Feel Good! Be Happy! When YouHelp on #GivingDay to Crowdfunding Campaigns

Do you want to feel good? Perhaps, raise your endorphins without a bite of chocolate or the sweat of exercise? Then YouHelp has the key to HAPPINESS for you today — April 25th — #Giving Day (and every day).

"Give a Little, Get a Lot."

When you make a difference in the life of another, you feel happy. For a few dollars, you can add bounce to your step and smile from cheek to cheek. Help the homeless. Support treatment for a child with cancer. Fund transportation for the elderly – and so many more happiness opportunities are available to you, when you donate to one of many individual campaigns on YouHelp.com

But Wait!!!  Don’t take our word. Look at the article below, “Being Generous Really Does Make You Happier,” (which appeared in TIME Magazine written by Amanda Macmillan, published on July 14, 2017).

Find an appeal that matches your interests — and pledge your support today – #Giving Day, or give a little, get a  lot on any other day you want to feel happier.

It doesn’t take a neuroscientist to know that doing nice things for people feels good. But now, researchers say they’ve discovered that even thinking about doing something generous has real mood-boosting benefits in the brain.

In a new study published in Nature Communications, researchers from the University of Zurich in Switzerland told 50 people they’d be receiving about $100 over a few weeks. Half of the people were asked to commit to spending that money on themselves, and half were asked to spend it on someone they knew.

The researchers wanted to see whether simply pledging to being generous was enough to make people happier. So before doling out any money, they brought everyone into the lab and asked them to think about a friend they’d like to give a gift to and how much they would hypothetically spend. They then performed functional MRI scans to measure activity in three regions of the brain associated with social behavior, generosity, happiness and decision-making.

Their choices—and their brain activity—seemed to depend on how they had pledged to spend the money earlier. Those who had agreed to spend money on other people tended to make more generous decisions throughout the experiment, compared to those who had agreed to spend on themselves. They also had more interaction between the parts of the brain associated with altruism and happiness, and they reported higher levels of happiness after the experiment was over.

Another piece of good news was that it didn’t seem to matter how generous people were. Planning to give away just a little bit of money had the same effects on happiness as giving away a lot. “At least in our study, the amount spent did not matter,” said lead author Philippe Tobler, associate professor of neuroeconomics and social neuroscience, in an email. “It is worth keeping in mind that even little things have a beneficial effect—like bringing coffee to one’s office mates in the morning.”

It’s not yet clear how long these warm and fuzzy feelings last after being generous. But other research suggests that making generosity a regular habit may influence long-term wellbeing and happiness, the study authors say.

Studies have shown that older people who are generous tend to have better health, says Tobler, and other research has indicated that spending money on others can be as effective at lowering blood pressure as medication or exercise. “Moreover, there is a positive association between helping others and life expectancy,” he adds, “perhaps because helping others reduces stress.”

The researchers wonder, however, whether the feel-good effect of generosity could be dampened by deliberate attempts to take advantage of it—in other words, by expecting personal gains from performing selfless acts.

Still, the new study suggests that making a pledge to do generous things could be a useful way to reinforce altruistic behavior and even make people happier, says Tobler.

“It is known that actually helping others and being generous to them increases happiness,” he says. “I would still consider that the primary route to boost happiness; however, making a commitment to help others is a first step to follow through.”

Next time you think that the best way to make yourself feel better is to buy yourself a treat, consider that the opposite is likely true. “It is worth giving it a shot, even if you think it would not work,” Tobler says. “In order to reap health benefits, repeated practice is probably needed so that giving becomes second nature.”

 

About the Author: Staff Writer for YouHelp and http://time.com/4857777/generosity-happiness-brain/ “Being Generous Really Does Make You Happier,” (which appeared in TIME Magazine written by Amanda Macmillan, published on July 14, 2017).

April 25th:Giving Day to Capitalize on Crowdfunding to Energize Donors and Spread the Word

April 25th, 2018, this Wednesday, Giving Day is like #GivingTuesday – the annual global day of giving on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving – because both are fueled by the power of social media and collaboration to achieve a simple goal: raise as much money as possible in a single day. 

All hands on deck! That’s the rallying cry heard on “Giving Day,” for one-day fundraising campaigns that are mobilized to generate buzz and revenue for causes through a series of coordinated events.

Take advantage of this upcoming Giving Day to either be a "Giver" or to launch a fundraising campaign of your own on YouHelp.com, the free crowdfunding website (with the lowest payment processing rate available to nonprofits), or spread the word to potential donors about existing crowdfunding initiatives.

