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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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Remembering Newtown Victims and Lost Loved Ones

THIS WEEK’S FEATURED CAUSES

This week, we’re focusing on remembering Newtown and lost loved ones, with fundraising campaigns to cover travel expenses for gun violence survivors, support a family that lost a son and fund a health clinic in Kenya.

Vigil for Newtown Families and Gun Violence Survivors

Clipped Newtown Vigil

The Newtown Action Alliance held a vigil on Thursday to honor the more than 30,000 people who lost their lives lost to gun violence over the last year. The vigil took place just a few days before the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which killed 20 children and 6 teachers. The group created a fundraiser to help cover travel expenses for survivors and families to attend the vigil at the Washington National Cathedral. They’re almost a quarter of the way to their goal of $26,000. A contribution to the campaign will support these families and individuals who have come together to grieve.

The Smelser Family

SmelsersThe Smelsers of Arendtsville, PA, are grieving the sudden and recent loss of their son Adam. A family friend, Stephen Rouse, set up this fundraising campaign to honor Adam’s memory by providing his family with emotional and financial support to help them get through this difficult time.

“Just hearing [Adam’s] name bring so many hilarious [and] encouraging memories,” writes Stephen.”As the Smelser family goes through the coming days and weeks, I know many of you are wanting to help. There is much that we cannot do separated by distance, but I want to make sure that there’s one dimension of all this they don’t have to worry about: money.”

Visit the Rally campaign to see this bittersweet tribute to Adam.

Brothers for Bolo

Brothers for BoloNiall Gannon’s life was forever altered when a priest from Kenya came to speak to his church in Clayton, MO, about his dream of building a health clinic in his native village of Bolo, Kenya.

“Gretchen and I had felt a calling to begin doing more giving outside the U.S. and this seemed like a perfect project,” said Niall. “We told Father James we would build the clinic for him. Two months later, after he returned to Kenya, Father James was murdered by an armed gang. We committed ourselves to continue, and even expand the project to honor his life and his love for this community. Last month, my brother Liam (who is a medical doctor) and I traveled to Kenya to officially open it and see the first patients. You’ll see from the picture (to the left) that it is still at the cinder block level but two exam rooms are open. He and another Doctor (Father James’s brother) saw 500 patients over (the course of) two days.”
Niall hopes to raise $25,000 for an x-ray machine, incubator, medical exam tables and equipment, and also to dig a fresh water well.

NOTABLE NEWS STORIES

Read the news stories below for an in-depth look into some of the important work and worthy causes our Rally leaders are invested in doing to make our world a better place. There are plenty of great

MORE USERS IN THE NEWS

STAY CONNECTED

There are plenty of great ways to stay on top of the latest news, tips and opportunities from Rally.org and our cause leader. Here are a few ways you can stay in the loop.

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…)

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.”