Logan was born premature and has dealt with a host of issues since his debut in 2007. In late 2014, he survived a double-lung transplant — a surgery that yields a 50/50 survival rate. His new lungs are thriving, but the anti-rejecting drugs he takes have given him post transplant lymphoma.

Family friend Amy Valm started a crowdfunding campaign to help raise money for his parents—who aren’t working because of constant appointments and hospital stays—with everyday expenses. The family also needs to complete a renovation on their home so it’s a safe environment for Logan’s new lungs. Money raised helps with buying materials for the renovation and labour, too. I spoke with Amy on why she decided to help Logan and his family in their time of need and how crowdfunding with FundRazr has helped them raise over $4K.

Logan

1. Why did you decide to start crowdfunding?

“I’m active on social platforms so have seen firsthand how funding sites can help. I’m also a strong believer in people helping people. My life motto is a line from the movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure — Be excellent to each other! I think a lot of people resonate with that and are eager to help when asked.”

2. How did you initially promote your campaign and create a community of support?

“I work in media, so I have an excellent platform to campaign from. I started with a bake sale and silent auction in my office and was overwhelmed by the support. I also did my fair share of rage-paging friends on Facebook with “please help my little buddy Logan” messages. My circle of connections all have huge hearts.”

3. What has integrating images, video and story updates meant for your campaign?

“I’ve actually noticed that Facebook blocks a lot of content, likely because they want users to pay to promote content — I get it— so I didn’t find it helped a lot. Good old word of mouth was what really spurred this.

Logan3

4. What has been a challenge faced while crowdfunding?

“Facebook. I had tons of people sharing the campaign, but like I said before, no one was seeing the posts because it wouldn’t show up in newsfeeds. That was frustrating.”

5. What has been the highlight of your crowdfunding experience so far?

“Definitely seeing the benefits that this campaign brings to Logan’s family. Also, I’ve been really encouraged to see strangers and friends alike helping the cause. In a society that is very much “me, me, me,” I love knowing that there are selfless people who really care and want to make a difference.”

6. Do you have any advice for others who want to start crowdfunding?

Be diligent in your campaign. Don’t just dip your toe in, you need to cannonball and be fully submerged. This task takes time. This task takes effort. But it’s so worth it when your campaign positively affects someone.

Don’t be discouraged if the funds and support aren’t being generated the way that you hoped. Every little bit helps, and it’s important to keep that in mind.”

7. What are you most looking forward to after you reach your goal?

Logan’s longevity. I’m eager to see him thrive in a happy and healthy environment.

Click Here to learn more about Logan and support his cause.

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Last week, your mom called and told you your favorite aunt has cancer. After getting over the shock of the sad news, you decided to do something tangible to raise money for your dear aunt. And, because you are a runner, you immediately thought of organizing a fun run in her honor.

Crowdfund a running event for a good cause

While this is a great idea, you may be worried about how much responsibility you are taking on. Fortunately, with plenty of pre-planning and some great tools, you can more easily put together a successful event that will raise money for your beloved aunt and spread the word about your cause.

Select Your Date and Location

While you understandably want to help as soon as possible, don’t lose sight of how much you have to do to put on a successful event. Once you decide on the distance of your run (5K, 10K or relay), determine where it should take place. Look for someplace that is convenient and has already hosted a successful fun run. Ideas include the track at your local high school, parks and neighborhood courses.

Once you have your location, you can select the date. Start by communicating with the venue to see when they have open dates. Then, make sure you choose a day that is not already filled with other local events. Depending on the size of your event, you may need [click to continue...]

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5 ways to step up your crowdfunding game

1. Share On Social Media

When you fund raise using social networks, you create trust and visibility for the campaigns you create, support or share. Think of your crowdfunding campaign as a compelling piece of content and your goal is to build a community around your cause. By linking your social networks to your FundRazr you make it easier to share your campaign and connect with relevant people. If your content is good it will be spread by your community.

How do you make it sharable? You need to have a short and relevant pitch that tells a clear story. You also need to be active on social media and make it easy for like minded people to share your campaign, ‘Like’, ‘Retweet’ and Comment. Don’t just ask people to share your content, but return the favor. When someone makes a comment, respond to them. If someone has a question, answer them!

The community you build should be made of compassionate people, so the more valuable connections you make the more successful you will be in achieving your funding goal.

