The Great Give – Fundraising Day for Florida Nonprofits

While researching this year’s Palm Beach and Martin counties annual “The Great Give” event, we found that many more counties across the country are hosting them as well.  

The Great Give operates like a crowdfunding campaign matching day, kind of like “GivingTuesday.” The goal of the Great Give is to raise as much money as possible for as many local nonprofits as possible in just one short, defined time period. The date is planned in advance for nonprofits and their volunteers to plan events and activities in advance to correspond with the date planned for the regional event. It is open to the public, to anyone with a credit card and access to the internet or a telephone.  

The Great Give Florida Day will be held from midnight to midnight on April 24th this year.  This will be the sixth year for Palm Beach County to host the event. The event, led by the United Way of Palm Beach County and United Way of Martin County is designed to raise as much money as possible for local nonprofits in a single day in order to bring greater awareness, publicity, and support to the great work they do. The United Way of Palm Beach County is serving as the fiscal agent on behalf of the host partners.

This year’s event is using the social media hashtag – #GreatGive424. 

All registered nonprofits in these counties that are 501(c)(3), IRS compliant, are eligible to become a part of this amazing event. The minimum donation accepted per donor is $20. This donation is compounded by an additional percentage of the bonus pool that is raised by the Palm Beach Community Foundation.

Fundraising Tools for Nonprofits

Finding funding can be difficult. However, with GrantWatch.com, a MemberPlus+ can search thousands of grants by any number of criteria, such as funding source, geographic focus, and specific interest. Over 600 new grants are added each week, to provide many new funding opportunities for nonprofits. With over 50 categories to choose from, GrantWatch.com provides your nonprofit with the fundraising resources to support your campaign. This link is for grants for Florida nonprofits that are currently available on GrantWatch.com.

Synergize Your Grants with Crowdfunding

Grants require focused time and energy and at times a grant for the program you want to implement may not be available. Another great way to fund your campaign is crowdfunding on YouHelp. On YouHelp, you can tell your story and showcase your cause. Creating a campaign is simple! Contributions will be in your account on the very next day.  YouHelp is a free crowdfunding website.

More Resources for Your Nonprofit

Make fundraising a full-time priority for your organization. Go to GrantWatch.com, and apply to the new grants posted each week. Combine your grant writing efforts by starting a crowdfunding campaign on YouHelp. This style of fundraising allows you to reach new supporters through Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, WhatsApp, your contacts and email list.

 For more information, call our team of nonprofit experts at 888-240-1494 today!

About the Author: The author is a staff writer for YouHelp.com

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5 Proven Social Media Engagement Strategies for Crowdfunding Success

Crowdfunding is all about inspiring many people to donate relatively small amounts of capital to fund your venture – whether it be for a new business or an invention, for a nonprofit, or help for a family in need.

How do you get the word out to the people you wish to attract? Social media engagement is a must for your campaign to succeed.

To be truly engaging, you need more than to post your campaign to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, it's important to manage and plan your social media posts with the help of a calendar. 

Barry Feldman of Feldman Creative wrote an insightful article on social media engagement through an easy to remember mnemonic device – the 5 vowels – an AEIOU list

A – Ask questions

E – Invoke Expression 

I  – Provide Incentives 

O – Make Offers

U –  Deliver Utility 

These social media engagement strategies are not just for crowdfunding. They will help nonprofits and for-profits to build their businesses, increase followers and create buzz about what they're doing. Anyone and everyone can use these methods to boost sales or increase donations.6 Word Stories

One Facebook group, Nonprofits for the 31st Century, has regular engagement posts asking for people to post "6 Word Stories," in answer to their questions such as: "Tell us a 6 WORD STORY about the last place you personally volunteered your time or talents," or "Tell us the 6 word story of your crowdfunding campaign." 

Getting people to rack their brains and test their creativity by coming up with responses that make people laugh, smile, respond or just take notice, is a brilliant way to engage people who are constantly bombarded with images and content. 

Social media engagement is essential for crowdfunding campaign success. In addition to the usual suggestions of contacting everyone you know, having the three circles of contacts, sending emails to all your email contacts and posting your request to social media platforms, be clear about what, how, and when to post. 

