Featured Causes

Rally for Typhoon Relief in the Philippines

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We’ve just posted our latest story in our series of inspiring Rally fundraising campaigns on Yahoo! Shine. This week we highlight a special collection featuring a variety of causes that are raising funds to help people of the Philippines in the aftermath of Haiyan Typhoon.

Global relief operations are doing their best to help the victims of Haiyan Typhoon in the Philippines, but still, many communities are suffering. A recent survey from Pew Research Center found that so far Americans are giving less to Haiyan relief efforts than they did in the aftermath of earlier high-profile natural disasters.

Many of us at home want to help, but we’re faced with this challenge: how can we give the people of the Philippines the support they need? There is no easy answer to the challenges facing the millions of people who are trying to rebuild their lives. But we believe that fundamentally, giving starts when you connect with a story.

Learn more about our special collection at “How You Can Help Victims in the Philippines Right Now.”

Coffee Shop for a Cause in Philly

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We’ve just posted our latest story in our series of inspiring Rally fundraising campaigns on Yahoo! Shine. This week we meet Lisa Miccolis, the founder and president of the non-profit the Monkey and the Elephant. Behind the whimsical name lies a serious story about how a former foster kid in South Africa inspired Lisa to launch an organization to help young adults who have aged out of the foster-care system in Philadelphia.

For Lisa Miccolis the path to working with former foster kids in Philadelphia began with safari animals…and coffee.

Lisa, the founder and president of the non-profit organization and coffee shop the Monkey and the Elephant, got the name from a secret code she started using several years ago, after a trip to South Africa. In October 2008, bringing little more than her clothes and her camera, she visited a friend who had been living in Cape Town and owned a bakery there.

Lisa hung out at her friend’s bakeshop, chatting with workers and customers and eventually connecting with Homestead Projects for Street Children, a local non-profit that works to get boys off the streets of Cape Town. Homestead thought her photography skills might be useful, so she agreed to meet with the staff and the boys living at its shelter.

“I went to the orphanage and saw a young man sitting at a desk with a journal and a pen,” Lisa recalled. “The staff told me, ‘Oh, that’s Ephraim. He’s writing his life story,’” a life story that soon became enmeshed with hers.

Find out the meaning behind the Monkey and the Elephant passcode, and the mission of the Monkey and the Elephant cafe, at “This Week’s Rally for Good: Coffee for a Cause in the City of Brotherly Love.”

Singing and Rebuilding with Haiti After 2010 Earthquake

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HAITIAN CHILDREN’S CHOIR SINGS AT RALLY.ORG HQ. PHOTO/GWEN ARMBRUSTER

When you need to take a break from sitting at your desk for hours, a little music can boost your mood. Especially when dozens of children, accompanied by percussionists, are the ones serenading you.

The Haitian Children’s Choir and percussion ensemble stopped by Rally.org headquarters in San Francisco on Tuesday for a lunchtime concert and impromptu dance party. The choir is currently on a 25-city tour across the U.S. Sing With Haiti, a Bay Area non-profit dedicated to arts education and child well-being, coordinated the in-office appearance as part of a Rally fundraising campaign to benefit children in Haiti.

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Rallying to Defend Internet Privacy

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A version of this post appears on GOOD.is.

In recent weeks the Lavabit email service has become almost as notorious as its most infamous client, Edward Snowden.

While at his old job as a National Security Agency contractor, Snowden leaked classified documents, allegedly via a Lavabit email account, about the agency’s mass-surveillance programs. Federal prosecutors charged Snowden with espionage, and he lived at the Moscow airport until Russia granted him temporary asylum in early August.

Around the same time Ladar Levison, the founder of Lavabit, suspended the company’s services. Under a gag order at the time, he explained that he preferred to close up shop rather than “become complicit in crimes against the American people.”  He has launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover legal expenses as he fights to maintain the privacy of his 400,000 customers’ accounts. He has raised more than $75,000 so far.

Court records unsealed on Thursday revealed what privacy advocates and tech pundits had suspected: In mid-July, about three weeks before Levison shut down his company, the U.S. government issued a search warrant demanding that he turn over crypto keys that guarded all web traffic to Lavabit. He has refused FBI orders to divulge details about Snowden’s email activities and has said that he would not allow the U.S. government access to his clients’ information.

To support this Rally and learn more about Lavabit’s upcoming legal battles, visit rally.org/lavabit.

Church Community Rallies Around a Young Leader

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SHARRIA AND ANDREW WESTPHAL ON THEIR WEDDING DAY.

