I’m sitting on my couch tonight and I can’t believe that I’m hearing about more tornado’s ripping through towns around the USA. As I watch the Biggest Loser Finale people are getting their houses and lives ripped apart by massive tornados and that makes me sick to my stomach.
A few weeks ago, God led me and Pastor Dave Anderson to raise 10k in 24 hours and God ended up raising 100k in 31 hours. As of today we have raised 203k for immediaterelief.org. My hometown was ripped apart in Pleasant Grove, AL and I’ve seen with my own eyes the devastation a major tornado can cause. As I sat on my couch in Atlanta we leveraged twitter and facebook to raise the money.
This is an equipping post for any person that wants to raise money for disaster relief via social media. Here are the principles that can work for you to help out!
1. Believe you can make a difference
The reason most relief efforts stay under funded in the short term is because people think, “Oh my $1,000 I raise will not make a difference.” That type of thinking is dead wrong. If you raise $100 or $100,000 it makes a difference. Your $100 buys meals for people that don’t have them! Your $100 will provide clothes for a child immediately! Quit sitting there and not making a difference. Start today!
2. Join with a local church or relief organization quickly
All you have to do is ask on Twitter, “Who is a church or local organization on the ground that I could partner with.” Also, just search the hashtag of what’s happening like #joplin and tweet those people and ask them who to connect with. The reason you need to connect with a local church or relief organization is because they can assure you that money is hitting the ground and making an immediate difference.
3. Link to a NON-PROFIT’s Pay Pal or Payment System
Whoever you partner with, just link to their pay-pal or payment system. It is VERY important when raising money to make the gifts tax deductible. That is a HUGE way that we connected with large donors. We had one donor give $50,000 to immediaterelieft.org. Without it being a non-profit, probably wouldn’t have received that gift.
4. Buy a unique URL
Go to GoDaddy.com and buy something like HelpJoplinNow.com or FundAlabamaNow.com or whatever. We chose immediaterelief.org because it was very specific on what we wanted to do. The reason a unique URL is important is because people like to give to something bigger than your blog. A website communicates your actually serious about doing this. You can also just link to a page on your blog if that is the route you want to take.
5. Set up a simple website
You can set up a simple website through wordpress.com. I believe via twitter you can find someone to help you for free to do this. Keep the site SIMPLE! It can even be a basic blog that is branded toward your effort.
6. Create a campaign
This is where most people MESS UP BAD! People say on twitter, “Would you donate to tornado relief here …” People don’t act until they have to act. A campaign is based on two things:
-Amount of money you want to raise
-Time frame you want to raise it in
Then you can drive urgency for people to actually stop and get their card out and give! Remember, people respond to deadlines! It’s why the store says, “24 hour sale”. People just don’t act until their is a reason to act.
7. Keep the updates rolling
You can’t tweet 1 or 2 times and get this done. You have to blow up twitter until your goal is reached. People will get mad and tell you to stop but those people probably didn’t give any money to help anyway. You WILL lose twitter followers… DON’T WORRY ABOUT THAT!
8. Be RELENTLESS
Act like it was YOUR family that got hit and lost everything and that will change everything. Do not quit until your goal is met!
9. Create a Twibbon
The little pictures on twitter profiles are called twibbons and they work really well.
10. Ask directly, not indirectly
We raised the majority of the money through asking people PERSONALLY through Direct Message, phone call or text message. If you just tweet or FaceBook about your campaign it probably will not be as successful as it could be.
11. Engage churches if you can
We did the Tornado Tithe Challenge and that worked really well. Asking churches to give 10% of their income for a weekend really can help you fund your relief efforts!
12. Understand the funding window in disasters
You have to act FAST! The funding window on disasters is determined by whatever news is happening. When we did immediaterelief.org, we were fighting for people to still care about the tornados after the Osama Bin Laden story broke. While we were 100% happy about that, it totally took the Alabama tornados off the radar. ACT NOW!
If this sounds like work, IT IS! However, if you would take it seriously, you could literally care for the lost, the least and the lonely. Carry the mat for people… It’s the Jesus way.
ANY HELP NEEDED? COMMENT BELOW! Anything we missed you can add as well!