Crowdfund Your Mission Trip
The Crowdtilt community is full of everyday people doing extraordinary things. There’s the social media wave that raised $50,000 in 5 days to replace David Henneberry’s boat (destroyed during the Boston Bomber’s capture). There’s the community in Illinois that saved their beloved toy store from going out of business. There’s the group of friends that funded their international friend’s school tuition.
Today, we want to share with you the stories of a few amazing do-gooders who typify the passion, empathy and spirit we love about our community. They make us proud to:
- create a clear donations page that helps your contributors understand your mission, financial needs, and deadline
- leverage social media to let your friends, family, or old acquaintances know about your fund
- automatically issue tax-deductible receipts to all your contributors
- crowdfund your service trip with one centralized page
- tilt an average of 20% past your goal
Feel free to read their testimonies below and click through to their campaign pages to read about their unique journeys.
The Nally Family
Joseph is enjoying directing the Honduras medical missionary training school El Instituto Bíblico Centroamericano and Annie is enjoying serving in the bilingual elementary school Campos Blancos. Olivia (9) and Maya (5) continue to faithfully serve with hugs and tree climbing campus-wide, visiting the disabled, and occasionally teaching & preaching. Their family’s empowered, can-do attitude is uplifting.
“We had potential supporters all over the United States but not enough time to reach them all through conventional means. We needed something simple, safe, fast, and fresh. We wanted to feel confident entrusting our meaningful campaign to the web and we wanted our supporters to feel secure in contributing. Crowdtilt matched our needs in simplicity, security, in terms of cost, and with online presentation. We were so happy to see thoughtful people supporting us by giving sacrificially and we were affirmed in our mission. We will be Tilting again in the future!”
- Joseph Nally
Sarah for Arise Africa
Sarah set her heart on caring for orphans in Zambia this summer, and she raised her mission trip funds in 5 days! We love the joy and humility that radiates from all she does. She even wrote us a beautiful letter below. Sarah - you inspire us.
When the opportunity to go a mission trip to Zambia came up, I knew crowdtilt would be the perfect way to raise funds. Setting up the campaign was quick and easy. Within the first 30 minutes of sending out an email, instagram, and facebook post, people were already contributing! I was amazed at the fast response! I feel incredibly grateful for my friends’ and family’s generosity. Every time I receive a notification that someone has given, I get so excited to see who has become a part of my “team” in sending me to Zambia. Before my eyes, my dream of a mission trip in Africa is becoming a reality.
Since I was able to post the link on social media, my campaign is reaching far more people than just email or mail. It has been especially meaningful to receive contributions from old friends and even acquaintances who saw my post on facebook. I even reconnected with a friend who I haven’t seen in years - but gave to my trip!
Crowdtilt has made my fundraising experience painless, effective, and enjoyable. Every step of the process has been excellent. My contributors are able to donate easily with Crowdtilt’s user-friendly approach. They also feel like they are “rallying behind” me as they help me reach my tilt goal. Since Crowdtilt works seamlessly with non-profits, I am convinced that it is the future of fundraising. As for me, I am now a loyal Crowdtilt fan! Thank You!!!
- Sarah Johnson
Father - Daughter Mission Trip
Allan’s daughter Elizabeth has wanted to go on a mission trip since she was 8. After a life-changing experience, Allan was inspired to make a mission trip with Elizabeth (now 16) possible. With the support of their friends and family, they’re unstoppable. We can’t wait to hear about the connections they forge this summer with others - and with each other.
On his campaign page Allan wrote “Please don’t feel pressured to contribute simply because you are a friend, family member, or connection!!” Oh Allan, your humility leaves us speechless :)
Nonprofit causes and charitable fundraisers have been a huge part of Crowdtilt’s goal to change the world through group funding. We want to help make your fundraising as easy as possible, so that you can spend more time making a difference.
If you or someone you know is funding their summer service, we’d be absolutely honored to help you rally support and quickly raise funds for the journey.
Finally, we’ll leave you with one of our favorite sayings:
For all of you going on a relief trip this summer, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “T-SHIRT”! We’d be honored to give you a FREE Crowdtilt T-shirt so you can serve in style :)
How to Give the BEST Wedding Gift!
This year, hundreds of friends used Crowdtilt to crowdfund heartwarming, clever gifts for their wedded friends. We helped them raise money by a deadline, get fixed or minimum contribution from contributors, and make a centralized place for funds that led them to raise an average 34% more than their goal :)
Here are the top 3 wedding gifts on Crowdtilt this year!
Most guys will tell you that there really is nothing quite like firing up the grill, throwing on a few steaks and kicking back with a few beers. Girls love having company over and watching the guys cook for once! Think about this the next time you’re shopping for a wedding gift. Throw in a few spices and meat rubs if you raise past your goal! Or get fancy and inscribe your names under the lid. Barbecue grills and grilling accessories make great gifts for any occasion.
