REACH In Action

4 Tips to Boost Your #GivingTuesday Campaign

July 11, 2016 by Katie McWilliams

Giving Tuesday - a global day dedicated to giving - will take place on November 29th this year. It is not too early to start planning for it. Let's be prepared.

Have you seen the numbers from Giving Tuesday last year? It's staggering. In 2015, Giving Tuesday raised $116.7 million, generated 1.3 million social media mentions, had 71 countries participate and had 698,961 donors with a mean gift size of $107.47.

We encourage you to use this special day as an opportunity for others to learn more about your organization, to personally thank your donors for their support throughout the year and to encourage donations from your current donors and their networks. 

Here's how you can.


Create a Giving Tuesday campaign using REACH. Have one big Giving Tuesday campaign that focuses on one central cause - funding for the school being built, new sponsors for all of your unsponsored children, funding for a new location or a better vehicle, etc. Consider tying Giving Tuesday in with your end-of-year campaign. It could be your kick-off day or could provide you with an extra boost if your campaign will already be underway. 


There will be a lot of organizations trying to gain attention on Giving Tuesday. Prepare a message that is impactful and inspiring to stand apart. Pull together a video of the work you've done over the past year that shows the impact your organization has made. Enlist your primary donors to answer "I gave because..." in a video or social media campaign. Host a live social media event on Giving Tuesday where you can live tweet/post any donations you receive, interact with supporters and release any posts related to your campaign using a specified hashtag. 


Take advantage of the enthusiasm that Giving Tuesday generates. People will be looking for organizations to give to. Be sure to grab their attention. Do so by letting your message come from someone they already trust: their friends and your current supporters. Use Giving Tuesday as an opportunity to "friend raise." Encourage your current donors to pull in their friends, family and other networks to donate by setting up their own peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns using REACH. This is easily done and could greatly extend your network. 


Giving Tuesday is a one-day event but it's impact doesn't have to be. Let the funding you receive on Giving Tuesday start you off on an ongoing project you'll have throughout the year. Let's use a new school example. Raise funds for the land or the building itself on Giving Tuesday. Then, come the beginning of the year, update your donors on its progress. When you're ready, set up campaigns for other needs for your school - desks, supplies, backpacks, child sponsorships, teacher salaries, etc. Use the messaging capabilities in REACH to keep your donors up-to-date and engaged throughout the year. 

These are just some of many ways you can start preparing for Giving Tuesday. The end of the year is a busy time. Don't miss out on a special day dedicated to giving. Let's be ready. 

Featured Campaign: Rebuild Hope this Mother's Day

May 02, 2016 by Katie McWilliams

ROWAN,  the Rural Orphans & Widows AIDS Network in Uganda, is asking for a unique gift this Mother's Day: a brick-making machine.
So, how is a brick-making machine an appropriate Mother's Day gift? 

Meet Sarah Tibiri.SarahROWAN_small.jpeg (169x225)px

She is one of many HIV+ widows in Uganda that ROWAN supports. Sarah cares for six children, some of which are her grandchildren who were left behind when Sarah's children died of AIDS.

In Mid-March, during the rainy season, a large hail storm completely destroyed her home leaving her and the children without a home. 

destroyedhomeROWAN_small.jpeg (225x169)pxSarah and all six children have been staying with neighbors in a very small, thatched hut. There is little room and the conditions are very poor. 

ROWAN discovered that it would cost nearly $2,000 to rebuild Sarah's home. But, Sarah wasn't the only widow in the community with a home that needed to be rebuilt.

ROWAN started a campaign on REACH with an idea. Let's help hundreds of mothers and widows that we support here in Uganda have a home. What better gift for a mother than to bless her with hope and a means to better take care of her children? 

ROWANchildren_small.jpeg (225x169)px

Instead of rebuilding each home, ROWAN is raising money to purchase a brick-making machine. With this machine, they can work together and empower their community to rebuild homes for these women. 

A quality brick-making machine costs about $1,500 - less than the cost of rebuilding just one home. 

Currently, ROWAN has raised $800 of the $1,500 needed. They want to be able to provide this machine to Sarah, and the other mothers and widows they support, by Mother's Day.

To view ROWAN's campaign, click here

How to Use Crowdfunding to Plant a Church: Southbrook's Example

April 11, 2016 by Katie McWilliams

Southbrook, a three thousand plus member church based in South Dayton, Ohio, set out with a major goal: to raise $375,000 to plant a new church campus. The new location will be in Liberty Township, a rapidly expanding area nestled between two growing cities and along one of the most traveled highways in America.
To do this, they sought 375 people (or groups of people) to each raise $1,000 or more. 
Non-profits and social causes have been major beneficiaries of the crowdfunding movement. The ability to reach such a large audience, much larger than their typical scope, has helped groups reach and exceed their goals much quicker than ever though possible.
Southbrook was willing to give it a try. 
After-all, as evidenced in their compelling "Day 1" campaign video, the church has a history of making bold and measured moves - like asking fifty people to raise $50,000 in six weeks to build their first building.
They chose REACH to power their campaign and fuel their efforts mainly because of these five factors:
* They liked the way REACH looked and worked - they could use their own branding, easily embed video and add updates anytime they wanted.
* Supporters could easily start and share their own campaigns. 
* The money raised went directly to Southbrook and was not held until after their campaign ended, unlike other crowdfunding platforms.
* There was a flat fee structure, meaning no unexpected costs. 
* Donors automatically had the option of adding 3% to their donation to cover Southbrook's transaction fees, keeping their costs low.
Southbrook built up anticipation of their new church launch on their website and through their social media accounts. 
They discussed the importance of being innovative and encouraged their supporters to do the same. They presented ideas of how people could raise money through can collections, selling unwanted items, re-allocating pizza or coffee budgets or using their own personal talents to get donations.
They assembled teams to raise money - small groups in their church, a men's group or church youth groups. A supporter sought donations from her yoga class. 
They shared a compelling vision through their video. They presented a problem by discussing the whys of their launch and offered a way for others to help solve it. 
They suggested people start their own campaign to leverage their personal networks - expanding their scope to be much greater than those currently sitting in their pews or in their community. 
And, they had a persuasive ask, "We would love for you to start this thing with us. To help us create space for God to move and weave a collection of beautiful moments, stories, and lives together to make an eternal impact. Will you join us?"
Overall, Southbrook thought REACH was a "really great platform" that was "very easy to use and included all of the elements we wanted in a fundraising platform." They found that REACH was also "very affordable" as a "large percentage of our donors have chosen to add on the additional percentage to help us cover our transaction fees."
To date, Southbrook has already raised over one-third of its goal and continues to fundraise.
To learn more about their campaign, visit:

