Building Healthy Communities

Project Title

Resident-Led Change for Healthy Neighborhoods

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Building Healthy Communities

Date Awarded

October 25, 2017






Community engagement unlocks the knowledge contained within residents to solve local problems.

When residents implement their own solutions, they build community participation, neighborhood cohesion, and long-term stewardship. However, ideas from resident leaders have traditionally been an underfunded, overlooked source of fast, inexpensive solutions to a number of interconnected challenges of building healthy communities. In 2016, NYHealth awarded a grant to In Our Backyards (ioby) to provide the resources for resident leaders to tackle some of their most pressing community health concerns. Much of this investment was used to leverage additional funds in citizen philanthropy through a 1:1 matching campaign by ioby to bring community-based crowd-funded projects to fruition in NYHealth Healthy Neighborhoods Fund communities. In 2017, NYHealth awarded ioby a grant in support of another matching funds campaign to advance innovative, cost-effective solutions to build healthy communities.

With NYHealth funding, ioby recruited and supported community project leaders interested in organizing projects related to Healthy Neighborhoods Fund grantees’ goals, trained them on crowdfunding best practices, supported their campaigns, and managed money disbursement and data collection. NYHealth funds were used to provide a 1:1 match for crowdsourced dollars raised to carry out projects in communities. ioby used video content of projects created during the first grant period to help illustrate and define the project goals clearly for residents. Projects focused on (1) food production, distribution, education, access, and justice; (2) active transportation solutions to encourage pedestrian access and bicycling; (3) green spaces, parks, recreation, and play; and (4) solutions affecting acute health concerns, such as diabetes. ioby also collected socioeconomic and demographic information about project leaders, their neighborhoods, and their social networks.