18+ Organizations Accepting Hurricane Harvey Donations

As Hurricane Harvey rages through Texas with extensive flooding and detrimental winds, homes are falling apart and individuals are stranded with few places to turn. 15 people have died and the death toll continues to rise.

How can we help the organizations providing help as Harvey’s victims fight for their lives? While volunteers are greatly appreciated, we can’t all get there and physically help. The need for funding is essential.

In addition to starting a crowdfunding campaign on UHelp.com to raise money for the destruction of Harvey’s wake, there are numerous ways you can provide relief. If your foundation, nonprofit or corporation offers a grant that can help the victims of the storm, you can post the information on GrantWatch.

We have compiled a list of 18+ established organizations that are currently accepting donations for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Why 18+? 18 is the numerical value of the Hebrew word for Chai, which represents life.  Why the plus sign? As you let us know of other established organizations with relief funds that are working for the survival of the Hurricane Harvey victims, we will add them to our ever-growing list.

1. American Red Cross

Red Cross opens overnight shelters, distributes emergency supplies, prepares hot meals, snacks and water for those in need and provides physical and mental health volunteers for first-aid treatment, prescription-medication and/or eyeglass replacement and emotional support.

2. Americares

Americares provides medicine, supplies, water and medical aid in emergency situations.

3. Best Friends’ Disaster Relief Fund 

Best Friends’ provides emergency assistance to animals in the wake of disasters, providing lifesaving work in disaster situations.

4. Coalition for the Homeless

https://www.homelesshouston.org/take-action/donate/

The Coalition supports organizations that directly provide services to homeless individuals. The organization is accepting donations to assist displaced individuals as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

5. Feeding Texas

Feeding Texas’ food banks provide food boxes, shelter meals and cleaning supplies to families impacted by the storm.

6. Greater Houston Community Foundation

The Foundation is a public charity in Houston under which Houston Mayor Sylvester Turned has created the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund for the victims of the recent floods.

7. Heart to Heart International

http://www.hearttoheart.org/hurricaneharvey/

HHI supplies water, hygiene kits, Tetanus shots and other medical care to the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

8. Houston Food Bank

http://www.houstonfoodbank.org/donate/

Disaster-relief donations to Houston Food Bank will help provide food and supplies for southeast-Texas residents who need it most.

9. The Humane Society of the United States 

The Humane Society helps animals and their owners dealing with Harvey’s floods. The organization evacuates animals out of the disaster areas, providing both transport and rescue.

10. Lefkowitz Leadership Initiative

http://agudathisrael.org/disaster-relief-fund/?cat=lefkowitz-leadership-initiative

The Initiative provides food, clothing and Yomtov needs to Jewish families and institutions facing Harvey’s aftermath.

11. North American Mission Board

The Board deploys crisis buckets of storm supplies, prepares hot meals and performs mud-out, chainsaw and cleaning services on damaged homes.

12. Orthodox Union

The OU provides financial help for post-storm rebuilding.

13. Portlight 

http://www.portlight.org/home.html

Portlight uses inclusive disaster strategies to assist people with disabilities affected by catastrophes.

14. Salvation Army

The Salvation Army provides physical, emotional and spiritual care to disaster survivors and relief workers and will support long-term recovery tactics following immediate disaster-response efforts.

15. Samaritan’s Purse

Samaritan’s Purse establishes tractor-trailer volunteer stations in disaster zones. Teams of volunteers provide damage-repair services such as cutting trees, tarping roofs, and performing mud-outs.

16. Save the Children Federation

The Federation provides supplies and services to families in shelters.

17. Texas Diaper Bank

The Diaper Bank gives diapers and disaster-relief kits to families with young children.

18. United Airlines

The Airline is taking up donations for larger disaster-relief organizations such as Red Cross, Airlink, Americares, etc. The Airline is also giving away airline miles in exchange for donations.

19. Seasons

If you prefer to donate physical supplies, Seasons collects and transports high-demand items for the survivors in Houston, TX.

20. Chabad-Lubavitch Center

If you are looking for another way to help those impacted by the flooding in the Houston region, Chabad-Lubavitch Center, Texas Regional Headquarters has created an Amazon Wish List with basic items that are desperately needed as supplies run out.

If you would like to start a UHelp campaign for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, sign up here.

