MELANIE WEBB, sports business owner
"The platform is very easy and intuitive to use. Easy to share on social media, easy to use on the back-end."
: A passion for fitness and the outdoors is what drove Melanie Webb to create Sol Fitness Adventures; outdoor fitness retreats with an emphasis on wilderness adventures. After two years building her business, Melanie decided to use RallyMe to expand and share her unique vision with a new market. Melanie successfully surpassed her goal of $10,000 from more than 80 supporters.
: Melanie used savvy social media marketing and a variety of fun, unique swag to promote her business and her fundraising campaign. Many people are 40 percent more likely to Boost if you have something to give back. For Melanie’s campaign, this included Facebook shoutouts and yoga mats, to personal training sessions. She also promoted the campaign on her business’s homepage using the RallyMe widget and several times a week posted images on Twitter that pushed her Rally.
ALLIE DRAGOO, Elite Cyclist
“RallyMe is a great support system for athletes. Everyone who donated to my campaign thought it was easy and great!”
Allie is a professional cyclist and has been racing since she was only 8 years old. She has earned titles in BMX, Track, Mountain, Cyclocross and Road Cycling. Allie has set her sights on the Olympics, but needed some extra financial help to get there.
Thanks to a matching grant from the USA Cycling Development Foundation, Allie raised over $8,000. Matching grants are great way to incentivize your support network. People are 40 percent more likely to contribute to a Rally if they know their contribution will be doubled by matching funds. Any business or individual can pledge funds to match your Rally. They choose the amount and then their logo or photo will appear on your Rally page with the amount pledged. You can add a matching funder at any time to your Rally campaign, just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"RallyMe gave us the powerful tools to raise the critical funds we needed to launch our program. It was a game changer.”
The Story: Working with the Frederick County Public School system, FC Frederick — a soccer club — identified an underserved, high-poverty area of town known as the Golden Mile. They discovered that a significant number of kids in these schools had no access to after school sports.
Bo Eskay and the FC Frederick Soccer Club raised nearly $24,000 in order to fund a 4-year plan to make Golden Mile Soccer a permanent part of the lives of the kids in those communities. With the money raised they were able to cover all of the costs of the program, as well as create a scholarship program.
What worked: Eskay, the program’s director, asked a neighbor, who is a video editor, for help in creating a pitch for the campaign. The video showed the story of how donating to the program could change the lives of these kids. He also obtained matching funds from community families, and provided fun and interesting swag (or gifts). The single most effective strategy, Eskay said, was consistent and positive outreach. Every week, multiple times, the board members and Eskay would reach out to different people in our networks, share the campaign and ask for support.
Brittany Bowe, Olympic speed skater
The Story: After playing Division I basketball, Brittany Bowe turned down offers to play professionally, and instead decided to pursue a lifelong dream of being an Olympic medalist. She used her experience racing inline skates to make the transition to ice. She first started speed skating in 2010 and quickly became the top-ranked female long-distance speed skater in the world, as well as a multiple-world record holder.
Brittany could never have made her dream a reality without the support of her family. When she earned a spot to go to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, she knew she needed her family there. She created a Rally campaign to help raise over $8,600 so that her family could be in Sochi to cheer her on.
What worked: Brittany had gained a large network of friends and supporters over the years who wanted to be part of her journey. So she created a customized t-shirt with “BOWElieve” as a gift to her fans who donated $100 or more. She also enlisted an inner circle of special family members and friends who each helped promote her campaign and in less than 2 months had raised thousands from over 100 people.
“The addition of a USSA-specific crowdfunding platform greatly enhances fundraising opportunities and expands from national teams down into our local club programs.”
- Tiger Shaw
The Story: The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association was looking for innovative resources to help its athletes, clubs, and members raise additional funds for everything from travel to training and equipment. After partnering with RallyMe, USSA took advantage of the Home Field Advantage program, where RallyMe creates and runs a branded/hosted fundraising website for the partner. In less than two years, USSA athletes and clubs raised over $1.5 million for their goals.
What worked: USSA invites all of its membership to use USSA.Rallyme.com to fundraise. The website has grown into a community of support for skier and snowboarders around the country.
Jamie Crane-Mauzy, Slopestyle Freeskier
Raised: $16,264 for rehabilitation fund
The Story: Professional skier Jamie Crane-Mauzy, suffered a massive spill during the 2015 World Skiing Invitational in Whistler, British Columbia. Jamie had suffered a significant brain injury and was placed in an induced coma for eight days. Jamie’s family and support network quickly went into action and created a RallyMe campaign to help cover her medical and rehabilitation costs. With her community behind her, not only were they able to raise over $16,000, but less than one year later, Jamie has made a miraculous full recovery, and is even skiing again!
What worked: Jamie’s sister Jeanee Crane-Mauzy took charge of the Rally campaign and promoted it on social media, blogs, and even Jamie’s Facebook page. People wanted to help and wanted to give. Jeanee constantly provided updates to Boosters about Jamie’s condition and recovery, even creating a video mid-campaign so friends could share their well-wishes to Jamie.
“Self fundraising with RallyMe is a huge part of our program and philosophy. Each team member had to raise a minimum dollar amount which helps them reach out to a broad community from friends to international support and establish a broader network and level of comfort telling their story and conveying their passion to others.”
- Alan Alborn, WSJ-USA Head Coach
: Women’s Ski Jumping USA (WSJ-USA) spent years lobbying to get ski jumping into the Olympic Games — up until 2014, women were not allowed to compete in ski jumping at the Olympic level. While raising money for that effort and after the successful debut in Sochi, WSJ-USA ran four Rally campaigns raising nearly $150,000. The money helped the organization launch a development camp and program called “Fly Girls.”