The story you tell is important. Use pictures that evoke emotions as well as videos. Videos are the best tool to tell your story, if you're able to produce them. They don't have to be elaborate, complicated or expensive, just tell your story in front of the camera with images, or have a number of people involved in your project all speak with clips of each. 

For more information on crowdfunding strategies, our page on YouHelp that explains How it Works can assist you to start your campaign

 

 

 

 

About the Author: The author is a staff writer for YouHelp.com

Follow the Formula for Success to Start a Business or Nonprofit

When someone sees a need and acts, it's to be commended. Those are the people who change the world.

Many people might see the need, but only a few are change makers. It takes a special type of person to start their own business or nonprofit and take the risk. 

Crowdfunding takes some of the onus off the inventor, developer or start-up business. 

"To succeed in business you need passion, persistence and drive."  Libby Hikind, CEO and Founder of GrantWatch advises. "Find something you love, something you know well.  Do the research and test the market. Research will tell you if a good idea is a great idea or just an idea." 

Sometimes the passion and purpose are born out of adversity, as was the case for Javier Camacho, of Puerto Rico. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in the fall of 2017, Javier Camacho, a self-taught software developer dedicated a year to provide solar powered electricity using recycled materials by himself.  He provided solar powered electricity to 49 families, and developed a prototype for a generator and a kit that people can put together themselves, wanting to get them to as many people and places as possible, so those hit by hurricanes and other natural disasters will never be devastated by a failure in the infrastructure again. His DIY Solar Generator is a product that's not difficult to produce.  He is seeking funding to complete the project for public distribution and bring it to market.  

"There are tried and tested methods for starting a business that can be followed for a higher chance of success. YouHelp assists campaigns with six-weeks of mentoring, guidance and advice," says Hikind. 

"Successful entrepreneurs and business owners are often happy to help those just starting out, interested in following in their footsteps. Don't be afraid to ask." 

YouHelp was created fro people just like you

People starting a business can often find grants on MWBEzone.com. Nonprofits can find grants on GrantWatch.com, and both nonprofits and small businesses can use YouHelp platform for crowdfunding for start-up costs, testing the market and for expanding their businesses and organizations. 

Some of the expenses mentors recommend when starting a business include: training, building a website, advertising and promotion to create awareness for the new business.  While looking and applying for grants, entrepreneurs become proactive and start crowdfunding campaigns on YouHelp. 

For more information on starting a YouHelp crowdfunding campaign, see How It Works

How It Works, YouHelp Crowdfunding Campaigns

"All the business services under the GrantWatch umbrella were created to help nonprofits, small businesses and individuals raise the funds they need for projects for the common good; through the daily updated grant database, the crowdfunding platform, providing the latest news on grants for nonprofit and business leaders, or helping people find and hire a grant writer. We offer support and mentors to work with you for the best results," said Libby Hikind, CEO and founder of GrantWatch and affiliate sites, MWBEzone, YouHelp, Grant Writer Team, GrantNews, and the next project in the works, the Grant Writer Institute.  

"We have made the process simple to open a YouHelp.com crowdfunding campaign. YouHelp.com, a free fundraising website, offering the best in crowdfunding capabilities to forward-thinking men and women who are looking for funds for a nonprofit, to start a small business or individual needs. The process is simple: start a fundraiser, enter your fundraising goal, add a compelling message that donors will find worthwhile — and launch. If the idea is deserving, and you do the sharing-out of your campaign to your crowd of family, friends, colleagues, your community, persons of the same interest and nationally, people will pledge their support.

About the Author: The author is a staff writer for YouHelp.com

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Why Crowdfunding Changes The Game When it Comes to Funding

Fundraising is a tale as old as time, and community fundraising has always been a part of helping those less fortunate. Whether it’s the collection plate at church, or a community secretly organizing funds for a member fallen on hard times. As we move further into the digital age, fundraising itself has changed, and technology has made it easier for the global community to help their fellow “neighbors.” There is still plenty of work to be done to improve the conditions of those who are most vulnerable, but crowdfunding, a form of community fundraising can help not only individuals who are struggling but help to close funding gaps for non-profit organizations, who then can help more people.

So how does crowdfunding work, and why is it a better way forward? Well, the answer is that it’s a pretty unique system for raising funds, and it fixes a lot of the issues with traditional fundraising. Here are three ways that crowdfunding outpaces traditional fundraising.

