Big News: $2M+ Raised for Nonprofits in CrowdRise Holiday Challenge

Folks, I just got an update from Ed Norton, one of the co-founders of CrowdRise, about the #GivingTower Holiday Challenge I’m sponsoring with MacAndrews & Forbes, Fred & Joanne Wilson, and Isaac S. Gindi. This year I’m giving $50k to support nonprofits.

A total of $250k is being given away in prize money, but an impressive $2 million+ has already been raised by the nonprofits participating. Last year, at this point in the Challenge, the total raised was: $609,835. That’s $1,561,954 more raised right now than was raised at this same time last year. This is the real deal.Capture

Each time a donation’s made, a brick is added to the #GivingTower. What does this mean?

  • There are 16,757 bricks in the Tower.
  • It’s over 2,514 ft tall.
  • It’s taller than 2 Bank of America Towers stacked on top of each other.
  • In 208 more feet, the Giving Tower will be taller than the Burj Khalifa, Dubai.

It’s inspiring to see the organizations putting in lots of effort and  taking the lead. They’re orgs that aren’t household names, but instead charities like the Cure JM Foundation – which works on an extremely rare disease affecting children, and small but mighty animal reserves.

The Bonus Challenge winners so far are…

Bonus Challenge #1: Cure JM Foundation

Bonus Challenge #2: Wildlife SOS

And there was a Surprise Bonus Challenge: Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation

Bonus Challenge # 3 is happening now. Every org that gets 10 donations will be entered to win $10k. You’ve got til December 16th to get the donations. And there’s still time to sign your org up to participate in the Challenge.

Sign up here (by Friday December 19th) to join the Holiday Challenge…! More to come.

How #GivingTuesday Raised Over $45million

Folks, I support #GivingTuesday each year because it’s the real deal. I got an update from Henry Timms… More data and stories are still coming in, but here are the highlights as they stand right now (more soon!):

  • Indiana University is estimating an overall 63% increase this year in online donations.
  • Early results from Blackbaud show a 159% increase in online donations from the first #GivingTuesday in 2012.
  • Network for Good processed more than double the donation total from last year.
  • 20,000 partners participated in all US states – partners included nonprofits, local business and corporations working to benefit causes they care about, student groups, etc.
  • There were over 40 local communities across the US (states, cities and counties) joined together in the spirit of civic pride. The Maryland Gives More statewide #GivingTuesday campaign, alone, raised $8.3 million for local causes.
  • There were over 6,700 global partners participating, with #GivingTuesday activities taking place in 68 countries from Armenia to Mongolia to Wales. There were 7 countries and 2 regions leading localized #GivingTuesday movements including Australia, Brazil (#diadedoar), Canada, Ireland, Israel, Latin America (#undiaparadar), New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.
  • There were over 32 million Twitter impressions with 700,000 hashtag mentions. #GivingTuesday was trending no. 1 in both the US and UK.
  • President Barack Obama released a special #GivingTuesday message and Prime Minister David Cameron voiced his support. Other notable names who gave their support of #GivingTuesday range from Malala to Melinda Gates to Matthew McConaughey.
  • H.Res. 761 recognizing #GivingTuesday was introduced in congress this November. The #GivingTuesday resolution recognizes that philanthropy and charitable giving knows no party divide, as giving has the ability to transcend any differences of political ideologies and has the power to unite people across boundaries.
  • Every major religion participated with people of all backgrounds, religions, and ethnic groups celebrating #GivingTuesday.

And here’s an infographic from the Case Foundation about the successes of #GivingTuesday:

GivingTuesdayInfographic

Did you give this year? (You can still give over on CrowdRise’s #GivingTower Holiday Challenge…)

 

What “New Power” Means for #GivingTuesday

churchill

History keeps getting itself made, and now and then, regular people get a chance at sharing power. Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms articulated this much more eloquently in Understanding “New Power”.

I’m pretty passionately committed to this for at least the next twenty years, have already been practicing it daily for the last twenty years.

Here’s my nerdly take on the thing:

Recently, we saw the British, American, and French revolutions each spread power around to different ends. In the UK and US, we got different forms of representative democracy, but in France, we got some rather unpleasant mob rule, later evolving into representative democracy.

For sure, in the US, democracy is increasingly centralizing toward a moneyed class willing to pay legislatures for results, that’s the whole Citizens United thing.

