Fundraising can be a hard and demoralising affair. Sometimes it feels like you’re getting nowhere and that people just don’t care. Though at times it may seem like it, fundraising isn’t an impossible task but one that takes perseverance and sometimes just a bit of luck.
We’ve talked about some great fundraising campaigns that have been boosted by social media twice before. But you can never have too many examples of heartwarming stories, so here are five more times the internet has banded together to bring happiness to a few individuals to bring a bit of joy to your day.
Home for Barbara
Pets can be one of the most comforting things in a person’s life. Through difficult times they provide companionship and support without expecting anything in return. When a tornado struck the city of Moore, Oklahoma; one resident was left with nothing. Barbara Garcia lost her house to the tornado, her possessions to the wind and, worst of all, her dog had disappeared in the chaos. Though disconsolate, Barbara agreed to do an interview on a CBS news segment. It was then, during that interview, that what she believes to be a miracle happened, her dog, Bowser, emerged from the rubble.
The sheer elation that Barbara showed at that one lucky break during all her ill-fortune, moved viewers at home and prompted them to do something. One viewer, Erin DeRuggiero, set up a fundraising account on Gofundme and encouraged others to donate. The $60,000 target was quickly smashed as over 1,500 people helped to raise $71,625 with which Barbara was able to get her life back together.
Faraja Children's Orphanage
Sometimes, the smallest actions can lead to amazing things. In the January of 2012, Ben Hardwick posted a photo of Anthony Omari to Reddit. The post showed Omari with a severe wound to his face, which he had suffered while protecting the Faraja Children’s Orphanage from machete wielding thieves. It was a distressing image; that of a man who had been brutally disfigured for trying to protect 35 orphans.
The uploader of the photo pleaded for the Reddit community to help out in any way they could and help raise $2,000 to purchase a barbed wire wall to protect the Orphanage. $2,000 was quickly raised, but the Reddit users were not content with just that. They surpassed the goal easily, raising forty times the amount asked for with an immense $80,000. Numerous improvements were made to the Orphanage and weeks later, Ben uploaded another photo to Reddit showing both the improvements made, and Omari’s face healed.
Jayden’s Pink Lemonade Stand for Peace
The Westboro Baptist Church is an extremist Baptist church that has been largely decried by religious and atheistic groups for their extreme views and actions towards homosexuality. Numerous protests have been made against the group, including one by Planting Peace who purchased the house across from the Church’s headquarters, repainted it with a rainbow pattern and named it Equality House, but none have been as sweet as five year-old Jayden and her lemonade.
To promote tolerance in the community, as well as raise a little money for Planting Peace, Jayden set up a stand outside of Equality house. On the day she raised hundreds of dollars selling the lemonade, but that’s not where the story ends. Following the success on the day, Planting Peace also set up a fundraising account on Crowdrise, which then went on to raise over $22,000. This is made even more remarkable when you consider that the online donors didn’t even get any lemonade.
Emily Scott's Dream 2014 Sochi, Russia
Though we often think of Olympians as being as wealthy, as they are athletically gifted, this often isn’t the case. Athletes don’t make any money from actually competing in events, although many countries do offer medal bonuses and stipends to help fund training. Nevertheless, many low-profile athletes find themselves struggling to be able to cope financially. Which is exactly what happened to Olympic-hopeful Emily Scott.
When the funding for her sport, speed skating, was cut down to just a third of what it was, Emily found herself struggling to make ends meet, even with a part-time job at a surgical supply factory. After finding herself unable to cope, she turned to Gofundme to raise some money. The response was phenomenal, raising over three times her target goal of $15,000, with $48,000 donated and counting.
A Day for Kathleen
Illness of any kind is tragic, but there a few things more tragic as when a child is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Sadly, this was what happened to seven year-old Kathleen Edwards, who was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease. Not everybody felt sympathetic towards Kathleen though. Her neighbours mocked her life-threatening illness and tormented her in every way they could, including photoshopping an image which featured Kathleen’s face as a skull and crossbones.
When local news broke the story many disgruntled internet users decided to do something. Numerous posts were created on the social media site Reddit and the community gathered around to upvote them, making them more prominent on the site. One kind user, Hans Masing, who owned a toy store, saw the posts and arranged a free shopping spree for Kathleen. Other users felt touched by the story and the responses shown and decided to donate. Over $19,000 were raised within the week but, more importantly, Kathleen had a day that she would always remember. Thanks to the kindness of the internet.
If you have any other great examples of crowdfunding or would like help with your own fundraising campaigns, then leave a comment, send us a tweet @reasondigital or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.