  1. Crowdfunding is significantly more time(and cost)-effective than traditional fundraising: With traditional fundraising, there are a lot of steps to raising money, and often minimal reward. Be it targeting prospective donors, or sending out email after email to find the right point of contact, or even cold calling to raise funds. And with offline fundraising, there are often significant marketing costs involved in design and promotion. Crowdfunding can often be a much more bootstrapped project and can leverage already existing networks, as well as family and friends to help with the cause. And with crowdfunding, even people that aren’t currently in the orbit of the non-profit, or start-up, or individual can contribute, at minimal cost to the entity who has put out the campaign.

  2. Crowdfunding is a much more accessible way to raise money than traditional fundraising: Though crowdfunding is made easier if there is an existing network to draw on, money can be raised even if the organization (or individual) is just starting out. For example, if a non-profit wanted to raise money for a project, but they had little name recognition because they had just started out. What could this non-profit do to up their chances of raising funds? They could write up a very compelling description of their project, and impact that those funds would have for the community (or purpose) they were working to serve. The non-profit could then create or utilize existing social media accounts and promote their campaign. This effort, especially with a team working on it, can be relatively low cost, and can actually increase the visibility of the non-profit’s work overall.

  3. Crowdfunding is significantly less restricted in the use of funds than traditional fundraising:  While a lot of conventional fundraising can come with a lot of strings, with promises made to donors or sponsors, crowdfunding has an advantage for people looking to raise funds. If a non-profit is looking to raise general usage funds for their organization, or a person in a tough situation is looking to raise funds to assist in that problem, crowdfunding can be very helpful also, because crowdfunding is a relatively less regulated industry.  

So if you’re a non-profit, small business or individual looking to raise money with less hassle, consider setting up a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds. While there are many crowdfunding platforms, there is only one that allows for campaigns to keep 100% of the funds raised. Youhelp.com is a crowdfunding platform created to help individuals, small businesses and non-profits raise money so that they can continue to do great work in their communities and better the lives of the people around them. Our team at Youhelp.com is always available to help with any questions about crowdfunding, or social media promotion of crowdfunding campaigns.

 

About the Author: The author is a staff writer for YouHelp.com

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Celebrating Women, Better for Balance, Better the World, International Women’s Day 2019

March 8th, International Women's Day, celebrates the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women worldwide. Women's Day was first observed in 1909 after about 15,000 women marched for fair wages and voting rights in New York City.  The day became known as International Women's Day (IWD) in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. 

According to the website, "International Women's Day belongs to all groups collectively, everywhere. This year's message is, "Women want balance," or #BalanceforBetter. With the complete slogan, "Better the balance, better the world." 

According to the International Women's Day website, the 2019 initiative is aimed at gender equality, a greater awareness of discrimination and a celebration of women's achievements, The 2019 #BalanceforBetter campaign runs all year long. "It doesn't end on International Women's Day. The campaign theme provides a unified direction to guide and galvanize continuous collective action, with #BalanceforBetter activity reinforced and amplified all year." 

Seeking to build a gender-balanced world, this includes reducing the pay gap between men and women globally, making sure all are equal – and balanced – through activist movements, businesses, and society,   

International Women's Day is not  specific to any country or movement. Events are encouraged to be "all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action – whatever that looks like globally at a local level," according to the International Women's Day website.  

Examples include: a Youth Tech Fest where girls innovate in Amsterdam, international art exhibits to celebrate women artists, and a tea party in Atlanta for female small business owners. You can use the website to find events and activities in your area as well as resources. 

Participate this year by donating to charitable causes like those on YouHelp that support women, promote equality, help stop domestic violence, assist homeless female veterans, and end sex trafficking; or participate by supporting businesses owned by women. 

Women starting businesses often succeed at crowdfunding. Studies show that women are better at raising funds from large groups of anonymous donors than men. Women are often viewed as more trustworthy, which is particularly important when soliciting crowdfunding from potential individual donors rather than from industries populated with a preponderance of males, such as banking and venture capital.   