If you know of a well-established organization that is accepting donations that is not listed here, please provide the details in the comment section below and send us an email at support@uhelp.com.

Stay Safe, Texas.

About the Author: Staff writer for UHelp

The Importance of a Campaign Team: “Stay Positive and Do It with a Smile”

Congratulations to the team behind “Stay Positive and Do It with a Smile” on the excellent progress they have made with their crowdfunding project!

The campaign is raising funds for 9Round Bloomington, a gym in Minnesota, owned and operated by Damion, an energetic and dedicated man who currently needs funding to pay the gym’s back taxes.

In the first two weeks, their UHelp.com campaign raised $1,700.

UHelp provides a six-week, 30-day marketing program for every campaign. Day-one is where you start formulating a supportive campaign team.

We spoke with Amanda Otting, the organizer behind “Stay Positive and Do It with a Smile,” regarding the campaign’s progress. Amanda has some advice for attaining fundraising success by following the marketing plan, especially the steps outlined in day one.

Have you been using UHelp's marketing plan?

We have used portions of the marketing plan. There are many valuable suggestions and steps involved in the marketing plan that we have not yet had the time to implement. Although we have only used parts of the plan, we have found success in the structure and steps including social media. 

Do you have a campaign team that helps you promote the campaign?

Team members have been a large influence. Our goal is to expand the team to build a larger social media base and demographic, providing more campaign exposure to those team members’ contacts. The positivity for the campaign has supported the measures taken to build the team. It is a work in progress.

Currently, most of our donors are friends or members of the gym. It will take some creativity to really spread the word past social media. That is why we believe adding members to the campaign team will open routes to different groups of people.  

What marketing techniques have you been using to spread the word about your campaign?

We have been posting and re-posting on Facebook and other social media sites. Adding other team members to do the same thing has helped significantly. We have also printed the campaign information and posted it inside the gym to make members aware of the need for the business. The gym is very important to many, if not all, members and it has been well received. 

What advice would you offer other UHelp campaigns trying to raise a lot of money in a short period of time? 

We suggest following the UHelp marketing plan as much as you think it applies to or fits the goals of your campaign.

Utilize UHelp’s support because it is so easily given! Post, post and re-post your information on social media and ask your friends and supporters to do the same—build your campaign network as much as possible. The more people that know about your campaign, the more donations you will draw in.  

What makes Damion different from other gym owners?

Damion is 34 years young. He has many loyal gym members and membership continues to increase each week. Aside from this tax situation with the property managers, he has been successfully running his company Smalls Co. and operating the 9Round franchise for close to a year. Damion is a new small-business owner and has built many influential relationships in the area. 

From a member’s perspective, Damion puts his passion into each thing he does at the gym, from training to marketing to general task operating. He actively engages with his members and builds relationships with every single person that walks in. He knows the ins and outs of his business and updates members on healthy techniques that they can employ in the gym and at home. 

He puts his everything into his members and spends countless hours at the gym. Currently, he spends his breaks running the business by marketing outside of the gym, organizing events for members and completing general operating tasks. His members love him and enjoy their time at the gym most when he is there. 

What advice would Damion give other entrepreneurs?

“I would say you have to be passionate about what you do. If you want to be treated a certain way, treat others in that same manner. Without that, it will be hard to get people to promote you positively. I think that's what we have here at 9Round, because our members know us as if we’re family.” 


You can donate to Amanda’s crowdfunding campaign for Damion and the 9Round gym on their UHelp campaign page. Start your own digital fundraiser with UHelp to receive a free marketing program and expert advice on running your campaign.

About the Author: Kayli Tomasheski is a Copy Editor for UHelp.

UHelp Fundraisers for All Things Fashion

Whether you’re a non-profit organization hosting a fashion show or an aspiring designer moving your sketches to mannequins, UHelp is your top destination for fashion funding! Launching a campaign on UHelp will not only help you raise funding, but also help you gain publicity.

Money is usually the first roadblock you encounter in your fashion projects. For example, let’s say you’re hosting a fashion show to raise money for a charity. Fashion events come with a hefty price tag, considering the essentials: venue, models, lighting and music/sound equipment, props, staff members (emcees, photographers, security, etc.) and the fashion itself. If you don’t have the funds to hold the show, start a UHelp fundraiser! On your campaign page, explain why you are requesting donations, how the funding will be put to use and who will benefit from the donors’ contributions. Once your donations roll in, you will be relieved of the extensive costs, allowing you to follow through with your plan of action.

