Fundraising Goes Social: Fundly Taps Your Online Networks to Support Your Cause
Dave Boyce grew frustrated after spending countless hours reaching out to friends and family trying to sell wrapping paper and greeting cards for his children's school fundraising campaigns. "There had to be an easier way to reach out to social networks to help fund causes we care about, but I couldn’t find one," he says.
So Boyce created one in the form of a site called Fundly, which allows individuals and nonprofits to rely on the social multiplier effect to expand their fundraising reach. People looking to raise money create profile pages, much like those on Facebook or similar sites. But instead of advertising a user's favorite sports teams and books, a Fundly page displays information—including photos and videos—about the nonprofits, candidates, and causes she supports, with a running total of the money her network has raised.
Creating a campaign is as easy as telling a story, setting a fundraising goal, and blasting the news of your effort to your social network. Donors are encouraged to solicit support from their own set of friends using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and a personal Fundly page. The site analyzes members' listed interests and donation trends, then suggests related causes and individuals to connect with.
The site supports every type of fundraising, from large nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity to personal efforts. At least one person is even using the site to raise money for her own cancer treatment. Known as "Tiff" on her profile, Tiffany Costa was diagnosed with stage-two breast cancer in 2002, at age 29. Her insurance doesn't cover the medication she uses, so she took to Fundly to raise the money. She's already raised more than $35,000 of her $40,000 goal, from more than 270 individuals.