The YouHelp.com fundraising platform is a women owned business, started by our CEO, Libby Hikind as an off-shoot of GrantWatch to help nonprofits, businesses and individuals raise money when a grant is not available. The website was created as a charitable event – with the hope that the world will tithe and help their neighbor.  The beauty of International Women's Day 2019 and YouHelp.com, is that when you contribute to a women-initiated crowdfunding campaign (on YouHelp) all of your donation goes directly to the charitable cause and not to the platform.

YouHelp.com is Better the Balance, Better the World business created for the common good. 

About the Author: The author is a staff writer for YouHelp.com

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How to Help People With Addictions, Advice From A Substance Abuse and Recovery Specialist

Friends and family gather to celebrate the union of a happy young couple. Most guests excitedly anticipate sharing in the festivities, but going to weddings and other celebrations can be a trying, even dreaded, experience for people struggling with addiction or in recovery.  Temptation abounds from a rehearsal dinner with wine and beer on tap, to a cocktail hour followed by dinner and dancing with an open bar and champagne at each table for numerous toasts. 

Drinking games played by friends and fraternity brothers led a sibling to reflect, "I've been sober for three and a half years, and I generally avoid all bars and exposure to drugs or alcohol. I stay away, but I have to live a normal life as well. There was no question that I would be there for my brother's wedding, but I didn't realize how much people would be drinking. For them it's the norm. It's how they let loose, and as non-addicts, it's not a problem. Most of these guys are extremely successful. Their drinking doesn't derail their lives. I understand all that, but at one point, I needed to step away for a while."  

Narconon Louisiana New Life Retreat is a treatment center dedicated to helping people overcome addiction for good. Their centers provide the stability and comfort to help people get free from addiction and rebuild their lives. The staff at Narconon are with clients every step of the way.  Donations to their YouHelp Drug Free for Good campaign go directly towards funding scholarships for people in need of treatment.  

From alcohol to opiates, experts recommend that those struggling with addiction stay away from any substance that can trigger their using until they are on solid ground with their recovery.  AA, NA and other 12-Step programs suggest 30 meetings in 30 days to get started, and then continuing with several meetings a week – preferably for life. At what point can people "risk" being exposed to alcohol, drugs and other addictive substances that they might be exposed to at happy family functions? 

Narconon has a wonderful article on their website with tips for lasting sobriety.  (https://www.narcononnewliferetreat.org/blog/tips-for-a-lasting-sobriety.html) 

Nonprofits, government agencies and businesses in the field can find grants for their mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment programs in the GrantWatch.com database, and if you don't find a grant you're eligible for or until you get a grant, a great option while you continue to look for a grant is to be proactive like Narconon and put up your own crowdfunding campaign on YouHelp.com.  

Here is on grant of many, currently listed on GrantWatch.for Alcoholism Prevention and Education Programs for USA Nonprofits, Deadline: Ongoing

Grants to USA nonprofits for programs in the area of alcoholism prevention and education. The Foundation seeks to encourage prevention programs and activities with an emphasis on high-risk populations. Additionally, the Foundation's mission is to focus its efforts on educating the public that alcoholism is a respectable, treatable disease from which people can and do recover, and to continue fighting to reduce and eliminate the stigma that is associated with the disease of alcoholism.

How does one hold on to their abstinence and stick with their program in the face of bottles and bottles of alcohol flow so freely for days on end?  

The best course of action, before going to a wedding or event and facing any of that is to shore up one's resolve by attending meetings and/or counseling sessions. If possible, have supports in place in advance like a friend or sponsor on call who you can speak with if you start to feel that you can't cope with all the temptation you're facing. 

Tracey Shipley, a youth and family counselor specializing in addictions and family communication, recommends honesty and openness, facings one's addictions head on and getting to the root of the problem. A strong advocate for 12-step programs, including Al Anon, Shipley warns in her article, "Addiction and the Five Stages of Grief"  that people will often be in denial or think that they can "bargain" and choose a drug that's not as destructive. Instead of drinking vodka, they can have a beer. Instead of opioids, they can have marijuana, but that's not the case when it comes to addiction. 

"As drug counselors have discovered, the abuse of drugs may begin as a way to fit in with peers and have a good time but is often exacerbated by the desire to escape from feelings of sadness, incompetence, lack of purpose, insecurities, guilt, shame and other negative emotions." 

