‘Crowd-Resourcing’ Platform Ioby Focuses on the Local

Mike Gonzalez April 23, 2013 Comments Off on ‘Crowd-Resourcing’ Platform Ioby Focuses on the Local

Crowdfunding campaign backers are an enthusiastic bunch. They are a product’s earliest adopters, and a project’s most passionate supporters. They not only give money, but they also advocate on the campaign’s behalf.
Increasingly, however, campaign owners and platforms alike are realizing that there is much more that the crowd can do to contribute to a campaign.
Kevin Berg Kartaszewicz-Grell, crowdfunding research director at massolution (a Crowdsourcing.org sister company), has a term for this – “engagement effect” – which he defines as “all the emerging benefits of crowdfunding other than direct crowdfunded capital and exposure.”
While most are only beginning to think about how to tap into the other benefits that the crowd may provide, the platform ioby has been doing this for several years.
Ioby, which stands for “in our back yards,” helps people become “deeply engaged in a meaningful way” around doing good work, the platform’s co-founder and executive director Erin Barnes told Crowdsourcing.org. The non-profit’s unique approach combines local, donation-based crowdfunding with resource organizing and volunteering; ioby calls this mix “crowd-resourcing.”
First, a bit of background. The idea for the company came to Barnes and the two co-founders, Brandon Whitney and Cassie Flynn, when they moved to New York after grad school.
“We felt there was a lot of energy around people wanting to do things to fight against climate change,” Barnes said. “But we felt that it was hard for people to connect their personal actions with what was happening on a glacier really far away. So we wanted to make it really easy for people to understand how their actions could do good for the planet, and for their community.”
Inspired by companies like DonorsChoose and Kiva, the ioby team spoke with community organizers about raising money online. At the time, “crowdfunding” wasn’t in vogue, so the founders described the process as “online

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