Something looked off on the CrowdRise page. There had to be some kind of technical error. She’s the First was at $20,000. But the other, much bigger, organizations- Unicef, Oxfam, Heifer and The Global FoodBanking Network, showed no donations. Huh? I had been moved by Tammy Tibbetts urgent note to support her non-profit, She’s the First and was going to make a contribution. STF had been chosen to be part of a fundraising contest and had the chance to win up to $100,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in matching funds.
She’s the First’s mission is to end gender inequality through education by supporting girls who will be the first in their families to graduate high school and by training students everywhere to be global citizens. It is small and scrappy. But it was absolutely killing it here with the “Millie” video made by a young film maker named Farah.
I reached out to Tammy to ask.
She was baffled as well. She had been leveraging her social network and using every resource she could since the moment the contest was live. It was a RACE to the finish. When the total funds raised by the 5 organizations hit $100,000, it would be over. STF would get a dollar for dollar match for any money it raised. Why was everyone else asleep at the wheel? We’ll never know.
But here’s what happened.
Saying thank you is a big part of being successful.. just ask Tammy. She is truly an inspiring Role Model. Here is the story in her own words:
Tammy’s Financial Grownup Moment: Just recently, in 66 hours, we ended up raising $188,000 which is 13 percent of our annual budget. This all happened very fast because we took advantage of an opportunity that we were given on a moment’s notice. It was a CrowdRise fundraising contest that launched at VidCon and the Gates Foundation chose 5 organizations that would be eligible for up to $100,000 in matching grants from them. But the organizations had to raise money as fast as they could, because once that was reached then you would only get double however much you had at that point. So we were racing, we were posting on social media, e-mailing to everyone we knew asking them that if they ever were going to give to She’s the First, now was the time to do it because they could double their impact. So when the $100k cap was reached, She’s the First ended up, although we were competing against ginormous organizations like Unicef and Oxfam and Heifer, we ended up claiming $94,000 from that piggy bank. And when you double that that is how we raised $188,000!
Tammy’s lesson to share: Never underestimate your potential. Just because you are competing against people that are more experienced or companies that are bigger, don’t take yourself out of the running. Go for it like you could win it all. Because maybe you will!
Make sure that you read the instructions and the directions clearly, so that you can communicate to your following that there is a deadline to this. That you’ve got to hurry. Create a sense of urgency. Make sure you give people messages that they can easily post to social media or forward. And then finally when people do contribute make sure that you thank them. Make them feel like they are part of a community so that when you need to mobilize them again they will be the first ones to do it.