What does it mean to make a positive change in your community?For fifteen years, ioby has worked alongside thousands of resident leaders across the country who are stepping up to lead positive change in their own backyards.From launching community composting programs to organizing rapid-response mutual aid networks, these local leaders are bringing neighbors together to build something hopeful, long-lasting, and meaningful. Their work creates ripples, strengthens relationships, and builds community power.On our fifteenth anniversary, we are checking in with fifteen ioby project leaders on what they've learned about grassroots fundraising, movement building, and collective action. We'll be adding more throughout the year, so keep checking back in!

An Eagle Scout Gets His Neighbors On Board With Composting

Eagle Scout Environmental Awareness Fair

Edward Maddalena | 2008, Brooklyn, NY

ioby was founded with an explicitly environmental mission, and this focus is clear from many of the first projects we supported. The "first ever" ioby project was a simple one: a seventeen-year-old aspiring Eagle Scout reached out for help fundraising for an environmental awareness fair he was planning in his Brooklyn neighborhood of Bensonhurst.Edward's modest budget of $150 went to purchase reusable bags and pizza for his event attendees, and he says his project helped spark a lifelong love of local volunteer work. He recalls, “I will never forget how excited ioby was to have this be the first project. They used lots of exclamation points in their emails and were overjoyed to help me reach my goal!"Read the story

Celebration in the Streets of LA Brings Life-Saving Awareness to Bike and Pedestrian Safety

Street Beats

Adé Neff | 2015, Los Angeles, CA

Over the years, many ioby projects have addressed systemic issues related to mobility, accessibly, and safety in our streets. Instead of waiting for city agencies to make policy and street design changes, neighbors have taken it upon themselves to make their streets safer for the most vulnerable road users, including pedestrians and cyclists.Back in 2015, Adé Neff set out on a mission to improve a dangerous intersection in his neighborhood of South LA. The project quickly grew into something much bigger.Read the story

One Woman's Idea to Provide Menstrual Products to her Neighbors Grows into a Large-Scale Operation

Sister Supply

Eli Cloud | 2014, Memphis, TN

In 2014, Eli Cloud was looking for ways to donate menstrual products to Memphis organizations fighting "period poverty." Her search turned up empty, so she decided to start a project herself. Nearly 10 years later, her organization Sister Supply has supplied over 600,000 products to menstruators in Memphis. Her work is a great example of how one simple idea can be scaled up to meet the needs of our neighbors.Read the story

Neighbors in NYC Hike Through Parks and Chart Their Own Way Forward

Hike the Heights

Angela Allard | New York, NY

Nearly 20 years ago, neighbors in Harlem and Washington Heights gathered for a celebratory hike through their local public parks. That event, known as Hike the Heights, has taken place every year since. Community members and organizations come together in a day that combines physical activity with art, fun, and civic participation. Through enjoying and investing in shared public space, the organizers have created an opportunity for neighbors to determine their neighborhood's future and help bring it about themselves.Read the story

Empowering Maternal Health: Syreeta Gordon's Journey and the Power of Crowdfunding

Unshakeable Motherhood

Syreeta Gordon | 2018, Pittsburgh, PA

Since 2018, Syreeta Gordon has been at the forefront of Kangaroo Birthing, an organization dedicated to improving maternal health outcomes, particularly for Black women. Throughout her journey, she has run several ioby projects to crowdfund for her initiatives and events. Her work has continued to grow, as she expands networks of postpartum care in Pittsburgh and opens doors for minority women in the field of maternal health.Read the story

Neighbors in East Brooklyn Build Networks of Sustainable Care in the Face of Crisis

East Brooklyn Mutual Aid

Kelvin Taitt | 2020, Brooklyn, NY

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kelvin Taitt organized his neighbors to provide food and support to those in his community who were most vulnerable. His initial idea to support the neighbors on his block quickly grew into a large-scale, mutual aid effort to deliver good and high-quality food and improve the healthy food options in East Brooklyn. Since launching his project in 2020, Kelvin has raised nearly $150,000 on ioby! With expanded networks and resources, Kelvin’s work around food justice continues.Read the story