Innovation and Progress in the New Year


Kartis, a project launched by residents at the Harvard Innovation Lab, is a crowd-sourced map of nonprofit organizations around the globe. Residents are designing this map to help nonprofits connect with one another to share ideas and resources.

We asked Rally Leader Andrew Cole for some crowdfunding advice to help others along the way. Here’s what he had to say:

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

A: Sharing on Facebook is great, and we managed to pull in a lot of money that way.  But I think what’s even more important is reaching out to possible supporters who you think have a personal stake in your cause, and explaining to them on a person to person level what your project means to you, and what you think it means to them.  This could be through an email, or in person. That way, your campaign becomes a part of a larger conversation, and the more personal the better.

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

A: Networking, networking, networking! I’ve found that the Rally campaign has given me an excuse to reach out to a lot of interesting people I haven’t spoken to in a while, and on a personal level that’s been really great for me.  So use it as an opportunity to reach out to the professor or family friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, but who you know would be interested.

Visit the Rally campaign for Kartis to learn more. For more tips on how to create a stellar Rally campaign, check out our Rally 101 blog posts.


1 Mom, 1 Treadmill, 100 Miles, 24 Hours


We have another excerpt from our series on Yahoo! Shine featuring 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.”

Crowdfunding Campaigns Inspired by Film



This post is excerpted from an article on the Sundance Institute’s Artist Services blog about how directors and producers can use to raise money for the people and causes that they’ve featured in their films.

Some of the best documentary and feature films often focus on a marginalized, isolated, or troubled community…These people’s circumstances have moved you, mystified you, or pissed you off so profoundly that you feel compelled to explain them to a wider audience and do what you can to help along the way. 

But once your film gets into festivals, theaters, and Netflix queues, what more can you do for the individuals whose stories you’ve so painstakingly told? You’ve of course heard about directors and producers using crowdfunding to cover their production expenses and get their movies made…Filmmakers are also using their movies to launch philanthropic crowdfunding campaigns.

See “How to Fundraise for the Cause Behind Your Film” to learn more.

Back-to-School Fundraising on

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.


Rallying for the Best Year of a Little Boy’s Life



This is an excerpt from the first in a series of posts on Yahoo! Shine featuring crowdfunding campaigns that we find especially moving and inspirational. Today’s story follows the Rally to give Sam Lee a fun, memorable, cross-country adventure

Meet Sam Lee. He’s a lot like other two-year-old boys. He loves tall buildings, sharks, safari animals, and dinosaurs. He lives in South Carolina where he rules the living room from his cardboard fort, that is, when he’s not watching Curious George cartoons. But before his first birthday, Sam was diagnosed with Ollier disease, a rare skeletal disorder, and in late July, Sam’s parents, Mike Lee and Erin Benson, found out that he has a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, a type of large, inoperable brain tumor that affects mostly children.

Go to “This Week’s Rally for Good: How to Give a Little Boy the Best Year of His Life” to learn the rest of Sam’s story. 

Team Spirit: Athletes Fundraise to Win



You’ll often see athletes taking a short break from their grueling training regimens at this time of year, going a little less intense in the weight room, on the running trail, or on the playing field.

But for the teams crowdfunding with, competition season has already arrived. Community teams and elite national- and international-level athletes have been collecting donations to pay for equipment, uniforms, and travel to meets and matches in the U.S. and overseas. After the jump you’ll find the back stories of these champs and how you can help them reach their gold-medal goals.


The Power of Intention: Rallying for a Yoga Teacher and Her Son



Just about any yoga class begins with the instructor inviting everyone to “set an intention” for their practice: Essentially, contemplating what matters most to them and directing their behavior and attitudes in a way that matches these values.

In that spirit a student then takes these principles out of the studio and into the real world. For Linda Woodside, these values have involved rallying a community to support their respected teacher in a time of crisis.


Become a Fan Fundraiser for Your Favorite Rally


No doubt you’ve seen lots of crowdfunding campaigns on that have inspired you to support, follow, or give to keep the fundraiser going. If you’ve wondered how else you can connect with cause leaders and their donors, we have made it super easy to do so: Here’s what you need to know to become a Fan Fundraiser.


Barn-Raising and Rebuilding from the Ashes



When Tropical Storm Irene swept through the mid-Atlantic and northeastern U.S. in August 2011, it caused especially vicious damage in villages around the Catskill Mountains.

Prattsville, N.Y., bore some of the storm’s most devastating winds and rain. Close to the town’s overflowing Schoharie Creek stood Megan Fromer and Gabe Faure-Brac’s home.


Project Headlight Rallies for Boston Marathon Amputees


After two bombs ripped through the crowds at this year’s Boston Marathon, Michele Wisch knew she had to help the relief effort. She had sprung into action for other causes, such as raising $75,000 for Habitat for Humanity in the weeks following Hurricane Katrina and volunteering with Make-A-Wish. But she didn’t want to rush into just any Boston-related campaign.

“There are so many people willing to open their hearts and open their wallets,” she said. “I felt very strongly that we needed to find the right partner doing something specific, something long-term” to benefit the bombing survivors.