Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

ioby Match Deadline Approaches: Get Your Idea In

Last month, we started spreading the word about an epic opportunity Memphians currently have to help turn our neighborhood dreams into reality.

ioby, the crowd-resourcing platform for neighbor-funded projects, recently announced a $50,000 matching funds challenge to help launch up to 20 new citizen-led improvements in neighborhoods across our city. You can read more about this “Discover ioby” campaign on their website, then enter your own bright idea, because the deadline is tomorrow!

Need some inspiration to take your positive scheme to the next level? Check out these outstanding projects already underway:

Urban Forest Smaller Logo

“ioby gave New Hope Christian Academy the perfect venue to introduce our Urban Forest to Frayser, Memphis, and beyond,” says Gil Brandon, leader of Urban Forest Boardwalks & Bridges, a project that will design and construct safe crossings within a six-acre wood adjacent to the school campus—an urban area where children do not often get to experience forests.

“One of the coolest experiences during our campaign,” Gil says, “was someone walking into the school with a handful of envelopes from members of a church in the neighborhood that wanted to donate.”

Urban Forest has been fully funded and the team will start designing the boardwalks and bridges this spring.

Midtown Mural

Part of the Cooper/Highbee mural, realized with help from UrbanArt, Memphis College of Art, and Livable Memphis.

Betsy Robinson had tremendous success last year with her first ioby project, the Cooper/Higbee Underpass Mural. Now she’s gearing up for a victory lap on Central Ave, just west of Cooper Street.

“I really went about it hoping my kids would see that I’m not just complaining about the place I live in,” Betsy says of the Cooper/Highbee project. “I’m actually able to do something about it. I wanted them to see something happening, and that we have the ability to make a change. We had a lot of fun with it.”

The Central Ave mural has been fully funded, but still needs volunteers. Drop Betsy a line if you’d like to help.

“Reflecting on the opportunities that benefited me most in high school, my ACT tutoring quickly came to mind,” says ioby leader Joel Cox on the inspiration for his team, UpSwing Memphis, to start a project they call ACT UP.

“Tutoring raised my score seven points, which in turn helped me secure a scholarship at Rhodes College. I don’t want any student to be denied tutoring due to their inability to pay.”

ACT UP will provide free weekend-long ACT preparatory workshops at Rhodes College. Any Shelby County high school student can apply.

One creative way UpSwing promoted their campaign was by posting a photo on social media and inviting readers to share it and guess how many pages of ACT information was pictured. The best guess won two gift cards and a choice of signs.

“Crowdfunding teaches you that, if you want to create change, you’re going to need help from others,” Joel says. “ioby worked with me to form a personal strategic game plan, so that I knew exactly the help I needed and how to get it.”

ACT UP still needs to raise about $1,000 of their $2,800 budget. Click here if you’d like to donate.

Getting psyched about the good idea you could bring to life? Submit it by Friday, March 6 (that’s tomorrow) and get the ball rolling!

This guest post is brought to you by April Greene, a freelance writer and editor in Brooklyn, NY, and Ellen Roberds, Creative Placemaker for Livable Memphis and partner with Discover ioby.

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