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How to Rally for Loved Ones

Spotlight on the Rally for Dana

The Rally for Dana has raised more than $17,000. It’s also one of the most visited campaigns on Rally.org, in one of the most popular fundraising categories: personal health. We reached out to Steve de Brun, Rally leader for this campaign, to see what advice he has for other leaders looking to grow their campaigns:

Dana has spent more than four years battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Dana’s friends and family were saddened to learn that doctors recently found a new growth on her neck, so loved ones are coming together to donate funds to help Dana cover her rising medical costs. We asked Dana’s friend Steve de Brun, who is heading up the Rally, what advice he had for other cause leaders:

Q. What have you found to be the most effective way to spread the word about your cause?

A: 100% of the people who have helped Dana know her personally, or are friends of the fundraisers. So we collectively reached out to these friends and asked them to consider contributing, and to disseminate the message to people who would care. We did this via email, and we also set up a Facebook Group that many people joined, which helped us to not bombard people with too many emails!

Q. What are some strategies you suggest to encourage donations?

A: We carefully chose imagery that reminds people of their love and friendship Dana. We emailed people a few times, and posted more frequently to Facebook, always driving people back to our Rally.org URL. And we created a video, which is essentially a slideshow of many images put to an emotional song, cut in iMovie on my Mac: https://vimeo.com/79963052

Steve reached out to supporters via email to regularly share personal updates, as well as ideas about how to extend the campaign’s reach. One of those ideas was a suggested message for folks to post through Facebook, Twitter and/or LinkedIn. Here’s an example of an email message that Steve shared with supporters to encourage donations:

Hello Friends of Dana,

First off, thank you for giving to our online campaign to support Dana at https://rally.org/dana. Your in kind and monetary gifts are a HUGE relief to Dana, and we are more than 50% of the way towards our fundraising goal!

For the second phase of our campaign, we are asking you to share this to your networks & communities who also know Dana (or don’t!) but don’t know about the campaign — and might also be looking for a general update to how she’s doing.  There are a select few of us on this email list — but we each represent a much larger crew of people who know and love Dana.

Here’s a sample message that you can use as a starting point, which includes a link to a video that we made for Dana:

“My friend Dana needs your help – she’s in the middle of a 4-year fight with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and we, her friends, have organized and online fundraiser here: https://rally.org/dana . Here’s a video that tells her story in images and song: https://vimeo.com/79963052

Thanks so much for reading this and loving Dana. And thanks for sharing this with your communities.  And don’t forget that we have an active Facebook group to support Dana and keep the conversations going at https://www.facebook.com/groups/318125168328619/.

Best wishes,

Holly Roberson & Steve de Brun

To learn more about this campaign, visit Rally for Dana. More advice for running a successful Rally campaign can be found here.

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Give to Causes that Matter on #GivingTuesday

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Forget about those shoes that are half-off and the latest and greatest video game console — #GivingTuesday is a breath of fresh air after your frenetic holiday search for the perfect buy. Now in its second year, #GivingTuesday was created as an antidote to the shopping frenzy that comes with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Rally.org is partnering with #GivingTuesday to showcase a collection of non-profit organizations that are tirelessly working to improve living conditions, create cures and rebuild lives. (more…)