YouHelp the Free Crowdfunding WebsiteLibby Hikind, founder and CEO of YouHelp.com says, "You won’t be alone, on April 25, 2018. YouHelp's staff is ready and willing to assist your campaign. Set up your campaign today on YouHelp, and you may continue raising money for your nonprofit even when the day is over." Libby goes on to say, "Successful campaigns are campaigns where the immediate crowd of people closest to the nonprofit are energized and they in turn go on to each energize their own personal and work crowd. Yeah Team!"

 

 

Consider these campaigns already planned.

  • Community Foundation hopes to raise $100,000 for high-quality early childhood education initiatives in Monroe County, Indiana;
  • ACT for Alexandria is seeking to raise thousands of dollars for the benefit of the Alexandria, Va., community – from providing scholarships to summer camp to building baseball fields to pro-bono legal services to serving meals to low-income families;
  • Donations made during the 24-hour period to a crowdfunding campaign at Yeshiva University will help fund undergraduate, graduate, and high school communities, as well as scholarships and student life;
  • Purdue University Northwest hopes to inspire alumni, faculty, staff, parents, friends and students during this once-a-year event to support student scholarships, academic programs and athletics.

Crowdfunding through social media has become a popular venue to spearhead the community at large to get involved in a fundraising initiative. Real-time, in-the-moment themes promoted on a Giving Day can serve as prime opportunities to launch a crowdfunding campaign on YouHelp and inspire donors to give specifically to your cause.

YouHelp.com, a free fundraising website, offers the best in crowdfunding capabilities to forward-thinking nonprofits, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals seeking to generate awareness and revenue for their causes. The YouHelp process is simple: create a profile, a fundraising goal, add high resolution images and a compelling message that prospects will find worthwhile — and launch. If the idea is deserving, and the campaign is promoted properly, contributors will pledge their support.

About the Author: Staff Writer at YouHelp.com

Crowdfunding for Cancer Treatment: Fundraising Campaign Helps Family Go Extra Mile for Cure

She is an adventurous big sister who had her training wheels removed from her bicycle by age 4. She is sweet, sassy and pretty-much does what every father wants his kid to do. Except for the time eight-year-old Morgan had problems with her vision last summer, that’s when her father, Kenny Allen, said a visit to her pediatrician ended in the emergency room with a difficult-to-fathom diagnosis,

Morgan had brain stem cancer, a type called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma – and doctors weren’t optimistic. After exhausting all mainstream treatment options, Morgan’s parents learned of a form of immunotherapy in Mexico, but each treatment would cost $11,000 plus $2,000 for airfare from their home in Florida. The family went anyway, every three weeks to Monterrey and, after five treatments, Morgan’s tumor got smaller.

Now, the Allen family is preparing for Morgan’s next level of immunotherapy, also in Mexico, but much more expensive. To raise the money, her parents have turned to crowdfunding.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of the free crowdfunding site YouHelp.com, said online platforms to solicit donations that help defray the cost of treatments can be a life-saver for many cancer patients. Crowdfunding for cancer treatment on YouHelp is not only a way to raise much-needed funds, she said, but campaigns can also serve as a stage to foster a sense of community and support during a difficult time.

You can read more about Morgan and contribute  @morgansjourney.org and view additional cancer treatment campaigns on YouHelp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unlike other crowdfunding platforms that charge a fee ranging from about 3 to 8 percent of each donation, YouHelp is free. How does YouHelp sustain itself? Donors have the option of adding a “tip”  for YouHelp, to their donation to defray the cost of maintaining this unique fundraising platform. Hikind said a YouHelp crowdfunding campaign for cancer treatment is easy to establish and the outreach to potential contributors is efficient, secure and direct.

Crowdfunding does not distract from the larger fundraising organizations, said Ben Kaplan, senior director of digital products at the American Cancer Society, He said ACS works with platforms, and some individual sites may contain an option to donate to the society as well.

Hikind said crowdfunding appeals to an innate desire to help.  As campaigns gain momentum, more donors want to get on board to contribute.

Ryan Callahan, a forward for the Tampa Bay Lighting NHL hockey team, and his family established a nonprofit organization to make memorable experiences a reality for kids who are battling, or who have survived cancer.

After a game this year at Amalie Arena, the National Hockey League star, like he does so often with other children with cancer, met Morgan Allen. Struck by her plight, Callahan, a father of three, offered to match up to $5,000 to her crowdfunding campaign.