Featured Campaign: Will You Be Mine?

February 29, 2016 by Katie McWilliams

willyoubemine_medium.png (389x500)pxIn February, Clubhouse Guatemala encouraged their supporters to give Valentine's Day gifts that truly changed lives. They ran a "Will you be Mine?" campaign with the goal of having 50 children sponsored by the end of the month. 

The campaign was an enormous success! In one day alone, they had 200 children sponsored from an event at Word of God Ministries, an independent church in Shreveport, LA.  

Clubhouse Guatemala daily took to social media to share photos and stories of a different child in their sponsorship program that directly linked to that child's sponsorship page on REACH. They shared specifically how sponsoring the child could make a long-term impact on that child's life.

For example, one of the children, 11 year-old Rusman Allan from San Mateo, really wants to pursue his dream of being a teacher. He wants to be encouraged by a sponsor and wants to influence generations after him. 

joseline_clubhouseg.jpg (442x432)px

And, 12 year-old Joseline Tatiana from San Miguel, really wishes to go to college. Many girls her age in Guatemala would soon discontinue their education but Joseline has a strong desire to continue her education and go to college.

A sponsorship costs $30/month, which covers school tuition, uniform assistance, entrance to the feeding program, tutoring and more. 

Clubhouse Guatemala also asks families to write letters to their sponsored child to build a personal relationship with that child and their family and encourages them to visit. 

Volunteers prepare child sponsorship flyers for event in Shreveport.

Clubhouse Guatemala has witnessed that child sponsorship not only changes the life of the child being sponsored, but also the sponsor itself. What a great way to spread and share love during Valentine's season!
Clubhouse Guatemala was started in 2003 by Mike and Carla Parker. They have added nearly 800 children to their child sponsorship program and are continuing to rapidly expand. 
In addition to their child sponsorship program, Clubhouse Guatemala provided over 750,000 meals to those in need through food distributions, feeding programs and door-to-door visits in 2015. They also host a homeless ministry, build homes, install safe wood burning stoves, provide clothing, shoes, backpacks and other items that are needed.

7 Things to Consider when Choosing A Nonprofit Crowdfunding Platform

February 10, 2016 by Katie McWilliams

Crowdfunding is the practice of raising small amounts of money from a large number of people. It's an increasingly popular and valuable fundraising tool for charitable nonprofits. It's easy to see why. With crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising, nonprofits can leverage their friends, family, staff and supporters to fundraise for them. In turn, reaching more people and raising more money for their cause. A win-win. 
With that said, it's essential to choose the best crowdfunding platform for your organization. With so many options out there, this process can be overwhelming. Use this guide as a resource to help. 


You want your crowdfunding campaigns to look like your organization. Being able to maintain your brand, by including your logo and integrating your campaign with your website, builds trust and can help increase the amount of donations you receive. Make sure the crowdfunding platform you choose allows you to utilize your branding. 



Look for the platform that works the hardest for you. It should include built-in tools to help save you time and money. Choose a platform that includes tax documentation and receipting and mail merge capabilities for campaign follow-up. Find out how the platform manages your important donor information. Can you view your donor history and contact information? Can you communicate with them quickly and easily? 


You'll want to drive a lot of traffic to your campaign. The platform you choose needs to be highly shareable and have tools to help others campaign for you. Can you easily share your campaign on social media? Can you add shareable photos and videos? How simple is it for your supporters to setup their own page? 


Speaking of campaign pages, does the platform have a limit to the number of fundraising pages that can be created? Some fundraising services only provide you with 10 or less fundraising pages. Make sure this is not the case. Look for a platform that offers unlimited fundraising pages. After all, you don't want to limit yourself or your supporters.  


Make sure all fees are clearly outlined and not hidden. Are there additional set-up fees? Are you having to sign a contract? What are the transaction fees? Any fee structure that is at 5% or greater can be burdensome for nonprofits who seek to operate at 10-20% margins. Make sure you are going to get the most bang for your buck.
And, don't forget to consider your offline donations. Are you able to enter your cash and check donations into the platform so they're counted in your goal? Are you charged fees for including these donations with your records?  


Many nonprofits like to shop around for the best rates and want the flexibility of changing merchant accounts when a lower rate is available. Are you limited to which payment gateway you can use? Consider choosing a platform that has the ability to securely store credit card information from your donors so you can shift payment gateways as you find one that works best for you.


Problems arise. Use a crowdfunding platform that has customer service available and willing to help you when they do. Find out how to contact customer service and a typical response time. 
Use this list to guide you as you research crowdfunding platforms. As a leader of a nonprofit, it's important to stay informed and educated on the options available to you. Consider your options and make sure to see the big picture of what each one has to offer. Choose the platform that works the hardest for you.  
Crowdfunding is rapidly growing in importance with no indication of slowing down. Jump onboard.