Further Projects

Deutsche Bank launches match campaign with microfunding platform for NYC green projects

February 7, 2012 │ New York

The Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation has commenced a match campaign with online microfunding platform ioby.org to support and promote grassroots civic projects throughout New York City.

Deutsche Bank is the first leading global investment bank to work with ioby (“in our backyards”), a web-based philanthropy platform that connects donors and volunteers to small-scale and environmentally focused ventures in urban neighborhoods.

“ioby seeks to bring environmentalism to the local level, in order to treat these pressing issues as tangible community projects that can easily be accessed by residents,”  said Erin Barnes, co-founder and Executive Director of ioby.  “We are excited to work with Deutsche Bank due to its engagement in community development and eagerness to bring new ideas to the table.”

Deutsche Bank has pledged to match donations made through ioby for all projects planned through New York City-based Community Development Corporations (CDCs).  CDCs are nonprofits that serve as extensive resources for district improvement, community development, and social services in low- and middle-income neighborhoods.  Because ioby users typically give time and money to projects within two miles of their residence, the web platform offers a promising instrument for CDCS to access resources directly within the communities in which they are based.

“At Deutsche Bank, we identified ioby as possessing a particular expertise in developing web-based, crowdsourcing fundraising capabilities,” said Sam Marks, vice president at the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation.  “We saw an opportunity to link ioby’s capabilities to our traditional community partners, CDCs, which have a broader and more holistic neighborhood approach to community planning.”

The Deutsche Bank match campaign initially focused on raising funds for two Brooklyn-based projects.  The first project, Pollos Del Pueblo, will be located in the low-income neighborhood of East New York/Cypress Hills, often considered a “food desert” due to its lack of accessibility to affordable produce and healthy foods through local vendors.  Organized by the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation (CHLDC), the project will convert an unused, City-owned lot into a community farm.   The farm will include a chicken coop, chicken run, storage shed and compost station, thus providing a crucial resource for fresh and nutritious foods for area residents.

The second proposal is part of a long-term effort by the Living City Block Gowanus and the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation (GCCDC) towards the revitalization of the Gowanus neighborhood, which surrounds the Gowanus Canal.  The neighborhood has long been overshadowed by the Canal’s polluted image, which has been compounded by its designation as an EPA Superfund site in 2010.  The project will develop wayfinding signage through community meetings and design competitions.  The finished signs will direct attention to area landmarks and green infrastructure sites such as solar panels, bike racks and micro-wind turbines in hopes of supporting continued renewal efforts.

Two additional projects were announced in March as part of the match campaign. One project is hosted by Women’s Housing Economic and Development Corporation (WHEDco) and will involve the construction of a greenhouse as part of a preexisting rooftop farm in a Bronx housing development. The greenhouse will be utilized for sustainable education purposes, as well as the growing of produce and seed germination.

The other is being sponsored by the Newkirk Cares Collaborative, which plans to build tree guards along a major throughway in Flatbush, Brooklyn. The project will finance the protection, cleaning and care of trees lining Newkirk Avenue, by composting, cleaning, and planting flowers around the trees.

The Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation has a long tradition of supporting CDCs and with the new ioby partnership, hopes to encourage CDCs to utilize online microfunding platforms as effective fundraising mechanisms for neighborhood projects. 

“There’s a perception that low-income communities are ‘needy’ places, but ioby helps to galvanize resources that already exist within those communities,” said Marks.  “In other words, neighborhoods can organize both their dollars and sweat equity toward these projects, and Deutsche Bank’s matching fund facilitates this by increasing the impact.” 

For more information about the Deutsche Bank-matched projects, please click here.

The East New York lot that will be transformed into a community farm through "Pollos Del Pueblo." enlarge

The East New York lot that will be transformed into a community farm through "Pollos Del Pueblo."

The East New York lot that will be transformed into a community farm through "Pollos Del Pueblo."

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Last Update: April 24, 2012
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