The newest excerpt from our collaboration with Yahoo! Shine is here. This week’s featured Rally campaign is especially powerful: A young man at the beginning of his life as a husband and graduate school student has learned he has a Stage IV brain tumor, so his family is raising money to help take care of him and his wife.

This past summer was hardly a slow season for Andrew Westphal. In June the 26-year-old finished an 18-month preaching mentorship at the church his family has attended for years. He married his best friend from college at the end of July. Six weeks later he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, upending his expectations for his marriage, for graduate school, and for his development as a church leader.

You can learn more about Andrew Westphal’s story at “This Week’s Rally for Good: Seeking a Cure Through Medicine, Love, and Faith.”

Texas Alumni Rally for New Donor Record

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PHOTO COURTESY OF ROBERT THIGPEN ON FLICKR

Fifty dollars, times two, tipped the scales.

In a drive to boost alumni donor participation, these two gifts pushed the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business past the $2 million mark. Recently the school’s dean, Tom Gilligan, announced that 6,300 alumni supporters had rallied to increase the McCombs alumni giving rate to 8.1 percent.

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What’s on the Menu: Love & Vegetables, Pay What You Can

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AVRIL JOHNNIDIS AND KEITH KALMANOWICZ/PHOTO COURTESY OF LOVE & VEGETABLES VIA FACEBOOK

This story originally appeared in The Huffington Post‘s Impact section.

In January 2012 chef Keith Kalmanowicz ended up feeding a vegan dinner to his neighbors because of some broken bicycles.

He recently had returned from a volunteer trip to a farm in Costa Rica to move to Earth-N-Us Farm in Miami. He wanted to use the skills he learned on vacation to continue working and cooking close to the land. He also landed a full-time job preparing and wrangling fresh, local ingredients for a well-regarded locavore restaurant.

When Kalmanowicz was at the farm, he’d often see Matrice Jackson, the unofficial director of Earth-N-Us, teaching young people how to repair their bikes. Sometimes they’d come around to soak up nature and escape the violence and poverty in Little Haiti, the low-income-but-gentrifying neighborhood surrounding the farm.

Living on the farm opened up Kalmanowicz to what he calls a “message of altruism” that he wanted to help spread. It became clear how he might do that early one weekend morning.

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1 Mom, 1 Treadmill, 100 Miles, 24 Hours

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We have another excerpt from our series on Yahoo! Shine featuring Rally.org crowdfunding campaigns that we love. This post tells the story of a marathoner who has taken to running a full 24 hours, on a treadmill, to raise money and awareness for the causes that mean the most to her. Tomorrow night in San Francisco, she’ll be running for an educational non-profit that serves students and teachers in India.

Emily Toia is a 36-year-old mom from Arizona. This week she’ll attempt to do what few of us have done before: run 100 miles in 24 hours on a treadmill in the middle of San Francisco’s busiest neighborhood. And if that weren’t enough, she’ll do it all for a charity benefitting children’s education. This won’t be the first time Emily—who goes by the nickname Emz—pulls a treadmill all-nighter for a good cause.

The person she credits for inspiring her to take on such an unconventional challenge? Her unconventional mother-in-law.

Find out what makes Emily run and how you can support her Rally at “This Week’s Rally for Good: Why This Mom is Running 100 Miles in 24 Hours.”

Back-to-School Fundraising on Rally.org


While some school districts have already started classes, once Labor Day weekend has come and gone, it’s officially time to put away the bathing suits and grab the book bags for the fall semester. To mark the start of the 2013-2014 academic year, we’ve rounded up this collection of education-related Rally fundraisers.

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A Rescued Dog to a Veteran’s Rescue

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Here’s another excerpt from our series on Yahoo! Shine featuring Rally.org crowdfunding campaigns that inspire us. Today we share the story of one veteran whose life was changed by a mutt from Stiggy’s Dogs, a non-profit that provides psychiatric service dogs to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other combat-related health issues. 

On September 1, 2006, Terrance McGlade’s Marine battalion got hit by a roadside bomb in Ramadi, Iraq. He sustained shrapnel wounds and in the years since the attack, he’s lived with severe depression, PTSD, and a mild traumatic brain injury.

Never could he have imagined that, after getting his medical discharge in May 2012, he’d end up throwing out a ceremonial first pitch for the Cincinnati Reds and dropping the puck on the Detroit Red Wings’ home ice.

See “This Week’s Rally for Good: A Rescued Dog to the Rescue” to find out how Terrance McGlade and his service dog are doing.