The Five Stages of Grief:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

"Mourning our ability to control our impulses that lead to unhealthy behaviors and lifestyle both for ourselves and our loved ones can feel devastating. But the moment we allow ourselves to go through the stages of grief we begin to accept that there is life beyond addiction.

"The first step for avoiding or dealing with addiction is finding Truth. Finding our inner truth and what makes us truly happy in life keeps us balanced and able to live our lives in healthy ways.  Secondly Love.  Feeling compassion for ourselves and others gives us a sense of purpose and security. We are not alone. Next is commitment toward another person. 

A policeman whose jurisdiction was the San Francisco Bridge explained that he managed to convince 200 out of 202 people perched on the bridge planning to jump to change their mind by reminding them of their commitment to their loved ones.  An extension of the latter two necessities is community.  Surrounding ourselves with healthy people supports our healthy life choices.  It makes it easier for us to tolerate and even work through our pain.

"What is our job in supporting our loved ones struggling with toxic behaviors? How do we support them and assist them in finding their true path to recovery. Begin by understanding that they are struggling.   No one wants to be an addict.  Human nature is the desire to be in control, not to be controlled.  Certainly not to be controlled by destructive behaviors.  Addiction happens when one loses connection to their inner as well as their outer world.  Be their anchor!  Let them know that it is never too late to turn it around and that you will be there throughout their journey." 

Tracey Shipley began working in a drug rehabilitation in 1989. More of her articles appear on her website.         

Find grants for mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment programs in the GrantWatch.com database, and if you don't find a grant your organization is eligible for or until you get a grant, be proactive and put up your own crowdfunding campaign on YouHelp.com

About the Author: The author is a staff writer for GrantWatch.com

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The Three Circles of Fundraising and Crowdfunding Success

Whether a crowdfunding campaign is geared toward a national nonprofit program to help improve the lives of children with autism or an international campaign to rebuild homes to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico or for children get the education they need in third world countries, causes addressing children’s well-being benefit from using the three circles of crowdfunding. 

First Circle: Friends and Family

The first step to building a strong crowdfunding project begins with your friends and family. These personal connections are important to the initial stage of your crowdfunding project to build confidence and trust and impress potential donors that your project is worthy of being supported, and already has some support. 

This first circle of supporters gives your project credibility and traction. Initial supporters indirectly encourage unfamiliar and unconnected viewers to support a project that already has backing.  No one wants to be the first.  People will jump onboard to back a winner. People love to be support success and be on the winning team.

How to Lay the Foundation of Your First Circle 

Because your first circle of supporters already know you and are likely to already be connected with you through phone, text, email, and social media, networking and promotion is rather easy with this group compared to crowdfunding from total strangers. This circle is crucial to building the momentum needed to reach the outer circles of potential supporters. Let’s look at some effective ways to create momentum in your first circle!

In-Person Conversations

Talk to the people you see regularly or schedule a meet-up with friends and family to talk about your project and campaign. Sharing your campaign with them will give you practice and help perfect your pitch. Always treat your personal connections with respect. Tell them about your cause and ask them for contributions within their means.Your passion and excitement can inspire people to contribute and tell their friends and colleagues and so on and so on.The stronger your pitch, the more effective your supporters will be when they share your project with others, and the momentum will help you propel your campaign to success. 

Phone Contacts

Comb through your phone contact list and reach-out. Be considerate. Don’t be in a rush. Whenever possible, take a few minutes to ask them how they’re doing and what’s going on in their lives. Give them a chance to ask how you are, and what you are doing. This is the perfect time to inform them about your crowdfunding project! Let them know how much it means to you. Your confidence and passion will inspire them to support you and tell others to support you, too. Leave personalized messages if you do not make direct contact. 

Email Contacts

Your email contact list is a tool to enlarge your crowdfunding project past the first circle of success. Send personalized emails to your close friends and family members to connect with them. At this stage of your networking, you are not a marketer or shameless promoter! You are building your project from the inside out. Most personal connections want to help you in some way! Remember that you are not putting them out. If they cannot financially support your cause, encourage them to tell their friends and co-workers. This is an indispensable transition to the second circle of your successful crowdfunding project.

