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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Setting Up a Fund Raising Page on Causes.com: Hit a Home Run for Allie Lundy and Support Pediatric Brain Tumor Research | causes.com

A good friend's daughter Allison recently passed away, and her father asked me to set up a page where we could do two things:

1. Display a video of Allison and Red Sox player David Ortiz. "It's a powerful video."
2. Put up a link to support Dana Farber's research into Pediatric Cancer.

I could have put up a static web page, but thought that it would be better to post the video to a page that included social media sharing and tracking.

SETTING UP A FUNDRAISING PAGE
I hadn't set anything up like this before, but on the same day that I was looking into it, I received an email from another friend, Beth Kanter, asking me to support Planned Parenthood, Komen Can Kiss My Mammagram. Beth is an expert at helping nonprofit use "social media to power change." She Her friend was using causes.com to power her the campaign, so that's what I used.


Note: You can read more about Beth's campaign here: Komen Kan Kiss My Mammagram, PinActivism, and Newsjacking for a Cause

My final page is called: Hit a Home Run For Allie Lundy to Support Pediatric Brain Tumor Research. [Image Above ]

There are a lot of great things about using causes.com.

I could choose a custom banner color. Allison's favorite color was pink, so I used that.

Next I could embed the video and add a description with links. The video post encourages viewers to share via Facebook and twitter, and also keeps track of views, and allows comments.

As more people view the page, if they are Facebook users, which lots of people are, you start seeing their faces as they visit and choose actions.

It's nice to see.

A very different experience than what you see on a static web page.

DONATE
Causes Dana Farber Donation Page

The donate page is fairly simple. In set up mode, you can choose which charity you want your donation to go to. There are two things missing though from this specific Dana Farber donation page.

- The ability to make the donation a Tribute or Memorial
- The ability to Direct Your Gift to Support a Specific area

Here's what the donation form at the Dana Farber site looks like.

Make A Gift - Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Image: Make A Gift - Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Here's the ability to designate an area:

Dana Farber Direct My Gift To Support Pediatric Brain Tumor Research
Image: Dana Farber Direct My Gift To Support Pediatric Brain Tumor Research

I spoke with both Dana Farber and Causes.com to see if these functions can be added.

DESIGNATION
The designation of an area can be done by the charity adding Custom Fundraising Projects on causes.com. That's something they are looking at doing. It's simple.

TRIBUTE or MEMORIAL
As for adding a Tribute or Memorial field, that is something that causes.com has to do on their side and they are looking into it.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT
I was extremely happy with the support I received from causes.com. Sydney was great and opened up a Skype video chat with me and shared her desktop to clarify a few things.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
After setting up the page Beth told me about two other sites that do similar things, Razoo and Crowdrise.

Looking at their donation pages I see that each has the ability to capture additional donation information.

Razoo Donation Page
Image: Razoo Donation Page

Crowdrise Donation Page
Image: Crowdrise Donation Page

I'll have to take a look at those others.

PINTEREST
Beth is also experimenting with “Pinactivism”by starting a Pinterest board to keep track of images of her PLanned Parenthood fundraising efforts.

I decided to do a similar thing with Pinterest and share the Allison and David Ortiz video, both on Pinterest and on a similar site for video only, Chill. On each post I link back to the causes.com page.

Video / David Ortiz and Allison Lundy We will miss Allison forever..... The Lundy Family would like to request any contribution you can make for Pediatric Brain Tumor research to: Dana Farber Cancer Institute Pediatric Brain Tumor Research 10 Brookline Pl
Image: Allison Lundy and Red Sox player David Ortiz Video on Pinterest

Steve Garfield's Home | Chill
Image: Allison Lundy and Red Sox player David Ortiz Video on Chill

I think these are visually interesting sites for posting and curating videos. Check them out too.

SHORT LINKS
The causes.com URL to Allison's page looks like this:

http://www.causes.com/causes/650856-hit-a-home-run-for-allie-lundy-and-support-pediatric-brain-tumor-research/actions

You can also use a shortened version:

http://www.causes.com/causes/650856

That's better, but still hard to remember and share.

So I used the link shortening service bit.ly to make a short URL:

http://bit.ly/AllisonLundy

I didn't realize, when I made it, that bit.ly links are case sensitive. So I made another:

http://bit.ly/allisonlundy

YOUR EXPERIENCE?
What's your experience with online fundraising solutions?

Also, please visit Alison's page: Hit a Home Run For Allie Lundy to Support Pediatric Brain Tumor Research, watch the video, and consider a donation.

Thanks.

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