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Why fundraising and Fundly became an important part of my life

26 Mar

About a year ago a crippling disease took away my sons ability to live a normal life.  He is a 3 year-old boy who will never know what it’s like to walk or even breathe without assistance.  Getting this news was heartbreaking, it was life changing and it was eye opening. I was now made brutally aware of how unsafe the world is and how much need for awareness and funds there is in the world.

I saw the many, many disparate causes in the world that didn’t fall under a big enough umbrella to receive enough attention, support or funds. I felt helpless to help any of them, helpless to help my son.  I was powerless to fund research or afford the medical equipment he needed.

I looked and looked and wondered where individual fundraisers, the under $20 million organizations, the communities, the nonprofits that didn’t have deals with major retailers or dozens of staff members could make a difference in this world.

Where was the place for a father trying to raise funds to afford medical equipment for his son?

I’d like to say I found Fundly, but that was my friend.  He set up a campaign and sent it to me.  We thought it was the best option, so we made some edits and activated the campaign, which sent it through our social networks.  Within 24 hours we had $5,000, almost 70% of our goal.  My jaw, along with some tears, dropped.

I discovered that I had a whole community of people, people who cared; people who wanted to help but didn’t know how; people who weren’t aware or just needed to be asked.  Fundly gave me that way to ask and I hadn’t even realized it.  We raised $19,500.

19 people clicked on the “Become a Personal Fundraiser” button on our Fundly page, raising between $100 and $2,500 each.  I never asked a single one of them to do it, nor explain to them how to do it.

Working for Fundly I’ve since learned how we make it easy for people to rally behind a cause in a way that is difficult and cumbersome otherwise.

But before I knew about open graph integration with Facebook. Before I knew that Habitat for Humanity has found huge success with Fundly.  Before I knew all the technical innovations that make Fundly work, I knew that through Fundly I could now afford a wheelchair for my son.

And that is why I believe in Fundly.

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Focused Campaigns Make CrowdFunding Work

13 Mar

When I was in eighth grade I had the assignment to write a report about the Prohibition for my history class.  My adolescent mind was excited to dive in and the more I researched the period the more excited I became. By the end, I had 8 pages about Al Capone and had submitted report, proud as punch.

A week later I received the report back with a big read “C+” on it and a note from my teacher stating that she wanted a report on the Prohibition, not a famous gangster.

I had lost my focus and my report lost its effectiveness as a result.  That same trap lurks around the corner of every crowdfunding campaign.  A crowdfunding campaign’s strength lies in its ability to be shared and when the positive impact of spreading the word about your cause isn’t well understood, people are much less likely to share your campaign or donate.   Driving traffic to your campaign is goal number one.  Staying focused on making your campaign shareable will do just that.

“Well, what does ‘keeping my crowdfunding campaign focused’ mean”, you may ask.  It means that you need to:

 

BE CLEAR

Clearly tell your supporters about your cause’s goal and how spreading the word and donating helps you reach that goal.  Say it on your campaign page, say it in an email to everyone you know, say it on Facebook, Twitter, etc… The more you share, the more your supporters will understand that sharing is important and easy enough that they can do it, too!

BE CONCISE

Think ‘elevator pitch.’ Most people want to make a difference in the world, but they don’t have the time or attention span to fully understand every aspect of your cause.  In all of your messages, be sure to hone in on exactly what action you want people to take and why you want them to take that action. It’s always tempting to provide details on your cause because it’s so close to your heart and, to you, everything about your cause is important. If you stave off that temptation, summarize your cause’s goal in a few short sentences and direct people to take action they will act on your behalf.

BE CONSISTENT

Tie every piece of content on your page (pictures, text, video and giving levels) and every communication you send (email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to the goal you’ve clearly and concisely explained.

Don’t mix messages by providing updates on a new fundraising effort you’ve started and don’t create confusion by talking about unrelated events happening within your organization. Instead, stay focused on your campaign’s success by giving people updates on progress toward your goal, share with them how their donations are making an impact and let them know your fundraising deadline is approaching.

 

Make it simple.  Make it meaningful.  Make it shareable.

And keep your campaign “C+” free.