project leader
Julia W
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the project

When I moved to Cleveland in 2017, I searched high and low for ways to get involved in my new community. I didn't just want to volunteer, but I wanted to get involved in my neighborhood, engage in my culture, and find other ways to continue the interests I had been cultivating. I found a few of the louder, larger, organizations online, but mostly, it was my well-connected job, the fellowship that brought me here, and luck which made it possible to get connected.

I’m not the only one looking, either. Many of my peers are looking for ways to get involved and while working at a local non-profit, I engage with many organizations that are doing incredible work but are eager to promote their mission and need more engagement and participation from our residents.

To connect our city and residents together, I propose civicle - a civic and community engagement fair in Cleveland for all. Similar to those held at colleges for incoming students, organizations would sign up to host a table to share opportunities for engagement. This could be places of worship, volunteer opportunities, events, cultural groups, voter registration, education opportunities -  the only requirement being that there must be a “cost-free” way to engage with that organization. To allow for all of Cleveland’s residents an opportunity to attend, there would be no fee to attend.  

We wouldn’t be the first city to do this. In 2019, we saw Reno, Nevada, Philadelphia, and Franklin, Tennessee all see calls from their residents for more engagement. They answered this call by hosting engagement fairs - inviting the community to meet their neighbors and put their passions to work. I’m asking Cleveland to be a leader in civic engagement and harness the same energy that our city’s residents have.

the steps

  1. Secure a location that is easily accessible and located in a central location.
  2. Create and implement an outreach strategy to reach organizations in our community. Make sure that there is diversity in organizations and the communities they serve.
  3. Begin marketing and sharing the event with the community for residents to attend.
  4. Secure RSVP's from the organizations.
  5. Reserve tables, chairs and other event materials.
  6. Secure volunteers for the event. 
  7. [Fall 2020] Host the event and connect the community!

why we're doing it

Cleveland's residents are looking for ways to become more involved in their city. But, it can be really hard to get to know the opportunities and organizations that might be right down the street. I had to travel to a conference in Detroit and talk to someone from Minnesota to get connected to a project that one of my neighbors leads! But Clevelanders are looking for a way to connect - over 500 calls were made by residents of Cuyahoga County to United Way’s 2-1-1 line, for information on volunteering, local events, and city council information. We need a centralized place where residents and organizations can meet each other, shake hands, and build community. 


  • Chair and Table Rental: $1,500
  • Marketing, Registration, and Event Materials: $1000
  • Venue Rental: $2500

ioby Platform Fee     $35
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%)    $274
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)    $164
TOTAL TO RAISE =    $5,473


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