Become a Fan Fundraiser for Your Favorite Rally


No doubt you’ve seen lots of crowdfunding campaigns on Rally.org 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.


Rally Welcomes Sunil Kumar Pissaye and Tommy Devol

Rally.org is thrilled to welcome a pair of new engineers to the San Francisco team!

sunilkumar mugshotSunil Kumar Pissaye comes to Rally after a stint with the wonderful world of Disney. He worked at Togetherville, a kid-focused social network that Disney acquired two years ago, as part of the central tech team that built mobile products used by Disney’s game studios. He holds a master’s degree in software engineering and management from Carnegie Mellon University. Before moving to the U.S., Sunil worked at a startup in Bangalore, and that startup energy stayed with him—after working at a giant corporation for two years, he wanted to get back to the startup scene. He joined Rally because he likes working in the Rails open-source framework and is interested in how people use crowdfunding platforms for social good.

Sunil likes to spend his free time reading, rock climbing, hiking, and cycling. He’s hiked around San Francisco and Santa Cruz and wants to bike down California’s Pacific Coast Highway.

tommydevol mugshotMissouri native Tommy Devol has also worked in mobile development, primarily at the TV and film site SideReel, before starting at Rally this spring. Tommy’s also a Rails developer, having worked in Rails since 2005 and on several early-stage startups in the last year, and he’s been a regular at hackathons around the Bay Area.

While he was still living in Missouri, he became involved in non-profit causes including the Family Violence Center, an organization in Springfield that assists and advocates on behalf of women and children who have suffered domestic abuse. He’s a certified bhakti yoga instructor and taught yoga to at-risk youth before moving to San Francisco. Because of his background in volunteering and social causes, he was excited to come work for Rally. After hours, Tommy produces music and plays guitar, keyboards, and hand drums.

Welcome, Sunil and Tommy!

The Nudgefier Has Landed!

We are excited to introduce to you Rally’s latest addition – what we at Rally fondly call the “Nudgefier”.

How does it work? Rally has gathered data from thousands of causes that use our platform to give you personalized tips on how to optimize your fundraising campaign! Once you create a Rally account, you will see these helpful tips on your cause page. With cool stats and prompts, we help you personalize your cause page, think about interesting fundraising strategies, and improve donor engagement!

Let us know what you think–and stay tuned for more cool things to come!

Happy fundraising!


Rally’s New Wicked Widget Is Here!

Here’s a late summer treat for everyone fundraising on Rally. You can now display Rally’s new “Give Now” button or a story widget on your own website! Inspire more people with your latest fundraising progress AND direct more donors to your Rally Donation Page.

How? First, sign in to Rally. In the Widget section of Settings, choose what you want to display on your website. Click “generate code” and copy and past it into your own site where it will appear. That’s it! If you opt to show donation progress or activity from your Rally Cause Page, those will automatically update based on activity on your Rally Page.

Please let us know what you think! We will continue to make rallying for causes meaningful and effective!

Devin’s Drive: The Heartwarming Story of One Young Superhero

Devin with his dad

Devin was late to turn over, crawl, walk, and talk but otherwise a happy, and generally, healthy baby. Looking back, Devin’s difficulties started with an unforeseen trauma at birth and has since led to developmental delays for all of his growth benchmarks. The extremely rare form of Moyamoya disease that debilitates this twelve year boy requires endless doctors appointments, special schooling, and an unpredictable future for an otherwise spirited child.

Devin’s immediate family, residents of Lake Mary, Florida, have never asked for financial help to cover these costs and, thus, were shocked that his aunts had independently discovered ‘a unique way to raise money’ – Rally.org.  Learning that it was the same company that internet entrepreneur, Kevin Rose, recently invested in for Google Venture, they eagerly set up a site. For their initial messaging, they purposefully used Twitter and reach out to @rally and @kevinrose. When Kevin quickly responded with a donation and personal note they saw an influx of additional donations – small and large – and knew they’d picked the right fundraising platform for Devin’s Drive.

