ioby Support Center

What can I fundraise for on ioby? What CAN'T I fundraise for on ioby?

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On ioby, anyone with a great idea for change in their community can raise funds, find volunteers, and access our training and resources. To fundraise on ioby, your project must:

  • be based in the United States or US territories,
  • have a public benefit rather than private benefit, and
  • EITHER be managed by a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization or government entity, OR have a fiscal sponsor (ioby could serve as your fiscal sponsor - information about this service can be found here).

Leaders have used ioby to fundraise for community gardens, food justice, local park improvements, community organizing, neighborhood events, immigrant rights advocacy, school and after school programs, public art, farmer’s markets, historical preservation, renewable energy, bike infrastructure, public transit improvements; the sky's the limit!

We cannot currently support campaigns that benefit just one individual or family (such as campaigns for medical costs), international campaigns that benefit non-US residents, or political campaigning and lobbying activities. And while we're not legally able to support many of the costs associated with starting a for-profit company, we can work with small businesses on projects to improve their community.

Wondering if your project is eligible? Check out the glossary of legal terms below or tell us about it at

  • 501(c)3 nonprofit: An organization as described under Section 501(c)(3) of the US Internal Revenue Code, such as a public charity or private foundation. This type of organization is exempt from federal tax and may receive charitable, tax-exempt donations. You may search registered 501(c)(3) organizations here.
  • Fiscal sponsor: A fiscal sponsor is a nonprofit organization that has agreed to manage the funds raised by an informal group or individual for a charitable project. Often, fiscal sponsors accept charitable, tax-exempt contributions on behalf of the unincorporated group or individual.
  • Government entityCharitable contributions made to governmental units are tax-deductible under section 170(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code if made for a public purpose. Therefore, government entities may receive a direct disbursement from a nonprofit organization without fiscal sponsor oversight. Examples include municipalities, public schools, libraries, or townships. To verify that we may disburse charitable funds to a government entity, ioby staff will ask for a Governmental Information Letter.
  • Private benefit or private inurement: When the person or group raising the funds intends to spend them on private interests, or may themselves benefit from the possession of the funds or items purchased with the funds. For example, a private interest may include raising charitable funds to pay oneself for a service or to purchase property. It may also include raising funds to repair one’s family home or to plant a garden on private property. Private benefit may also include spending charitable funds to purchase items that will be used in one’s own home, or the home of select friends or family.
  • Public good: According to the Internal Revenue Service:
    • “IRC 501(c)(3) exempts from Federal income tax: corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (i)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.”

Still not sure? Contact us at [email protected] or (917) 464-4515 x 7

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