How many of you have tried raising money for a worthy cause and found it very difficult?
Personally, I’m trying to do so at the moment, and am finding it challenging, especially online.
Raising awareness seems easy enough, but having people actually donate… well that’s another story.
It would certainly be nice to have a place where all my friends can get involved, be able to contribute directly to my initiative and receiving a further incentive for doing so.
This would not only keep them motivated, but it would make raising money a lot more fun – so much so that everyone else would actually want to get involved.
Crowdrise started as a dry run when brothers Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe (creators of online outdoor apparel store Moosejaw), along with (film producer) Shauna Robertson, teamed up with (actor /philanthropist) Edward Norton and his organization (Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust) to create a web-based grassroots campaign to raise money whilst running the New York marathon (Nov 21st 2009).
It was a success.
The online drive not only helped them raise $1.2 million for their cause, but it also taught the team what would have made it work even better.
Encouraged by this, they partnered up and started Crowdrise, with the idea to create a broader initiative that doesn’t focus on one cause, but instead gives people the tools to work together on any social good campaign.
“Your whole life is about to change. That might not be true but you’re now part of Crowdrise.”
This was the first line that I was greeted with upon registration.
It’s certainly not a new concept, as we’ve seen similar initiatives like Kickstarter do so successfully, but with Crowdrise things are done a bit differently.
For starters, they’re funny.
All the copywriting on their site is quirky, light-hearted and in the context of a personal narrative. Kind of like someone is really talking to you – and no, I’m not crazy!
Secondly, the goal at Crowdrise is to make fundraising easy. Really easy. And so far, they’ve done a great job doing so. I timed myself and it took me less than 10 minutes to register, set up my profile, upload photos, link videos and find a 501(c) nonprofit to support.
Thirdly, it’s an open platform with all the social networking tools to make sure that my campaign is not only connected, but gets maximum exposure. Technically, it’s very good – I’m pretty impressed with how seamlessly they’ve integrated this aspect.
Finally, every time I engage in any activity on the site, be it making friends, joining groups, donating money or even volunteering, I collect points. When you reach a certain amount of points, they can be redeemed for amazing prizes and even royalty status – encouraging me to engage with others.
It seems to be working…
In addition to Norton, celebrities Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Paul Rudd, Kristen Bell, Will Ferrell and Barbra Streisand have adopted Crowdrise to aid in their charitable fundraisers.
At this past ING New York City Marathon (Nov 2010), the marathon community surpassed its goal of raising $1 million dollars per mile to claim a grand total of $30.7 million!
The domino effect of Crowdrise has definitely been a positive one – raising the awareness of many towards social causes.
However, one thing I have noticed about the platform is that it seems to be resonating well within the young online grassroots fundraising audience. Making it a breeding ground for the fun-loving, hip, socially conscious youth who would like to improve the world, and enjoy doing so.
So for anyone planning on raising money for a worthy cause, check out Crowdrise – and be sure tell your friends that if they don’t give back, no one will like them!
Ps, I’m running a marathon for a good cause too. I may not be Ed Norton, but I’ll appreciate you even more »
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