Funding is a substantial obstacle for designers as well. Transforming your designs from sketches on paper into actual garments means paying for equipment, supplies, production staff, potential interns, social media gurus, etc. Don’t have a few thousand dollars lying around? UHelp fundraisers come in clutch. (Get it?) Set aside your concern with costs and let your fundraiser take over!

After monetary security, publicity is the key to flourishing design startups and successful fashion events. Include pictures and details of your upcoming event or company in your fundraiser to gain considerable publicity. Getting the project’s name into the public’s eye is essential  to having an effective fundraiser, a successful event/startup and an expansive longevity.

Pro Tip: Most fundraisers are raising money for immediate action; people are more likely to contribute to an upcoming project than to a long-term proposal.

About the Author: Lauren Thomas is a summer intern for UHelp and GrantWatch and an up-and-coming fashion designer.

What Is A UHelp Mentorship Appointment

Are you tired of launching fundraisers without help? Do you lack the marketing skills necessary for fundraising success? Does it feel like no one wants to donate anymore? When is the last time a crowdfunding expert picked up the phone and asked if you needed help? The only thing standing between you and a successful campaign is the absence of a mentor, an expert in marketing and fundraising who knows the ins and outs of crowdfunding—someone to explain right from wrong, give you advice for your unique needs and provide services free of charge (you’re trying to raise money, not lose it). You can’t find a crowdfunding mentor on GoFundMe, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc. So, where do you turn? UHelp.com.

UHelp, the crowdfunding platform, provides three free 45-minute Mentorship appointments per campaign as part of a strategically designed marketing plan for driving campaign success. Our free marketing plan provides Campaign Organizers daily tasks that will secure visibility and engagement through inner circle support and online network publicity. Your mentor will walk you through the best methods of social media marketing and how to use creative content to gain support for your campaign.

These mentorship appointments take place during the first 30 days of your campaign and are conducted on the phone or online using Skype, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp or any other platform that you and your campaign team are most comfortable with. Schedule your UHelp Mentorship appointments on Day 2 of the marketing plan. Save your reserved appointment dates and times and share them with your Campaign Team; it’s best to have everyone involved during the UHelp Mentorship call, as your members may have inquiries that you’re not aware of.

During your UHelp Mentorship appointments, you will speak with one of our expert crowdfunding specialists to review and analyze your campaign. Together, you will discuss the progress of your UHelp campaign, define methods to optimize its visibility and alternative methods for gaining support and reaching your funding goal. UHelp Mentorship appointments are a key component in our marketing plan; they give your campaign the best possible chance to reach its funding goal by providing Campaign Organizers with a resource to discuss their daily efforts and campaign progress as well as receive advice to continue campaign success.

5 Sample Questions to Ask Your UHelp Crowdfunding Mentor

1. Is the wording of my campaign the best that it can be?

2. How do I promote my campaign on social media networks?

3. What should I say when asking my friends and family for donations?

4. Can you give me guidance on how to compose a press release for my campaign? 

5. Is there anything I should change about the way I am publicizing my campaign? 

These are just a few examples of questions that will help you prepare for your appointment. Your UHelp Mentor will know just what to ask you and what information you need. If you haven’t launched a campaign already, get started by signing up here. Our expert UHelp Crowdfunding Mentors are here to help you every step of the way.

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About the Author: Staff Writer for UHelp

Choosing The Perfect Perks

What are perks?

A perk for your UHelp campaign is a thank-you reward offered to crowdfunding campaign contributors in exchange for their donation of a specified amount of money. A perk may be tangible, such as a button or pin with the campaign’s logo, or intangible, such as a written recognition in the campaign’s upcoming newsletter. Based on the quality/significance of the reward, a perk is assigned an exchange value—the amount of money that a contributor must donate in order to receive the perk.

How can perks help a campaign?

Because they are distributed exclusively to people who financially support a campaign, perks act as an incentive to motivate funders to donate larger amounts of money. Some funders support campaigns for the sake of giving and/or for the benefit of the finished project. A campaign without perks may receive many small ($5 – $20) contributions because the campaign itself is well-written and convincing. A campaign that offers thank-you rewards, though, will receive larger donations because they offer an additional prize for the financial support as well as a suggested contribution amount, which gives supporters an idea of preferred donations.