Social Media

Connect with every person in your first circle that you can via social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more. This will help you establish your online presence and credibility immediately. Not only will social media build your initial support base, it will provide you with a jumping-off point from which you may connect with many more people who are outside of your personal connections.

The Second Circle of Success: Your Community

Potential supporters in your community are important to your crowdfunding project’s success. 

  1. For financial support; and
  2. To provide traction and credibility when your project extends to digital platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google plus,YouTube, and much more!

At this point it’s time to start crowdfunding your community.  Focus on building rapport, establishing trust, and conveying momentum to potential supporters. Let’s take a quick look at some of the ways you can inspire people in your community to donate to your crowdfunding project!

How to Lay the Foundation of Your Second Circle

The second circle of your success is your community, where you want to gain as much momentum as possible within your community of acquaintances and strangers. Use previous networking strategies from the first circle, while incorporating new promotional techniques to obtain greater outreach for your crowdfunding project.

Begin by Telling the Story

The second circle of success involves telling a great story to people who don’t know what you are about. Your project will speak for itself, when you provide images and videos. If you don’t know how to begin telling the story of your crowdfunding project, stick to the basics. Give people the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of your project. Include your passion and convey emotion when sharing your story.

Utilize Your Email List

Up to this point in your crowdfunding campaign, you have utilized only a small portion of your email contacts, namely your friends and relatives. Now you are ready to maximize your entire list of email contacts. The majority of this list may include professors, classmates, co-workers, and all other professionals and acquaintances in your personal and professional environment.

Don’t jump and blast emails to these contacts! You must segment this list into manageable similar contacts and customize a few different emails. Send 10 – 15 personalized emails to our community contacts a day. See which emails are most effective and revise your email content. 

Scale Your Social Media

Upload the email addresses of your contacts to Facebook to connect with them. Facebook automatically takes these email addresses and finds each of their corresponding Facebook accounts for you! You may take a list of up to 100 emails a day and input them into your “Find Friends” tab from a .CSV file of the original email addresses. This saves you a lot of time in searching for all of your potential supporters, it builds your social media followers and credibility, and it allows your community to easily share your social media posts and promotions to more people, leading toward the final (third circle) of successful crowdfunding.

Join groups on Facebook, too! There are many individuals and groups online who share your crowdfunding interests. You need to join these groups to enable your posts to reach more followers! Once you have upscaled your Facebook platform, you will be ready to strategize your advancement to the remaining social media platforms.

The Third Circle of Success: The Global Community

The third circle is the final test for your crowdfunding project. If you have successfully rallied the first two circles of your crowdfunding campaign, then you will be in a great position to move forward in the big arena!

Crowdfunding the global community requires much more time, initiative, and strategy. You will be trying to reach supporters through all digital platforms. The secret to success in this final circle is personalizing your connection with online viewers by efficiently telling a moving story.  Customize your posts, messages, and promotions to convey a passionate crowdfunding project.

How to Maximize the Third Circle

To master the third circle of crowdfunding success you need to strategize your methods for each digital platform. Much of your previous support and traction will now allow you to join new groups and forums. With the help of your friends, family, and community you have already financed part of your crowdfunding project and now you can inspire the global community to contribute to your cause.

You cannot enter this circle empty-handed, without followers. This circle is for the crowdfunding projects that have proved their popularity within their community. 

Basic Crowdfunding Etiquette

Do not forget to demonstrate gratitude and humility toward all of your supporters. If someone shares your project with their friends, but does not specifically make a financial contribution, thank them for promoting your project and move forward. While the goal of crowdfunding is to finance your project, the crowdfunding process requires a lot of promotional support to advance toward more donors.

Twitter

This social media platform is extremely important to post updates, news, and campaign information to your followers. More than any other social media platform, Twitter requires consistent maintenance and engagement. Twitter Techniques:  Tweets, Retweets, Follow, Like, Share, and Adding Media.

Facebook

Facebook is a crowdfunding money-maker. Facebook allows you to place ads, boost posts, and network with specific groups.

