutschtown City Steps Mosaic Mural; outdoor education opportunities for kids and adults like the Garfield Discovery Garden; and community building events like the Art Olympic Festival.  The goal is to more than double that impact in the first two years of ioby’s full time operation in Pittsburgh, putting its operations on par with efforts in Memphis or Cleveland.  

"ioby is the easiest crowd funding platform, they are very responsive and supported our success," said Linda Wallen, a resident of Spring Hill and previous project leader. "We were able to build intergenerational involvement in the project with ioby's support."

By supporting low-cost, place-based, community-led projects, ioby leadership believes that the model will be especially helpful to growing civic capacity in neighborhoods that have been historically overlooked. In its new iteration, it will focus on key neighborhoods including Uptown, The Hill District, South Pittsburgh’s Hilltop Communities, Hazelwood, Homewood and the North Side.

“The City looks forward to working closely with ioby to empower neighbors to identify local needs,” said Grant Irvin, Sustainability Manager and Resilience officer for the City of Pittsburgh. “Through coordination with existing resources, such as the Love Your Block grant program, communities will be able to develop robust projects that enhance City resilience overall.” 

“ioby brings a unique resource to Pittsburgh residents who strive to take action in their community by providing an engaging platform for seeking donations, recruiting volunteers, and building collective power.” Said Mac Howison of The Sprout Fund, which has helped to support ioby’s arrival in Pittsburgh.

"GTECH is truly excited to have ioby open its Pittsburgh Office as one incredibly important resource to help distribute capacity to motivated residents to take action where action is possible,” said Andrew Butcher, Co-Founder & CEO at GTECH Strategies.  “Miriam Parson is proven leader and connector with a passion for justice and innovation." 

Do you want to pitch in to help the health and wellness of your community?  Please visit https://www.ioby.org/pittsburgh and sign up to lead a project today.

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