From consumer-hungry Pebble (digital watch) purchasers to the winning fundraising strategies employed by charity: water, we all know there is money to be raised online, problems to solve, and things to build. But what about people who aren’t trained entrepreneurs or large nonprofits with a staff to create and measure fundraising progress? What hasn’t been tapped in the long tail of the American cause economy?
For my first deal as a partner at Google Ventures, I chose to invest in Rally.org - a company solving this problem. Rally has the potential to be a transformational company. Rally is an online fundraising platform, which optimizes the fundraising experience for non-technical users and provides tools for those who know what they are doing. Rally serves people like Rev. Oliver White, a pastor in Minnesota raising money to save his church from foreclosure (you can see the CNN clip of him here) or Ruthie Goodman of Olive Tree Yoga Foundation who chose to, “bring unity, strength and possibility to Israelis and Palestinians through the practice of yoga.”
The causes on Rally are fascinating and hint at a huge untapped market of people fundraising for not only traditional causes, but also for those making up their own causes or seeking ways to fund college tuition, sporting events, memorials, trips, and more. Rally is open to anyone passionate about a cause.
With this open giving platform, Rally learns about people’s donation habits and in turn discovers what they value. Rally knows that content drives donations, so they built an easy-to-use storytelling platform. It is working. Over 1.5 million people have experienced the Rally platform and over 20 million stories have been shared around the world. With support from Google Ventures and others, Rally will continue to expand and be on its way to having an impact on the cause-based landscape.