Max Kamin-Cross is one of the ten Raise the Future contest winners and an outspoken Rally Ambassador. Max is a self-proclaimed political junky, working with organizations and political campaigns to ensure that their new media strategies are up to par. He will be a freshman at American University this fall and can be found on Twitter at @MaxKaminCross.
The first sign that what I was doing was a little odd, would probably have been when I had to tell my friends I couldn’t go to our senior prom because I was going to be in Rhode Island with Rally.org. Ok, well, maybe that wasn’t the first sign, but it was one of the first signs. The actual first sign might have been when I was 11 years old and informed my parents that I wanted to skip school to go see our new congressional candidate speak, but that’s a story for another day.
Anyways, let’s talk about how I skipped prom to go to Netroots Nation.
First off, if you don’t know Rally.org you should go check them out right now. Rally is totally awesome and run by a bunch of really cool people but besides that, Rally.org will help you raise more money than a “donate here”button ever could. The website’s fan fundraising mechanism allows your supporters to individually raise money for your organization/charity/politicalcampaign/lemonade stand, allowing you to reach a wider spectrum of potential donors– plus their backend tools make life 1000x easier for your accountant to record donations. It’s really a winning situation for everyone; you raise more money while making less work for your (probably already overworked) staff and volunteers. Everyone’s happy!
You might be wondering why you haven’t heard about Rally.org before, wellthat’s because they’re fairly new. In the short time the site has been open to the public though, it’s gathered a large and dedicated following that includes everyone from politicians like Elizabeth Warren and Christopher Shays to charities like NARAL and the National Wildlife Federation. One of my favorite organizations, which should also become one of your favorite organizations in this election year too, uses Rally: Washington United for Marriage (WUM). It was through WUM that I first became involved with Rally.
Rally was holding a fundraising contest to see who could recruit the most donors to help donate to their favorite cause via Rally.org, and the winners would receive free tickets to go to this years Netroots Nation. How awesome is that, right? Not only did I get to help raise money for an organization that will be vital in ensuring equal marriage laws pass in Washington State this November, but I also had a chance to win a trip to Netroots. Needless to say, I raised over $500 and was one of the winners. So. That’s the story of how I ended up spending the night of my senior prom taking pictures with Elizabeth Warren and eating h’orderves with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. In the end, it really was all worth it. Not only did I help raise money to help ensure that gay marriage stays legal in Washington State, but I was learned so many new skills and made connections at Netroots Nations that I am confident will last me a lifetime.