Tuesday, January 20, 2009

GiveForward Online Fundraising Site

Hello everyone,

A few weeks ago I received an email from Ethan Austin, Co-Founder of the online GiveForward fundraising site. Here is a copy of that email.


I noticed that you do a lot of fundraising for T n T, which is such an awesome program!

A couple years ago when I was in law school I trained for the Marine Corps Marathon to raise money for St. Jude Children's Hospital (another Leukemia organization). I was so overwhelmed by the outpouring of support I received from people that I decided I wanted to help others raise money online for the causes they care about.

I'm excited to say that this past fall, we just launched an online fundraising website called GiveForward.org that provides FREE personal fundraising pages to individuals who want to raise money on behalf of any non-profit or good cause.

We're going to be working with a few running groups in the Seattle Rock and Roll marathon and the Los Angeles Marathon this spring and we're trying to get involved in the cycling and running communities.

Anyway, we're just a tiny organization with a marketing budget of zero, so people only know about us through word of mouth. If you know of people in the cycling communities who might find our site beneficial, we'd love it if you'd help us spread the word! Thanks!

If you want to check it out, here is a link my fundraiser page so you can see an example of what one of our fundraiser pages looks like:


And finally, here is a little bit more info about GF and my contact info is at the bottom. If a personal fundraising page is something you think could be beneficial, we'd love to help. In any case, hope you had a happy new year and good luck with everything. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

What is GiveForward.org?

We are a website that provides individuals with free personal fundraising pages to raise money online for their favorite cause or non-profit organization.

How does it work?

Step 1:
You pick a cause or organization your want to raise money for, set up a page using a simple template, and then personalize it by adding your story, photos, and even a video if you want. (From start to finish, it takes between about 30 min).

Step 2:
Email the link to your friends, family and co-workers so they can donate online to your page.

Step 3:
Enjoy your good karma for the rest of the year.

What if I want to raise money for something other than a 501(c)3?

One of the great things about our site is that you can raise money for literally ANYTHING. In addition to the 1.5 million non-profit organizations in the U.S., you can raise money on the site for causes that aren't necessarily related to non-profits (e.g. a scholarship or memorial fund for a friend or family member, a surgery fund for your neighbor's pet, or even your own travel expenses to get your butt to the race).

Do I have to raise a minimum amount of money?

Another great thing about the site is that there's no pressure to raise a certain amount of money. You set your own fundraising goal as high or as low as you want and can adjust it at any time.

So how much do I have to pay to set up a fundraising page?

Zip. Zero. Zilch. It's free for users. Hooray!!

If it's free, how does GiveForward make any money?

We cover our overhead by deducting 5.6% on each donation. 3% goes to GiveForward (so we can pay for stuff like our interns, our rent and our electricity bills). The other 2.6% goes to the credit card companies for processing fees. When the fundraiser closes, we write a check to the beneficiary organization for the total amount less fees.

Will GiveForward staff help me a develop a fundraising strategy?

Most definitely!! We've logged many hours fundraising for marathons and races and have learned the tricks of the trade along the way. Luckily for you, everything we've learned goes straight into our blog to help out our users reach their goals. If you have an ambitious fundraising goal or need some one-on-one support, shoot us an email or give us a ring at any time. We're super-accessible and eager to help, so don't be shy if you have any questions or need some advice on jump starting your fundraiser.

So How Much Will I Raise?

This totally depends on how much effort you put into promoting your page to your friends and family, but on average, our runners in 5Ks 10Ks and marathon have typically raised between $1000-$1500 for their causes.

How long does my fundraiser page last?
By default, fundraiser pages on GiveForward last up to 3 months. If you want your page to last longer because the race or event you are training for is more than three months away, we're always happy to extend the date for you if you shoot us an email with the requested end date.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to call or email me at any time. I'd love to chat with you sometime.


Ethan Austin
Co-founder and Second Banana
211 W. Wacker Drive, 18th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606
(949) 400-0132 (m)

1 comment:

esausti said...

Thanks so much Lynn!! We definitely appreciate your support and hope we can be a useful resource for your readers.


Ethan Austin