The Ryan Callahan Foundation has also offered Morgan and her family one of the monthly make-a-wish trips, perhaps, to Disney World or to the beach where she can create memories with her five-year-old brother.

But, radiation treatments have decreased mobility in Morgan’s right arm and leg. For now, she gets around in a wheelchair. Her parents said, despite the treatments, she still laughs and giggles or does almost everything a father wants their kids to do.

YouHelp.com, a free fundraising website, offers the best in crowdfunding capabilities to forward-thinking nonprofits, small businesses, entrepreneurs, individuals and families in crisis.. The YouHelp process is simple: create a profile, a fundraising goal, add high resolution images and a compelling message that prospects will find worthwhile — and launch. If the idea is deserving, and the campaign is promoted properly, contributors will pledge their support.

About the Author: Staff Writer for YouHelp.com

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Crowdfunding Helps After-School Nonprofit Fitness Program Spread Health to Students

The first time she walked into a gym – not far removed from a thyroid cancer diagnosis and giving birth to her second child — Jocelyn Coughlin was overweight, embarrassed and intimidated. She had taken her health for granted for far too long.

Now, Coughlin, a 28-year-old high school science teacher, is spreading her good health to make sure no one feels the way she once did. Her message is relayed through a nonprofit she established to provide after-school health education and fitness experiences to youth in Worcester, Mass.

After starting out with just a few kids five years ago, FITCLUB Foundation Inc. has grown to include more than 100 students across two high schools and two elementary schools, where one-hour workouts are devoted to huffing and puffing between kids who traditionally have not been exposed to fitness.

The 501(c)(3) organization has grown so much that Coughlin has turned to crowdfunding to continue to expand the program, purchase equipment and pay for additional qualified fitness trainers. Coughlin, the chairperson of the science department at Worcester Technical High School, said her campaign, which she posted on the free crowdfunding site YouHelp.com, has garnered more support than what small fundraisers and contributions had in the past.

YouHelp is also providing Fitclub with access to like-minded groups including fitness instructors and local studios and gyms interested in partnering to lead different exercise routines each week or sponsor health-related events. Coughlin said Fitclub has teamed with the Worcester Fitness Center, which will host a Spin-A-Thon, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Sunday, March 25, 2018.

Coughlin said she is promoting the event, which will include three instructors and 23 teams of supporters, on YouHelp and via social media. Already, in addition to Worcester Fitness, she has attracted GH2, Crossfit Worcester, Fit Friendzie, Kelley's Bootcamp, NV Fitness, and the Fitness Asylum to help sponsor the event.

Money raised at the Spin-A-Thon will be put toward expanding the Fitclub program to even more locations, where students who do not participate in team sports will be able to find an after-school outlet to help keep them in shape. Fitclub aims to serve as an after-school home or provider for these students as well as those who are disabled or come from impoverished families.

Physical education is mandatory for high school students in Worcester, but Coughlin said the courses are not on par with the workouts offered at FITCLUB. About 40 percent of the current Massachusetts high school student population, does not take part in a team sport, either.

Coughlin said she wasn’t a member of a team sport in high school. And she does not want to see the current generation of kids — like she did — develop unhealthy habits later in life. Coughlin knows what she is talking about. She had ballooned to some 200 pounds.

Now that her cancer is in remission and she has shed some 75 pounds, thanks to cardio workouts and weight training, Coughlin has embraced the idea of making her city a place where students can participate in diverse health and fitness activities – and have fun.

YouHelp.com, is a free fundraising website that offers the best in crowdfunding capabilities to forward-thinking schools, students, nonprofits, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals with an eye toward promoting physical fitness and healthy lifestlyes and connecting their campaigns to the public. 

The YouHelp process is simple: create a profile, a fundraising goal, add high resolution images and a compelling message that prospects will find worthwhile — and launch. If the idea is deserving, and the campaign is promoted properly, contributors will pledge their support.

About the Author: Staff Writer for YouHelp

For the Birds – Crowdfunding Rescues Cornell University’s Endangered Biodiversity Field Studies

Roaming through the stunted shrub oaks and knee-high palmettos in one of America’s most endangered habitats can get rather expensive for budding scientists who are more likely to engage a gopher tortoise or scrub-jay than a classroom smartboard.

Field study through the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology can cost Cornell University graduates students $2,000 beyond course tuition. But, the hundreds of burgeoning biologists who have made the two-week pilgrimage to the Archbold Biological Field Station in south central Florida say the hands-on experience can provide the spark that ignites a professional career.

the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology sought the assistance of a crowdfunding campaign. Not only was $15,000 raised to cover housing, transportation, field equipment and lab fees for about 12 graduate students, Cornell officials were able to establish an endowment for the Root-Marks Fund for Field Teaching.

