As I have become more active volunteering, I am more aware of how much time, effort and money are required to keep charitable organizations going. I am not good at this fundraising stuff – this asking for money.
At the same time, my family has gotten better at charitable giving. My grandfather in particular has made an effort to make Christmas less commercial. When, for my birthday, I asked for dontaions to the Refuge, he was very happy to contribute. But two things went wrong:
1. Whatever P.O. Box my mother sent him was no longer active; and
2. The Refuge, as an all-volunteer organization, isn’t exactly speedy in acknowledging gifts.
Such that, if not for the first problem, I wouldn’t have know the gift existed. Enter a new tool:
Crowdrise.com is a website that is part social networking and part fundraising tool. I can set up all of the groups that I support and point people to it if they would like to sponsor the efforts. This is particularly awesome for me because I rarely have an event like a walk/run (although the Refuge is trying to pull one together for this year) or a food drive as an excuse to spread the word around. Crowdrise spotlights the efforts of the average volunteer. They also run contests and have some kind of point system for the competitive people. So that’s fun.
I like that one can use a credit card to make a donation, and get immediate documentation. And I as the participant can also record donations that I receive offline.
I set up my page, which you can find here. I have some more building out to do, but I think this is a good start. If you are using it, please let me know so I can check out your profile!