The cause’s goal is to financially help this courageous family as their son battles this neurological disease. What Devin’s Drive has achieved is far greater.  Upon visiting Devin’s Rally Page, you will find a fundraising page brimming with support and well-wishes for Devin, and reciprocally, up-to-date posts about his progress — the highs and lows of a trooper who doesn’t take life for granted. The family reaches out to inform donors as much — and as often — as donors are touched by this heartwarming story of boy who has never given up, and a parents that haven’t asked for a single penny.

Dr. Scott, the top doctor in Moyamoya disease, hasn’t seen a case quite like Devin’s, and because of its uniqueness, no one has any idea of  how it will progress. However, the people that support Devin can still make a difference during this entire experience for Devine and his family.

Visit rally.org/devinsdrive to donate, hear from Devin’s family, and to wish him well.

Introducing Nathan Wilson – Our Senior Director of Strategy

We’re super excited to have Nathan Wilson on board. Here’s a sneak peak on Nathan…

What was Nathan doing before Rally? “Picking up pennies in front of a steam-roller!”

Nathan comes from a world of algorithmic research, trading, and development work for a high frequency trading group focused on some of the most liquid futures markets in the world.

Want to know more?  Alright…

Nathan grew up in San Francisco and is a Giants fan (ofcourse!)

He lived in Rio De Janeiro for a year and worked in technology for a web-based export business. Nathan also learned Portugese and volunteered in the community!

Huge fan of:

Açai berries, surfing and Warren Buffett

At Rally, Nathan will be diving in to strategy and nurturing a culture of data at Rally!

Welcome Nathan!


Team Courage Gazelles: Taking Life’s Risks Head On

Michele and Emme

Rally recently caught up with the energetic Emme Hall, a semi-professional race car driver for Team Courage Gazelles, who is using Rally to raise $5,000 towards a $15,000 goal. Her dream? To race 9 days across the Moroccan desert in the 2013 Rallye Aicha des Gazelles with her good friend and cancer previvor Michele Martineau.

All participants in the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles use only 1950s navigation methods. That means Emme and Michele will drive a 4-wheel drive truck over a sandy moonscape with an old school map and a compass — no GPS, no phones, no extra crew. There are also no roads on this course; the winner is determined by the shortest distance covered. Only 8 other women in the US have attempted the Rallye Aicha since it started 20 years ago.

Emme and Michele planned to race a year ago but Michele was told she had an abnormally high chance of developing breast cancer. Rather than live a life of endless MRI’s and “what ifs” she elected to have a preventative double mastectomy, becoming a cancer “previvor.” Michele experienced complications from the surgery and they postponed the race for a year. Over this time, their friendship deepened. Michele wrote and video blogged about her experience on Courage is My Strength. Emme became more determined; “as I’ve gotten to know Michele, it’s become more of a cause for me.”

A view of the race course from 2011 Rallye Aicha des Gazelles.

It is a year later and they are organizing early. Emme chose to fundraise with Rally because other platforms had too many rules and restrictions. She also liked the play on names since they were, in fact, going to be in a “Rallye.” Now Emme’s Rally Page tells the story of preparing for this adventure and the story of cancer survivors and previvors who are supporting them. After all race costs are met, Emme and Michele will donate the remainder to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Emme added, “the truck will have a wrap designed by one of the animators from Avatar. The theme will be butterflies and they will be tributes to breast cancer previvors, survivors, fighters, and angels!”

When asked why she likes racing, Emme at first mentioned the excitement and rush of mastering the vehicle during each race. Later, she reflected, “where there is fear the whole time, you take thoughtful risks, not foolish risks.”

Michelle and Emme

Michele and Emme

We invite you to help Emme and Michele realize their dream to race in Morocco next year and to honor all women who fight through fear and take risks.

