Match Funding Eligibility 

Who can access funding through the Sustainable CT Community Match Fund?   Anyone with a great idea for a project that fits with Sustainable CT’s mission of building more sustainable and resilient CT communities. Municipalities, public schools, nonprofits, and community groups or individuals can all participate in the Community Match Fund. Not a nonprofit? No problem. For a low fee, ioby can serve as a fiscal sponsor, accepting tax-deductible donations on behalf of individuals and informal groups.

I see projects must be in Sustainable CT-registered towns to qualify for match funding. What should I do if my town/city isn’t registered yet?   We can help you encourage your municipal staff and elected officials to register! Registration is an easy process and just requires a vote from your town officials. For information on the registration process click here or reach out to the Sustainable CT team for help getting the process started. 

What if my project involves multiple towns/cities?   Great! We encourage projects that span multiple towns/cities. Each town affected by and supporting your project is eligible to receive extra points towards Sustainable CT certification if they collaborate on your project. 

If it involves multiple towns/cities do they all need to be registered with Sustainable CT?   Yes. If your project spans multiple municipalities each one must be registered with Sustainable CT. 

Can I use the Community Match Fund for general operating support for my organization? The Community Match Fund is intended to support discrete projects and cannot be used to provide general organizational support or funding for maintaining ongoing programs.  Overhead, regular operating expenses, and/or prorated costs for existing staff’s time spent on a project are not eligible for funding through this program.

How the Match Works 

How do I get approved for match funding?   Step one is to simply share your project idea with the Sustainable CT team! Set up a phone call with with Sustainable CT’s Community Outreach Manager here

That conversation is an opportunity for you to introduce your project and determine whether the project aligns with the Community Match Fund’s criteria. Projects are considered on a rolling basis, and you can expect to have an answer about whether or not your project is eligible within 1-5 business days. There’s no application to fill out, and no long wait to hear if you’re approved! 

How do I start fundraising once I know my project is eligible for match funding?   When your project is determined eligible for match funding, we’ll send instructions on how to get started building your ioby fundraising page, and connect you with ioby’s coaching, support, and resources. 

If I’m approved for match funding, am I guaranteed to receive a specific amount?    No, this is a challenge match, not a grant. 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 months, there is no guarantee that match funding will still be available later. Funds will be distributed on a first-come first-served basis to all participating campaigns, so that funding flows toward projects with the most urgent funding needs and active teams.

How do I know if match funding is still available for my project?   When you share your project idea, the Sustainable CT 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. If you are already participating in the Sustainable CT Community Match Fund but have not yet met your fundraising goal, ioby will alert you when matching funds begin to run low. We currently expect to have plenty of match-funding for projects through at least late 2020. 

How much match funding can I receive on my campaign?  $15,000 is the maximum amount that will be matched in each campaign crowdfunding with the Sustainable CT Community Match Fund (for a total budget of $30,000). This cap helps ensure that multiple projects will have access to funding. However, we expect the majority of participating projects will be much smaller, with lower budget goals, since $15,000 is a significant amount to raise through crowdfunding. 

What if my project is small and I don't need $15,000? 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 $15,000 in match funding. Average ioby campaigns aim to raise about $5,000, and we hope to support many small grassroots projects through this program. 

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 $4,000 to implement your project, your public goal on your page would be $4,000—you would only need to fundraise $2,000 of that goal, which would be doubled as you fundraise.

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!  

Your page will continue to accept donations after your goal is met and you can raise your campaign goal at any time. You are welcome to raise more (unmatched) funds beyond the maximum match funding cap, and you can keep whatever match funds you earn even if you raise less than the cap.

For example, here are some possible budget scenarios:

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: $4,000

You raise: $1,000

Match funding added: $1,000

Total disbursed for down-sclaed project at end of campaign: $2,000

 

Your original goal: $4,000

You raise: $7,000

Match funding added: $7,000

Total disbursed for scaled-up project at end of campaign: $14,000

 

Your original goal: $30,000

You raise: $15,000

Match funding added: $15,000

Total disbursed at end of campaign: $30,000

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. 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. ioby’s webinars, campaign planning tools, and your Leader Success Strategist can all help you set a goal that realistically fits your team size and fundraising plan.