That’s also with Heimans and Timms call “old power”:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

Previous revolutions aspired to what these guys call “new power” and I’m very hopeful we can get there:

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

new power (2)

Power, as British philosopher Bertrand Russell defined it, is simply “the ability to produce intended effects.” Old power and new power produce these effects differently. New power models are enabled by peer coordination and the agency of the crowd—without participation, they are just empty vessels. Old power is enabled by what people or organizations own, know, or control that nobody else does—once old power models lose that, they lose their advantage.

This doesn’t say that new power involves no rules, like at the worst of the French Revolution. It’s not okay, for example, to “appropriate” (steal) anyone else’s stuff. We can, and already do better than that.

Anyone can share in this evolving power by participating, by making a genuine contribution, and there’re a lot of ways to do that.

One way that’s getting a bit of attention involves a new way to contribute to effective nonprofits, via CrowdRise and #GivingTuesday.

Everyone can pitch in, and work with each other.

This is just a start, helping people in the here and now, and getting ready for lots more.

Are you ready?

 

Tis the Season to Give Back

crowdrise

Folks, I believe that it’s really important to give back to our communities. One way to do that is to participate in CrowdRise’s #GivingTuesday Holiday Challenge for nonprofits. I’m giving $50K to go toward the winner of the Challenge, and together, with the other donors, there will be $250K in prize money.

CrowdRise has been working hard to make this Challenge and #GivingTuesday bigger then past years. One way they’re doing that is by creating a Giving Tower. It’s going to be a hologram tower. Each time someone donates, a brick is added to the tower. You can actually download an app and point it at a dollar bill to see how the tower’s growing. Here’s a little more about it:

The Giving Tower Holiday Challenge is a great way for organizations to rally their supporters, raise money for their cause, drive engagement, get lots of exposure and, most importantly, raise money for their cause (note intentional repetition). The Challenge is friendly fundraising competition launched by craigconnects, Fred and Joanne Wilson, and MacAndrews & Forbes. It’s designed to help you raise awareness and lots of money for your year end fundraising.

Here’s more about the Challenge this year:

  • The Challenge starts on November 25th and there are going to be huge grand prizes, plus lots of Bonus Challenges. The campaign is always amazing and last year, charities rallied to raise over $2.3m for their causes.
  • There will be $250,000 in prizes this year. The organization that raises the most will receive a $100,000 donation to their cause. Second place will win $50,000, third $25,000, fourth $10,000 and fifth place will receive a $5,000 donation to their cause.
  • There will also be multiple opportunities along the way to get extra cash donations in the form of Bonus Challenges. Folks, we’re talking an extra $60,000 in Bonus Challenges.
  • The good folks over at CrowdRise are hosting a webinar on November 20th at 3pm ET to walk you through everything about the Challenge, please Click Here to register.
  • So far, there’s more than 500 charities signed up, and plenty of time for you to sign up, too.
  • The Toolkit will tell you everything else you need to know that I may have forgotten.
  • Use the hashtag #GivingTower to continue the conversation.

Looking forward to getting this Challenge started, more to come…

Big News: Over $345K Raised for America’s Heroes

Hey, big news just in time for Independence Day! We just raised $346,438 for America’s Heroes during the Veterans Charity Challenge 2. The organizations raised $296,438 online. Another $5,265 was raised offline, and I gave $50,000 to support these Veterans, Military Families, Police, and Firefighter organizations.

final

winners

A total of 94 teams signed up. All of ’em were the real deal. Folks, I can’t thank you enough for all the good work you’re doing.

  • The grand prize winner of $20K is Warrior Canine Connection (WCC), which raised $74,687 for training therapeutic service dogs. WCC utilizes clinically based Canine Connection Therapy to empower returning combat Veterans who have sustained physical and psychological wounds while in service to our country. This is WCC’s second time coming in first place.
  • 2nd place winner of $10K is Dogs on Deployment, which raised $32,800 to give military members peace of mind concerning their pets during their service commitments by providing them with the ability to find people and resources able to help them.
  • 3rd place winner of $5K is Leave No Veteran Behind (LNVB), which raised $26,528 for their innovative educational debt relief scholarship, community service, employment training, and job placement programs. LNVB invests in heroes who have honorably served our nation and seek to continue their service as productive citizens in their communities. Last year LNVB came in 2nd place.

It was really close in the end, and an exciting finish. Our team was able to call and chat with (or leave messages for) each of the big winners, and really thank them for all they’re doing for our service members and their families. I figure if someone’s willing to risk their life for me, this is the least I can do to give back…

Over the course of the Challenge, there were 6 Bonus Challenges, and we had 13 teams win.