What perks should a crowdfunding campaign offer?

Perks should be selected based on the campaign’s ideal audience as well as the topic of the campaign itself. With every given fundraiser, there is a specific market that is most likely to donate. That market tends to have some relation to the campaign itself. A campaign to rebuild a church, for example, will be popular among religious associations and individuals. Perks for such a campaign should be suitable for that market and pertain to the unique conditions of the campaign. To follow the example, appropriate perks could include a hand-written thank-you letter, a recognition plaque in the entrance hall or even a courtyard dedication. The extent of the perk depends on how much the supporter donates.

How much money should a campaign spend on perks?

Perks should not break a campaign’s budget. The purpose of the thank-you rewards is to maximize donations—not sell campaign-related items at an exchange value. The cost of a perk should not exceed 20% (including shipping costs) of the corresponding donation amount. For example, a $5 button cannot be paired with a $20 donation, as it exceeds the 20% limit, but a $20 t-shirt can be paired with a $100 donation.


Perks are optional for UHelp campaigns, but they significantly help raise funds. You can add perks to your campaign on Day 3 of the free 30-Day Marketing Program. If you would like professional advice in choosing and creating thank-you rewards, contact a UHelp expert at support@uhelp.com.

About the Author: Kayli Tomasheski is a Copy Editor for UHelp.

Why Am I Not Raising Any Money?

 

YOU are not just throwing a tantrum here! You have seen the multitude of success stories about campaigns that raised millions for both valid and invalid causes. Why not you?

What you may not know is that those successful campaigns are a minority among the penniless campaigns run by campaign organizers lacking proper marketing knowledge.

Yes, you might run over to GoFundMe, Indiegogo, FundRazr, YouCaring or Kickstarter and see rows and rows of clean pictures and dollar amounts you’ve fantasized about. The homepages are covered in success and a sheer gloss of hope for your own campaign.

The first 15 days pass and your mom’s obligatory $10 donation has faded with your excitement. What could possibly be the problem? Why are you not raising any money?

What did you do wrong?

You just chose the wrong crowdfunding platform. Because you don’t have the marketing knowledge or the funds to hire an advertising guru, unlike the megabucks campaigns, you need guidance available on rightly named UHelp.com—guidance that GoFundme, Kickstarter, etc. will not provide.

You need UHelp’s 30-Day Marketing Plan to teach you how to promote your campaign in newspapers and magazines and on well-known blogs, local television networks, radio stations and every social media channel—any and every press outlet available. You need guidance on how to create a short, 30-second video that will go viral and how to write press releases and news articles, publishing everything there is to know about your cause.

Your ignorance is over because UHelp.com gives you step-by-step instructions on how to run a successful campaign. From creating a team to writing press releases to distributing information to all parts of the world, UHelp’s got you covered with free mentorship appointments, a detailed marketing program and endless support.

Start your campaign with expert assistance to watch that $10 donation from your family and friends grow a few extra zeros with contributions from all over the world. Or use some other crowdfunding website, sit back, relax and let your envy for the successful campaigns littering their homepage grow to a 2-month-long obsession that goes nowhere. Your choice!

About the Author: Kayli Tomasheski is a copy editor for UHelp.

Social Media Marketing for Your UHelp Campaign

Why Do I Need Social Media and Email Marketing for my UHelp Campaign? 

The success of your UHelp campaign relies on positive publicity created by the Campaign Organizer and the entire Campaign Team. Every member of the campaign team must utilize their social media networks to build awareness and inspire others to donate to the cause they are supporting. Use social media marketing to educate, inspire and spark interest in potential contributors. Networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn are great outlets to provide background information about your cause, communicate your accomplishments, and secure support for your campaign. 

Begin by thanking the members of your Campaign Team for joining your cause. This is a good time to become familiar with email marketing platforms, if you don't already use one. Kick off your campaign by sending an email to your Campaign Team that expresses your gratitude to have them on board. To kick off social media marketing, ask the members of your team to make a small donation ($1-$5).