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 if needed. While the Community Match Fund will only support projects with an initial budget of up to $30,000 or existing projects with no more than an additional $50,000 needed to reach their total goal, projects that wish to increase their goal after raising $30,000 with the match are welcomed! Please note, however, that fundraising after this threshold will no longer be eligible for the match.  

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 tools you need for  success. However, if you fall short of your goal, your Leader Success Strategist will work with you to adjust the budget on your page to show how you’ll use the smaller amount of funds for a scaled-down project. With a successfully adjusted project scope and budget, you'll keep anything you raised and equivalent match funding.

Can I apply match funding to any donation?   Yes. A town contribution, donation from a nonprofit, grants, other funding sources, and individual donations are all eligible for matching funds, provided you also plan to crowdfund from individuals the majority of your goal. Match funding is meant to make it easier for you to reach out to your networks broadly and to engage and involve the community in your project, not to double a single grant or a couple of large donations. We encourage you to seek out as many donors as possible to effectively build a sense of community investment in your project. 

Please note that all campaigns must receive a minimum of twenty donations from different sources to receive match funding and no more than 25% of your fundraising goal should come from grants or other insitutional sources. ​

When will I receive match funding?    Online 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. ioby’s super-low fees will be retained from that total. ioby retains a flat fee of $35 from campaigns that raise over $1,000, to help support our core coaching services, and 3% of dollars raised go to our secure third-party credit card processor. These fees are calculate based only on donations received; there is no fee on additional match dollars applied to your campaign.  Please allow 7 business days  from closing your campaign to receiving your check. 

Does ioby accept checks?    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 are able to 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. See instructions here for how donors can give by check. 

About the Community Match Fund

How is this program funded?   The Community Match Fund is generously funded through the support of the Smart Seed Fund and the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation.

How long will match funds be available?   This will depend on how many projects participate. Funding will be distributed on a first-come basis as participating leaders fundraise, but we currently expect to have enough funding to support campaigns through summer 2020. 

What reporting is required later if I participate?   Reporting for this program includes completion of three required surveys, which should each take no longer than 10 minutes to fill out, as well as photos of your implemented project. Here’s what to expect:

  • Pre-fundraising survey - we’ll ask you to fill this out before you begin fundraising.
  • Pre-disbursement survey - we’ll ask you to fill this out when you finish fundraising and we’re in the process of disbursing your check.

These quick surveys before and after you fundraise help us assess the effectiveness of our fundraising support services. Completion of these surveys is required for accessing matching funds.

  • Project Implementation Survey - When you close out your campaign, we'll ask when you plan to implement your project. When that implementation date has passed, we’ll ask you to complete the Project Implementation Survey, where you'll tell us things like how the project went and roughly how many residents participated. We’ll also ask for project photos at this point.

Reporting on project implementation is required for all projects that receive Sustainable CT Community Match Funds. We'll ask you to share photos from your implemented project that we may use in public reports or blog posts to help share the power of your work and inspire other leaders.  

Eligibility for Certification Points 

What is all this talk about ‘points’? I’m not sure I understand.    Sustainable CT’s statewide certification program encourages towns to complete specific actions to recieve points that count toward different levels of sustainability certification. Read more here. If you’re not very familiar with Sustainable CT’s work, you can get your questions answered during your initial phone call with their Community Outreach Manager. 

How can my town get points toward its sustainability certification through my match-funded project?    If your project aligns with one of Sustainable CT’s actions then your town can submit for points when applying for Sustainable CT certification.

How do I know how many points my town is likely to get for our match-funded project?    The number of points that your town is eligible to receive depends on which action your project aligns with, and whether other towns are involved in the project.  When you speak with the Sustainable CT team to get your project approved for match funding, they will confirm for you and your town’s Sustainability Team which action or objective your project aligns best with. 

What if my project is eligible for match funding, but not for points?    While this scenario is unlikely, if it happens, that’s ok! For certification, actions are reviewed annually by the Sustainable CT team. We can’t guarantee in advance that any action submission or Community Match Fund project will receive points towards certification.

Other Questions?

Contact Sustainable CT’s Community Outreach Manager, Abe Hilding-Salorio, at hildingsalorioa@easternct.edu or 860-465-0256.