  • Bonus Challenge #5,  get the greatest number of individual donors this week: Warrior Canine Connection won $2500.
  • Bonus Challenge #6, the first 5 charities to get 5 donations this week: Things We Read won $2K.

I’ll be interviewing some of the winners in the coming weeks…more to come…

If you didn’t give during the Challenge, you can still give now. And it’s a great way to honor our heroes for Independence Day, and really, every day.

Did you participate in the Veterans Charity Challenge 2? I’d like to hear your feedback. And again, congrats to all those orgs who really have their boots on the ground making a difference for our heroes.

How your charity can raise $50K+ for Vets and Heroes

Hey, we’re launching the Veterans Charity Challenge 2 to raise money for good causes.

Last year I sponsored the first Veterans Charity Challenge to raise money for nonprofits that support veterans and their families. The challenge was so successful that we decided to host the Veterans Charity Challenge 2 this year, but include more folks who really have their boots on the ground. I’m giving $50k to support orgs who are doing good work.

cc challenge

This challenge is for all nonprofits that support veterans, military families, police, and firefighters. It starts in just a few weeks, over on CrowdRise, and there’s still time for you to get involved. Here are some reasons why your org should sign up:

    • Last year’s Veterans Charity Challenge raised over $445,000 for causes like yours
    • This year’s Veterans Charity Challenge 2 goes from May 22nd at 12pm ET and runs through July 3rd at 11:59:59am ET
    • The charity team that raises the most during the Challenge gets $20k, second place get $10k and third place gets $5k
    • Plus, there’ll be another $15k given away in cash and prizes throughout the Challenge
    • Even if you don’t win a grand prize, you get to keep the money you raised

Getting involved is easy, folks. Just Go Here and click the Start a Fundraiser button.

Okay…now that you know how to sign up for the Veterans Charity Challenge 2, check out the Veterans Charity Challenge 2 Toolkit. It’s a reference guide to help you raise more money than you thought possible for your cause. The Toolkit has really important stuff, including sample calendars and tips.

And, as an extra bonus, if you browse the Veterans Charity Challenge 2 Toolkit and find the hidden movie quote, Email CrowdRise with the name of the movie it’s from and you’ll be entered to win a pizza party for your org on launch day (May 22nd).

Please share this challenge with all the orgs you know that support vets, milfams, police, and firefighters. These folks do a lot for our country, and it’s important to give back. Email CrowdRise with any clarifying questions, they’re the real deal.

This isn’t altruism, it just feels right.

Infographic Reveals Latest Data on Cracking the Crowdfunding Code

It’s the third anniversary of craigconnects, and we’ve really tried to bring good people together to raise money for their nonprofits. We did a lot of support through crowdfunding, and  to celebrate, the craigconnects team and I created an infographic, Cracking the Crowdfunding Code, to show you just how effective and accessible crowdfunding is. Crowdfunding raised more than five billion dollars worldwide in 2013, and peer-to-peer nonprofit fundraising for charities is seeing explosive growth.

crowfundingblog

A few things that we discovered after researching crowdfundings impact on charities and interviewing prominent crowdfunding platforms such as Causes, Causevox, FirstGiving, Razoo, StayClassy, etc:

  • Over 28% of donors on crowdfunding platforms are repeat donors.
  • Fundraisers who use a video raise 2x more than those without videos.
  • More than $19M online donations were processed on #GivingTuesday in 2013.
  • Over $9,000 on average is raised on nonprofit campaign crowdfunding pages.

Other infographic findings detail various crowdfunding results such as the average online donation to campaigns, more data on the success of the crowdfunding initiative #GivingTuesday, and best practices of nonprofits that have raised a significant amount of money with this newer fundraising tool.

Folks, I’ve worked on four crowdfunding campaigns myself in the past three years, and I’m pretty pleased with the results. The campaigns included two that raised funds for vets and milfam organizations, another for Hurricane Sandy relief, and the Holiday Challenge that was open to all nonprofits. I’ve teamed up with prominent crowdfunding platforms to promote the campaigns and have donated prize money for the orgs that raise the most in order to stimulate competition and success. The campaigns I’ve worked on have raised an estimated total of $2.6 million.

I began the craigconnects initiative in March 2011 to organize my efforts to help support nonprofits working in my areas of focus. Crowdfunding’s a natural fit for craigconnects’ efforts to promote the use of tech for the public good because it involves grassroots efforts and involvement. I’m not much for top-down stuff. I only understand bottom-up stuff.

Please check out the infographic, and share it if you think it’s helpful.