As the members of your Campaign Team show their support with donations and posts about their personal involvement, their digital networks will be more likely to donate to your cause. The more donations and support your campaign receives from your campaign team, the more trust and credibility your campaign will earn, giving your campaign team’s close family, friends, colleagues and extended connections a better reason to donate. Each like, share, comment and question that results from these posts will help your campaign reach a wider audience and gain public support.  

At UHelp, we understand that you may be new to social media and that these networks can be a little overwhelming. That's just one of the things our UHelp Mentors are here for. You'll be able to troubleshoot issues, ask questions and get expert advice on how to navigate social media sites, craft your posts and use social media marketing to build momentum and secure success for your campaign!

For now, UHelp-ers, here's a little bit of homework…

Get to know the basics of these Social Media Platforms:

Facebook            Google+

Twitter                YouTube

LinkedIn               Instagram

StumbleUpon      Redditt

About the Author: Staff Writer for UHelp.com

How to Build Your UHelp Campaign Team


Once you've created your crowdfunding project on UHelp.com, connected to STRIPE to receive your contributions and completed your pre-launch checklist, your campaign will be submitted to a UHelp mentor for final review. When a UHelp mentor approves your campaign, it will go live on our platform. Your free 30-day marketing mentorship will begin following the publication of your campaign, and then comes your first task: building your UHelp Campaign Team.

Campaign Teams are one of the many valuable features unique to UHelp.com. Complete the daily tasks of your 30-day marketing mentorship with the advantages of team collaboration and group accountability. To reach your fundraising goal, you will want back-up. Welcome trusted family members, friends and colleagues to your campaign team on UHelp, where "teamwork makes the dream work!" 

You can invite five or more trusted friends, family members, volunteers or coworkers to join your campaign team and help propel your project success. Invite those closest to you to share the responsibilities of marketing your campaign. This inner circle is also an ideal group to ask for initial donations, large or small, to kick off your campaign.   

You are in charge of who your campaign appeals to, such as nonprofits, children, and medical health professionals. When creating your campaign, you will write an "Urgency and Need" message. This message should clearly convey why the community should contribute to your project. Communicate this message to your campaign team to ensure everyone is promoting the same message to their online networks and connections for optimal reach. Your team will help drive the success of your campaign, but you are the Campaign Organizer; regardless of your team’s contributions, you remain in full control of your UHelp project. 

Building your campaign team starts on Day 1.

After signing into your UHelp.com account, click on "30 Days of Free Marketing Support" in the top right corner of the screen. Click “Day 1” to start building your crowdfunding campaign team!

You are welcome to include a photograph for each invited team member, though it is not required. With each invitation, you will select whether the invited team member will have full access to your daily campaign tasks or the limited ability to view only the dashboard. Below is an example of what you will see in "Day 1 – Building Your Campaign Team" as you send your invitations. If you're launching a personal needs campaign that is raising donations to support medical needs for a child with a disability, invite members of the child’s family to your Campaign Team.  If your campaign supports the efforts of a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, build a campaign team of well-informed supporters such as directors, board members and volunteers. 

In the example below, Barbara Gordon is building a campaign team that includes her husband, parents and daughter to support the project for her sick child, Katie.   

Complete the required (and optional, at your discretion) fields of "creating your campaign team" and click "Save" to send your invitations via email. Invited campaign team members will receive an email that looks like this:

UHelp Campaign Teams

As you send your invitations, campaign team members will appear in the column on the right side of your "Day 1" page. Invited members will be labeled as "pending." When members click "accept" on the invitation email, you will see their status update from "pending" to "Access Type-Full access," and the new member will appear on your Campaign Team page. For example, the “Save Our Seas from Plastic” Campaign Team page will show “Alex Ruben,” along with the other members who have accepted the invitation. 

UHelp Campaign Teams

Congratulations!

Once your invitations have been sent and accepted, your Campaign Team will be created, and you will be one step closer to reaching your Fundraising Goal!

Remember to keep in touch with each member of your Campaign Team. Ask your team which tasks they would like to complete over the next "30 Days of Free Marketing." 

If you have a wordsmith on your team who enjoys composing articles and is knowledgeable about your cause, he or she will most likely be the best candidate for composing your video script, press releases and blog posts. 

Have fun with it! Sharing the responsibilities of promoting your campaign will motivate your team and inspire donations from your extended community. 

About the Author: Staff writer for UHelp