What worked: WSJ-USA used its Rallies in two ways: to sell tickets to its annual fundraising event and by utilizing the Rally Roster. By selling tickets, WSJ-USA was able to also capture donations from people who couldn’t attend or just wanted to give money for swag. The Rally Roster enabled each up-and-coming team member a chance to raise money for a vital summer camp. Any money they raised over their $1,000 goal, went straight into the Fly Girls program and those who collected the most from the most number of donors, won a private training session with an Olympian.
“We are really grateful for all of the advice that RallyMe provides in creating the Rally and on what to expect.”
- Helena Scutt
The Story: Paris Henken and Helena Scutt raised over $16,500 from 118 boosters to fund their journey to compete in Dinghy Racing in Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games. They were organized from the get-go with a cool pitch video, fun swag, and a clear message about why they were raising money and why it was important to them to reach this goal.
What worked: Paris and Helena posted multiple updates over the course of their Rally, alerting their supporters to their progress both on and off the water. At one point they even brought everyone along for the ride, by posting the list of all their supporters to their boat during an event. Personal outreach make a huge difference in reaching a Rally goal and go a long way toward incentivizing your network to make multiple contributions.
MRU Elite, Youth Soccer Team
“Working with you and RallyMe has been fabulous. You continue to improve the website and usability and make it very easy for non-web savvy folks to use. We have done a ton of fundraising over the last two years and this has been a great part of our efforts.”
- Julie Hall, mommager
: When the Mad River United Elite soccer club decided they wanted to travel to Spain to compete in the Donosti Cup in San Sebastian, mom and team manager, Julie Hall, sprang into action to ensure the team had the necessary funds to make the trip a success. By utilizing RallyMe’s personalized expert coaching, Julie created a strong campaign that gave responsibility to each team member and their families.
What worked: By offering some unique swag and showing their gratitude through Updates, Julie and MRU Elite raised over $4,000 and will be headed to Spain in the fall of 2016!
The St. Louis Gamers, High School Baseball Team
: The St. Louis Gamers baseball program was formed in 2007 and has over 200 players participating each year, with players ranging in age from 10-18 years old. Each year, over 25 Gamers graduate from their program into college baseball. The team was invited to compete in the Perfect Game WWBA Championship in Jupiter, FL, the top baseball tournament in the country. The team used RallyMe to raise over $5,000 to help fund their journey to the top.
What worked: A great story with a clear message for why the team was raising funds. They used the swag option as a way to sell tickets, merchandise and personal lessons.
Andy Newell, Cross Country Skier
: Andy Newell has a dream to become the first American to win a Gold Medal in Olympic Cross-Country Skiing. To make that happen, he first needed to prove himself on the World Cup circuit, but sought help to get there.
What worked: Andy created a unique and cool Rally. He launched a fan club site with his Rally campaign. Each Booster received a custom t-shirt, water bottle and personalized autograph card. This is a great tactic for elite athletes who can sometimes feel uncomfortable asking for support. The key? Elite athletes tend to have a great following of fans and can create a community of supporters who want to be part of their journey - and get some cool swag in the process.
Kayla Inaba, Professional Golfer
The Story: Born and raised in Kelowna, BC, Canada, Kayla Inaba was lucky enough to enjoy 4 solid seasons of sports throughout her youth. Skiing, golfing, playing volleyball, soccer and basketball. But she didn’t start competitive golf until she was 15. Starting in 2013, she decided to pursue it professionally, and turned to RallyMe to help raise the money she needed for competition and travel expenses.
What worked: Kayla did a great job creating swag, and during the course of her Rally was able to secure a matching grant, as well as in-kind donations for her Boosters from her local Pro Shop. By promoting these items, she was able to generate renewed interest in her campaign during the natural lull in the middle, and encourage repeat contributions.
Franconia Ski Club, Multiple ski organizations
The Story: When Franconia Ski Club and others needed to raise funds for a capital campaign to improve Mittersill Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire, they turned to the local community for support. They utilized the concept of a “home mountain” to give local skiers and snowboarders the opportunity to take ownership for the resort improvements, including a new T-bar.
What worked: Franconia Ski Club utilized the strong support of celebrity skiers, such as Bode Miller, to help them create a video and share enthusiasm. They promoted the Rally by introducing new swag during the mid-campaign lull, and lined up an anonymous donor to match all contributions made during a specific window. Kids and families who are part of the ski club and would directly benefit from the improvements were tasked with helping to promote the campaign. Organizers also provided regular updates about the Rally by using the Updates tab.
Sara Coleman, College Rower
The Story: Rower Sara Coleman was working full time and had no idea how she would finish college. A chance kayaking trip led to an encounter with a man who noticed she was tall and said, “You should row.” Inspired and determined, Sara took his advice and ended up becoming a rowing force, qualifying for the World University Games. She was in, now she needed to raise funds to get there.
What worked: Sara has an awesome sense of humor. She showed her personality by creating silly swag offerings: a glamour shot of herself and her cat or autographed photos of local actors in her area (in the hopes that they make it big someday!) Making swag fun and lighthearted can be a great way to motivate your network to contribute. Your Rally story is the most valuable asset you have, and using your creativity gives your Boosters the opportunity to get to know you better. Sara already had a pretty amazing story, and by harnessing hers she raised almost $2,000 to compete in the 2015 World University Games in South Korea.
Caroline Wright, Youth Soccer Player
The Story: Not every athlete needs to raise thousands and thousands. Sometimes a little bit can change a life. Caroline, a U15 soccer player, got the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Spain to take part in a training camp through Real Madrid. She only needed to raise less than $1,000 to make it happen!
What worked: Seven Boosters donated to help Caroline secure her spot. She shared her simple, yet personal story and asked her friends and family to back her dream.