Thanks to the crowdfunding effort, students can learn to think like scientists again in the solitude of the Archbold ranch, where the field study program has been held for 25 sessions spanning 50 years. In that time, high costs, management issues and institutional regulations have drastically cut the number of field courses at colleges and universities in the United States in half.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of the free crowdfunding platform YouHelp.com, said to support out-of-the-box experiential biodiversity learning where the world is the classroom, colleges, universities, faculty and students need to connect to a community of individuals who are passionate about these same topics for funding.

What exactly is biodiversity?  Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play. For example, A larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops. Greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms.” (www.globalissues.org, Why is Biodiversity Important Who Cares, January 2014)

Peter Marks, professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell, said field studies provide graduate students hands-on experience in defining questions and designing field investigations. The exposure equipped Morgan Mouchka, Ph.D. ’14, with the skills and tools she needed to become a top-notch investigator and advocate for global conservation and biodiversity. The alumnus and crowdfunding ambassador for the program said the bonds and friendships she developed during her field study have lasted beyond graduate school.

Located in an out-of-the-way section of the northern Everglades, the Archbold Biological Stations attracts scientists from all over the world to study plants and animals found nowhere else on earth. The 9,000-acre nonprofit is dedicated to studying, interpreting, preserving and restoring Florida’s scrub ecosystem, an endangered remnant of the beaches and sand dunes that have stood exposed above sea level for more than 1 million years.

YouHelp.com, is a free fundraising website that offers the best in crowdfunding capabilities to forward-thinking schools, students, nonprofits, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals who want to connect their fundraising campaign to the public. When you create a biodiversity campaign on YouHelp, people will be able to support the protection and conservation of our ecosystems; and contribute to ecological health projects in plant, marine and wildlife biodiversity.

The YouHelp process is simple: create a profile, a fundraising goal, add some high resolution images, a compelling message that prospects will find worthwhile — and launch. If the idea is deserving, and and the campaign is promoted properly, people will pledge their support.

 

About the Author: Staff Writer at YouHelp.com

Buried Treasure: Crowdfunding Protects White Truffles, Promotes Biodiversity

Less than ideal weather has fans of Italian white truffles willing to bid more than a hundred thousand dollars for the increasingly rare mushroom.

A forest truffle is actually a mushroom, but an unusual one—it grows underground. Obviously, that means they're especially difficult to find since you can't see them…truffles are one of the world's most expensive ingredients…

Friends of the prized fungus say white truffles need cool, wet weather to thrive and can only be found in the wild – in wooded, humid regions. One of those places is Alba, Italy, a little town south of Turin where hunters and their dogs forage public and private lands for the mushroom from autumn through late February. That was until an invasive species of ivy combined with insufficient rainfall stunted the harvest.

Frustrated and concerned about the increasingly shortened season, “white diamond” hunters and like-minded groups got together to start a crowdfunding site to safeguard the natural environment of Alba and the biodiversity of the white truffle.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of the free crowdfunding platform YouHelp.com, said crowdfunding can be a trusted solution for conservationists who value biodiversity, but either don’t have the background, time or resources to get involved in projects, that might be thousands of miles away.

The crowdfunding campaign, “Breath the Truffle,” set out to raise awareness about biodiversity and the importance of keeping the existing truffle-growing areas of the forest in Alba clean. Organizers figure if they can’t control the climate, they can at least try to monitor the environment.

Interest in the biodiversity of white truffles is hardly surprising. After a dry, hot summer, the price of white truffles in 2017 more than doubled from the previous year to about $3,000 per pound. Buyers are naturally looking for the best quality, which means truffles that are large, fresh and pungent.

The real truffle is a lattice of sorts or web of threads which runs underground and lives in symbiosis with the plants above the ground. Once picked, the buried treasure makes a quick exit from the roots of the forest to than hands of sellers, who, in the past 25 years, have witnessed a 30 percent reduction in production.

Shelf life for a typical freshly-harvested truffle is a week at most, experts say, and the United States represents the largest market for the mushroom. Many white truffles are transported by express airfare to American soil within 24 hours.

YouHelp recently added a Crowdfunding for Biodiversity category to the 100 + website. According to Thomas Lovejoy, the Godfather of Biodiversity, "Natural species are the library from which genetic engineers can work. Genetic engineers don't make new genes, they rearrange existing ones." when you start a biodiversity crowdfunding campaign, you can get people to support the protection and conservation of our ecosystems and contribute to ecological health projects in plant, marine and wildlife biodiversity.