2. Tell A Visual Story

Crowdfunding campaigns with a video pitch are twice as likely to succeed. Create a video to tell your story, tell people who you are, what you’re raising money for and why they should support you. Embed a 90 second pitch video from YouTube/Vimeo onto your campaign. Post regular video updates about your campaign and share them and give the community you worked hard to build a chance to connect with you [click to continue...]

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Aboriginal HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) is a program that introduces learning and education into aboriginal homes early, creating an environment and dialogue that supports First Nations culture and heritage. HIPPY Canada is now raising funds to help sustain and grow their Aboriginal HIPPY program at various locations in Canada, in partnership with Vancouver Native Health.

Traditionally they receive government funding to run their programs; however since there have been cutbacks to the budget, they decided to try out crowdfunding as a way to raise money and also gain awareness for the program and continue empowering caregivers, families and communities. I spoke with HIPPY team member Sunny Shao about how they plan their campaign promotional strategy to build a community of support.

Aboriginal HIPPY Canada from Jeffery Aro on Vimeo.

1. Why did you decide to start crowfunding?

“We were exploring ways to fundraise online and were also advised by our traditional funders to try out something new, so we turned to crowdfunding. We’ve held traditional fundraising galas and other events in the past, but we decided on crowdfunding as it also gave us an opportunity to increase our online presence and explore social media more.”

2. How did you promote your campaign and create a community of support?

“Internally all our staff and board members knew we were working on this campaign for a while now, so we turned to them first as soon as the campaign launched. We also engaged with some local Aboriginal artists and filmmakers to help us with the campaign video and perks, so they have helped us spread the word too.”

3. How did you plan your marketing messages for social media and why do you think it’s important?

“We had some messages planned but started some of the social media engagement a bit late (about a week after the campaign launched). Looking back, we should have planned these in advance of launching the campaign and also focused on a social media strategy beforehand, which would have given us an even better start right out of the gate.”

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5 Signs You're Ready To Crowdfund

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Julie Le Carrer is a Belgian artist who practices Intuitive Drawing: a drawing made entirely by following intuition and sensations and usually inspired by a specific intention. Julie wants to launch her dream business, but needs money to finance her participation in a business coaching program.

The six month program with business coach Rachel Archelaus will help her launch a business centered on her creativity. Julie decided to start a crowdfunding campaign to reach out to to her friends and family for financial support. I spoke with Julie about her FundRazr campaign, and how she has included Perks and social sharing to reach her funding goal.

Watch Julie’s video pitch below:

1. Why did you decide to start crowdfunding?

“I really had no idea how I would get the 2000€ and just out of no where I thought of crowdfunding. At first I thought it wouldn’t be possible for such a personal project but I followed my intuition, and found your platform!”

2. How did you initially share your campaign and create a community of support?

“At first I sent it to all closest friends and family by email and Facebook. Then once I had some substantial amount of money raised I started sending it to a wider circle of friends and acquaintances still via email and Facebook. I also created my own Newsletter to send out twice a week.”

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Behind The Scenes: A Crowdfunding Success Story

by Hoda Toloui-Wallace 23 March 2015

In March this year, Quest Atkinson volunteered in the Dominican Republic to help with various community outreach activities. Knowing this trip would be costly she decided to start a crowdfunding campaign to reach her family, friends and other like minded people to help fund her expenses. We decided to go behind the scenes to break […]

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Sunshine House Shines Light On Community

by Hoda Toloui-Wallace 19 March 2015

The Sunshine House project titled ‘Like That’ began this past December in an effort to provide a space where people can explore their gender and/or sexual identity while engaging in fun, recreational, and skill-building activities. Their initial government grant of $5000 was intended to carry the program from December until April, with the program running […]

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Erin Is Cooking And Crowdfunding Her Way To England

by Hoda Toloui-Wallace 12 March 2015

For the past eight years, Erin Thornton has studied and cooked 12th to 16th-century historical recipes and menus for a local Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA) group. Erin has cooked feasts for over 100 people with only period recipes, and her dream has been to cook a full 16th-century Tudor feast at Hampton Court (King […]

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The Science of Posting on Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

by Tatyana Kapkan 9 March 2015

Knowing when your supporters are active on social media can give you a serious advantage when it comes to getting maximum exposure for your campaign’s updates. Below is a great infographic based on studies carried out by social media experts over the past 5 years. Did you know that you should aim for 2 posts […]

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