This summer I am working in Brooklyn, NY for a small non-profit called ioby. ioby stands for “in our backyard” and it works to help support local community projects across the country. ioby is an online crowd resourcing platform that allows people to post, organize and fund-raise for project proposals made to improve a community. Many people that use ioby do not have experience fundraising or community organizing. Because of this, ioby offers trainings on grassroots fundraising and organizing in order to help everyone achieve their goal. The idea behind this organization is that people know what their communities need most. Often times city planners or people in positions of power have set ideas on what a good community looks like. ioby is different because we try to empower people to achieve their own vision of a vibrant community. Check out this video to learn more.
I found the organization through a colleague that I worked with at the New York City Council, last summer. Earlier this year I sent him an email asking whether he knew about any organizations that were active around issues of public space and urban issues. I also told him that I am involved with organizing on campus at Brandeis and would be interested in exploring that field as well. My colleague knows the co-founder of the organization sent me some information and put me in touch. I browsed through the website and decided that I was interested in working for this organization. From there I sent a cover letter and resume and went through a phone interview. I was thrilled when offered the internship.
So far I am two weeks into my internship and I have done a number of different tasks. Because this organization is so small (3 full time staff and 5 part time staff), I will be doing a little bit of everything. One project that I have already completed is researching and outlining blog posts for 3 different topics that relate to many proposed projects from our website. These topics are food education, art in tactical urbanism and women of color in biking. ioby is planning on hosting webinars around all three topics to dig into the topics that our project leaders find interesting. These webinars will also provide people with information on how to successfully complete projects that fall within these 3 subject areas. In addition to the research, I am helping out with the logistics of the organization. I have been helping with book keeping to make sure that the organization’s finances are all in order for auditing. The biggest project that I will be taking on this summer will be running a phone survey of all of the people that have used our website in order to improve the organization as well as understand the long term impacts that our organization has had. Right now I am waiting for finalization of the questions before beginning the calls.
This summer I am looking forward to running this survey and improving my data analysis skills. In addition to this I am looking forward to learning more about how a small non-profit operates. I am really happy to be working with ioby. So far my interactions with my co-workers have been great and I am looking forward to the rest of the summer.
-Josh Berman ’15