What do you Rally for?

Funding Causes That Matter: Rally’s CEO Tom Serres Talks to Bloomberg

“More people give money to something they’re personally connected to.”

Rally’s CEO Tom Serres talks to Deirdre Bolton on Bloomberg televisions “Money Moves” about the”Cause Economy” and how Rally helps you fund your passions.

Rally CEO Tom Serres on Bloomberg Television

On the 4th of July, We Rally for Stiggy’s Dogs

“Rescuing one to rescue another” – this is Stiggy’s Dogs motto.  A nonprofit organization started by Jennifer Petre in memory of her nephew, HM3 Benjamin Phillip (aka. “Doc Stiggy”) Castiglione, Stiggy’s Dogs transforms shelter dogs into individually trained Psychiatric Service Animals for our military veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. These dogs are taught specific tasks ranging from reminding veterans to take their medicine to waking them up from a nightmare to directing them through fast-moving crowds.

There are about 5 million dogs in shelters around America that may be euthanized if they do not find a home. All contributions made to Stiggy’s Dogs goes towards rescuing these dogs and pairing them with a military vet from the program. Thanks to these little fur balls, our military vets now get to live fuller lives.

One such star, Honor, is a nominee for the HERO DOG AWARD, 2012! Honor, a rescue dog from the Michigan Humane Society was paired Faith Harris, a war veteran and now the Assistant Director for Stiggy’s Dogs. Honor is responsible for Faith’s recovery and re-emergence from her time spent in Iraq.

Honor and Faith

Honor has not only been her companion by helping Faith recover from PTSD and blossom into a confident person, but has been a pillar of support during Faith’s recent battle with cancer. Did you know that Honor and Faith are up for a $25,000 grant from Home Depot?

As we get ready to fire up the grill for the 4th of July holiday, we want to give you the opportunity to celebrate this day with our military vets at Stiggy’s Dogs.

Historic Moment: Rally Raises $7.9 Million Online

Dear Friends of Rally,

I’m Tom Serres, founder of Rally.org. For nearly a decade, I have believed in the power of online fundraising. I launched Rally one year ago as a new way to fundraise and strengthen supporter relationships.  I want to thank you — the supporters and causes using Rally—for your generosity and commitment.

This year, we’ve helped causes large and small reach their fundraising goals, and now we have reached a milestone ourselves. Rally bet on online fundraising and won big.

With the support of Reid Hoffman and Mike Maples, I embarked on an Internet campaign to raise capital through Angel List – a community of cutting edge investors. Along the way, I met some amazing people, among them are: John Occhipinti, Kevin Rose, Craig Shapiro, Michael Birch, Tim Ferriss, Eric Ries, Josh Spear, Scott Belsky. After thousands of emails, 72 meetings, and 28,000 miles flown, I raised what is likely the highest ever Series A investment online  – and certainly the most amount through Angel List.

We fundraised our future online, and you can too! Our investors and staff are dedicated to empowering causes that matter.  We, as a company, are only as successful as the success of our causes.  Whether it’s Reverend Oliver White receiving donations from all over the world to save his Minnesota church from foreclosure or Alvaro Salas raising money in Costa Rica so he can attend Cornell University — we are focused on empowering individuals and causes to solve problems and build awareness on a scale never before seen.

We’ve learned valuable lessons during this rapid year of growth.  Rally has grown to 1.5 million problem solvers who have shared more than 20 million stories shared on Rally.org, while collecting donations and spreading awareness through their personal networks. We are more committed than ever to helping you grow your network of supporters and interact more deeply with them.  In the next year we intend to make it easier to connect with the things that you care about, whether on your computer or your phone.

During this time, please let all of us at Rally know how we are doing and what we can make connecting with the causes you care about more successful. I am excited about this new phase for our company as we Rally the future together!

Thank you.

Now ask yourself, what do you Rally for?

Tom Serres
CEO and Founder