YouHelp.com, is a free fundraising website that offers the best in crowdfunding capabilities to forward-thinking nonprofits, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals who want to connect their fundraising campaign to the public. The process is simple: create a profile, a fundraising goal, and compelling message that prospects will find worthwhile — and launch. If the idea is deserving, and and the campaign is promoted properly, will pledge their support.

About the Author: Staff Writer for UHelp.com

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Crowdfunding Puts British Women’s Bobsled Team on Track to Winter Olympics

Their dream to compete in the Winter Olympics had seemingly come to a screeching halt back in September. Mica McNeill and Mica Moore, who make up Great Britain’s top female bobsled team, had just been told that the sport’s governing body had only enough money to send a men’s contingent to the 2018 Games, which begin this week in Pyeongchang.

But, with the same tenacity and resilience suited for driving a sled down a hairpin slope at 80 mph, the pair decided to change course by starting a crowdfunding campaign, to get the money they needed to compete in South Korea.

Their last resort effort to reach out to the public for help, returned an incredible response in just five days. As she recalls how crowdfunding raised £40,000 – well above the plea — to cover her team’s basic operating costs, McNeill’s face lights up. A majority of the crowdfunding, she said, is made up of small donations from more than 700 contributors.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of the free crowdfunding website UHelp.com, said that when athletes and teams do not have enough support from governing bodies, crowdfunding can fill gaps to provide for training, equipment and travel costs. Around $1 million went from crowdfunding sites to athletes from across the globe who requested donations to help them compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Now, McNeill and her partner – “Powered by the People” crowdfunding campaign — want to turn their short-lived devastation into an Olympic medal in Pyeongchang. McNeill, who had purchased her own sled to compete, has already won the 2017 world junior championship and a silver medal at the first youth winter games in 2002.

The British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association had initially chosen not to fund McNeill and Moore in the eight World Cup events that serve to rank teams for the 2018 Winter Games; yet, support three men’s teams because the federation was “focusing resources on winning medals at the 2018 Winter Olympics.”

But, aided by the public donations, McNeill and Moore team finished fifth at the World Cup, in November, in Canada, the best result for British women in more than eight years. Their next competition is far more daunting. Since women’s bobsled was added to the Winter Olympics in in Salt Lake City, in 2002, no British team has ever won a medal in the event.

About the Author: Staff Writer at UHelp.com

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Forget about Aliens: Crowdfunding Campaign Sheds New Light on Mysterious Star

An astronomer is crediting a crowdfunding campaign for helping her move one step closer to solving the strange light emanating from a mysterious star that is larger than the sun and situated more than 1,000 light-years from earth.

About 1,700 “citizen scientists” were so compelled by the mystery that they donated $107,421 to the crowdfunding campaign, which Louisiana State University physics professor Tabetha Boyajian started in 2016 to pay for dedicated time on ground-based telescopes that were employed to observe KIC 8462852, or “Tabby’s Star.”

Thanks to the crowdfunding campaign, Boyajian – the star’s namesake — and a team of researchers debunked a theory that the weird blinking was really an alien megastructure orbiting the earth. Data collected, which Boyajian had published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, suggests instead that dust is the likely reason “Tabby’s Star” appears to dim for days or weeks before brightening again.

Without quick access to a government observatory or a large source of funding for private observations, Boyajian and her team turned to amateur astronomers and crowdfunding for as little as a few dollars at a time. Boyajian said she is humbled by the outpouring of donors to the crowdfunding campaign.

Tabby’s Star proves that crowdfunding can be a tool for not only solving problems in space but addressing dwindling funding resources for astronomy projects, said Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of the free crowdfunding website UHelp.com.

Boyajian and colleagues collected the data in partnership with the Las Cumbres Observatory, a network of robotic telescopes around the globe. The observatory monitored the star 24/7, providing all the information needed to catch the star’s fleeting dips and trigger follow-up observations.

Supporters who donated to the crowdfunding campaign voted to name the dipping episodes Elise, Celeste, Scara Brae and Angkor. The last two are named after ancient lost cities.

Tabby’s Star is about 50 percent larger and 1,000 degrees hotter than the sun. While the latest research has narrowed explanations for the blinking and ruled out alien activity, researchers still haven’t figured out where the dust is coming from.

About the Author: Staff Writer for UHelp.com

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