Upload EMAIL Addresses to Your Social Media Platforms

On Facebook you will find the option for “Friend Requests” and “Find Friends” which will allow you to upload an email list.  This will locate your friends and allow you to add them. Your friends will then get all your project updates to share with the global community. Follow these directions:

  1. Create an excel file of your email list
  2. Make the first line of the excel file “Email Address”
  3. Save it as a CSV file
  4. Log on to your Facebook account
  5. Click “Friend Requests” and then “Find Friends”
  6. On the right side where it says “Add Personal Contacts” click the icon to the far right and log in with whichever platform you prefer
  7. Then click “Find Friends”
  8. This will direct you to a page that tells you how to save your email list as a CSV. You have already done this, so scroll down and upload your list.
  9. Select your contacts and click “Add Friends”
  10. Then, “Send invites” (This is optional)

You will also find options to send your posts to a wider audience, for a fee. On Facebook, it’s called “boosting” a post.

Press Releases

Be bold and brazen! Send a press release to local newspapers and TV stations about your efforts in crowdfunding. Your story might pique the interest of a reporter or editor. With a news story about your project in the media, you could see your campaign blow up.

In Conclusion

Now that you’ve contacted your closest friends and family, all contacts, and reached out to the public at large, you’ve completed the circles of success. Remember to continually post your project and keep yourself (and your campaign) in people’s minds by talking and posting about it regularly. Keep sharing it with the people you meet. You never know when you will spark someone’s interest – and you never know who they may know who might become a supporter. 

Contact our crowdfunding mentor at support@YouHelp.com to learn more about crowdfunding your project, or by phone at 888-240-1494. What are you waiting for? Sign up to start a YouHelp.com crowdfunding campaign today!

About the Author: The author is a staff writer for YouHelp.com

Combine Crowdfunding and Community Events to Achieve Fundraising Success

You’ve probably seen examples of crowdfunding campaigns gone viral that met their goal in a matter of mere hours or days but the reality is that that is the exception, not the rule. The truth of crowdfunding is that meeting a fundraising goal can be challenging for even the largest nonprofit organization but it can often be near impossible for the smaller nonprofit—such as parent-teacher organizations (PTOs) and schools, for example.  

Given the challenging nature of crowdfunding for these smaller entities, one Jupiter (Florida) elementary school PTO—a licensed 501(c)(3)—thought outside the box. When it became apparent to the PTO board members that the crowdfunding campaign was going to fall short of its goal, the board had to brainstorm in order to come at its goal from a new angle. The ideas they came up with to raise additional money during a school- and community-wide event may give your nonprofit school or parent-teacher organization food for thought. 

Find the Opportunity in Falling Short

In 2015, Jupiter Farms Community Elementary School (JFCES), with an enrollment of just over 500 students, wanted to raise money to build an outdoor track on its campus. The project wasn’t on the radar (or in the budget) for the county school district so the school’s PTO board decided to try crowdfunding to help reach its $25,000 goal. Falling short of that goal, however, meant that the PTO had to ‘up the ante’ during its local community event. 

Try Something New

They formulated a few ideas for the school’s annual Fall festival known as Panther Prowl (the panther is the school mascot), which takes place around Halloween. Open to the public and advertised both on the Facebook page of the local residents group and via simple flyers sent home with every student, Panther Prowl typically brings in a modest profit, but this particular year the stakes were higher. Consequently, the PTO board opted to raise money via some new-to-the-event methods: 

1. Admission fees—it was free for kids and $5 for parents/adult family members;
2. Food trucks—they paid a flat registration fee to park their vehicle and sell food;
3. A baked goods sale—all goodies were prepared by student families and donated for sale; 
4. A pay-per-throw dunk tank—teachers and the principal took turns sitting in it; 
5. A silent auction of themed baskets—one from each classroom, created and filled with donations from class families relevant to the basket theme. 

Believe It and Achieve It

Between crowdfunding and the money generated during Panther Prowl, JFCES managed to completely fund its track with all moneys coming directly from student families, relatives, and friends. While some nonprofits may question how to proceed following a crowdfunding shortfall, the JFCES PTO board took it as a chance to come up with new ways to generate profit during its annual Fall event. It was a gamble that paid off for them and can for your school or PTO if you’re up for the challenge and utilizing the services of a crowdfunding site like YouHelp.com can make accepting and processing donations easier than ever before!

About the Author: Dawn has firsthand experience as a nonprofit volunteer for her local Parent Teacher Organization and was instrumental in assisting with the crowdfunding and community fundraising processes to help her school meet its fundraising goals.