Erin Barnes and Brandon Whitney stopped by OpenBag on August 3 to introduce OpenPlans to ioby.org. ioby is a platform to connect environmentally-conscious small scale urban projects to donations and support. Short for “in our backyard”, ioby is a way for local community project organizers to bring these projects to life, by reaching out to find volunteers, garner support and seek micro-donations. ioby provides a central forum for civic, environmentally and community minded projects to gain footing.
Similar crowdsourced modes exist for capital to be raised for private ventures; ioby’s philanthropic mission is more targeted towards the projects that will have an impact close-by and have a benefit to all. It’s for those lightbulbs (cfl’s?) that go off in people’s heads to improve their communities – community gardens, cleanups, tree plantings et al. – that then need just those little pockets of money to realize. When visiting ioby.org you’ll see projects with true community and environmental benefit. Erin and Brandon have found that most donations come from a small area, usually within walking distance of where the donated to project occurs. Which is just how they want it.
ioby has been effective so far – over $100k has been raised for 73 projects such as The Ridgewood Reservoir, DontFlushMe, and Street Trees. In these cases, small dollars are making big things happen on a small scale. If you’re in NYC check out whats happening in your neighborhood!
Also check out Streetfilms‘ ioby page – they’re using ioby to garner donations to complete a film about NYC DOT’s pop-up cafe initiative and highlight “the positive impact and enjoyments that pop up cafes bring to neighborhoods, businesses and pedestrians”.
Who speaks at OpenBag? Just about anyone who is engaged in transportation, programming, mapping, diagramming, public space and urban issues and is taking the creative steps to push their respective field forward. Or just anyone who is doing something we think is interesting – being that we’re all nerds here, it tends to be tech, planning or transit related.
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