 

This is not an exaggeration: Over a million dollars raised for nonprofits

Folks, huge news! The #HolidayChallenge just passed $1,000,000. That’s a million dollars for charities.

As many of you know, I’m helping to fund the CrowdRise #HolidayChallenge to help nonprofits around the country raise money this holiday season. This is many of the orgs’ year-end fundraising campaign, and they could really use your help.

update

There are some really good causes that funds are being raised for, and I’m so inspired. There are animal rights and sanctuary orgs, greenhouse projects, promotion of education, veterans, mental health, human rights groups, women’s health, self-esteem and body image groups, orgs raising money to help children with diseases, literacy campaigns, and the list goes on, and on.

If you’re able, take a look through all of the good orgs participating in this challenge, and give to one that really sticks out to you.

This week the Bonus Challenge is fun, the first two fundraising teams to raise $250, beginning at noon EST each day, will go head to head in a heated game of rock, paper, scissors. The winner each day will get $1,500 for their cause. You can help decide who wins this week.

Bonus Challenge #1 was won by Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance.

Bonus Challenge #2 was won by Cure JM.

Bonus Challenge #3 was won by Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.

Bonus Challenge #4 is happening right now.

There are seven Bonus Challenges total and they’re all listed here.

There are a lot of Huffington Post winners so far. 119 teams have raised at least $1,000 for their cause, winning at least one of the HuffPost prizes. HuffPost is offering “tiered” prizes during the Challenge, which are called “HuffPost Prizes for Everyone” because they’re non-competitive. If you raise the money required in a tier, you get the prize and when you reach the next tier, you get that prize too.

When CrowdRise was gearing up for the #HolidayChallenge, five charities won “Get your charity profiled by a HuffPost reporter.” They are:

• Building Botswana

ShoeHeals

• Chicago Adventure Therapy

Canstruction

• Toilet Hackers

 Now head on over to the Holiday Challenge, and let’s try to raise $2M for charity, what do ya say?

The #HolidayChallenge is in Full Swing

Hey, the CrowdRise Holiday Challenge that I’m funding with the Huffington Post has really taken off.

It began on Monday, November 18, and over $173k has been raised in less than a week, since the challenge started – this is huge.

Joining me in raising money for charities this holiday season are several actors/actresses and comedians (hey, maybe I can give them some career advice), such as Edward Norton (Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust), Sean Penn (J/P Haitian Relief Organization), Ian Somerhalder (Ian Somerhalder Foundation), Sophia Bush (The Nature Conservancy), Jason Bateman (City Year), Kristen Bell (Epath.org), Olivia Wilde (Artists for Peace and Justice), Christy Turlington (Every Mother Counts), Eliza Dushku (THRIVEGulu), Brittany Snow (Love Is Louder), Will Ferrell (Cancer for College), Seth Rogen (Hilarity for Charity), and  Conan O’Brien (Children’s Hospital Los Angeles).

(Speaking of Conan, his recent TV bit cited my LinkedIn following, and this is my attempt to help him out…folks, even a pity follow will do…follow Conan?)

CrowdRise is an effective way to help out nonprofit groups, and I’m excited we already have more than 500 charities and counting coming together this holiday season to raise a lot of money for nonprofits getting the job done.

It’s not too late to get started. You can sign your nonprofit up by clicking here. And if you’re an individual who wants to participate and support your favorite causes, you can choose an org to support, and join their team!

holidaychallenge

Lately, I’ve been asked if orgs can participate if they’re outside the US. I asked the good folks at CrowdRise about it and they said that their site’s only set up right now for US-based 501c3’s right now, so unfortunately, no. But they hope to change that soon, and told me that it’s on the roadmap. You can read the rest of the Challenge rules here.

Just a reminder that:

    • The team that raises the most during the Challenge wins a $100k donation for their charity.
    • Second place gets $40k.
    • Third gets $20k.
    • Another $40k+ in cash prizes, and lots of HuffPost prizes will be given throughout the campaign.
    • Even if you don’t win a grand prize, you get to keep the money you raise.
    • The Challenge ends on Thursday, January 9th at 11:59:59am EST.

Make sure to get your constituents and followers on social media talking about the Holiday Challenge, the more people who know about it, the more chances you have to raise money for your cause. Join the conversation using the hashtag, #HolidayChallenge, on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, and Instagram.

And don’t forget that CrowdRise has created a toolkit for you to get the most out of the #HolidayChallenge, with tips, strategies, and a calendar that outlines all the Bonus Challenges.

How’s your team doing so far?

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