Gooch loves his new Big Green Egg, and Crowdtilt made it easy for all of us in different cities to get the money together and the gift delivered on time for him to grill when he got back from his honeymoon!
- John Clifton
Wedding shoes make an incredibly thoughtful and lovely gift! Buy the bride a set of stunners from her favorite designer. Set different options depending on how much money you and your friends raise. This brilliant maid-of-honor was unbelievably clever and surprised her bride with her fantasy Manolo Blahnik shoes! In fact, they’re also the shoes that Carrie from Sex in The City wears to her wedding. AND they double as the bride’s “something blue.” Zeenat, please be MY maid of honor.
Linda always wanted to splurge on her wedding shoes, and as her maid-of-honor I loved the idea of combining her something blue with her fantasy Manolos. Crowdtilt made raising the funds super easy and accessible for all the attendees, scattered as we are across the US. She’s going to be so surprised and so in love - with the shoes, of course :)
Finally, if you can’t think of something your friend will need, a sum of cash is sometimes the perfect thing to get the new couple off to the right start. They can use it for anything from their honeymoon to new furniture! These friends set out to raise just $500 but reached nearly $2,000 for their friend!
Ousmane was a close college friend, and Crowdtilt gave us the ability to celebrate his wedding with him despite the Atlantic Ocean keeping us apart!
- Chris Blauvelt
Happy Tilting! :)
The Crowdtilt Team
Want some free Crowdtilt shot glasses? Head on over to our facebook page and tell us what you wish your friends would Crowdtilt for your wedding! We’ll be happy to mail you some of these unbreakable beauties:
The 5 Most Amazing Treehouses Ever Built. Happy Arbor Day!
April 25th is National Arbor Day! At Crowdtilt, we’re hardcore tree-huggers. Our office is chock-full of trees and greenery! On the occasional Tuesday, you’ll even catch our engineer Andy lovingly watering his surprisingly spiky “Herculeaves”… (a story for another time)
On Arbor Day you’re encouraged to plant and care for trees. But if you’re a hardcore tree lovers like us, join us in a quick daydream trip to one of these beauties! :)
(If you’re caught browsing at work, be proud. Spread the green love. We owe a lotta love to these green buddies that allowed life on Earth to, well, happen.)
Here are 5 of the most amazing treehouses ever built.
These incredible looking tree houses are called ‘Free Spirit Spheres’ and are designed by Tom Chudleigh. Built with wooden strips like a canoe or kayak, they’re eco-friendly living quarters created to co-exist unobtrusively with the forest environment.
A more colorful variation:
With the breezy playfulness of a hammock and the trusted stability of an old oak tree, Baumraum treehouses bring the imagination alive!
The O2 Treehouses line by Dustin Feider are absolutely green and fabulous! All materials that construct the treehouse are entirely recycled - made with a philosophy of harmlessly and sustainably co-existing with nature. This original O2 Sustainability Tree house is 13 feet wide.
This amazing treehouse was designed by Takashi Kobayashi! Mr. Kobayashi built an oval bird’s nest of a house, 12 feet high and 9 feet in diameter. The house is located on a field in the town of Kamishihoro.
Opened in 2005, The Alnwick Garden Treehouse is 6,000 square feet and one of the largest wooden tree houses in the world. It houses a 120-seat restaurant, a retail shop, two classrooms, and tow private dining rooms! Opened in January, 2005, it’s a labyrinth of turrets, treetop walkways, and cavernous spaces. Our Crowdtilt team dreams of Crowdtilting a vacation to this treehouse someday…
Happy Arbor Day! We’re send a big hug to all our fans (and all the great companies out there) for are eco-friendly tree-huggers! We’re proud to send all our receipts by email only, to help keep the Earth clean and green. :)
TRIVIA: Arbor day started in Nebraska City in 1872, and is a holiday where individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees.
The BEST Grilled Cheese Recipes Out There. Happy National Grilled Cheese Month!
April is National Grilled Cheese month!!! Celebrate with us by getting some of your friends together to make the most awesome versions of the world’s favorite gooey, crunchy, buttery staple! Because really, the best thing about grilled cheese is that its SO easy to make, even the most kitchen-clumsy** of us can achieve beautiful, gooey deliciousness in a few quick steps.
**Believe us. Some of our Crowdtilt engineers make that list. And they made these beautifully :).
Our favorite recipes:
If we’ve got you salivating already, you know what you need to do :). Crowdtilt a campaign to buy those slabs of cheese, great ol’ loafs of bread, and if you over-tilt, spice it up with condiments like raspberries, jalepenos, or avocados…
Ahhhhh. Can you smell the gooey cheese and crisp, buttery bread in the air already? :)
The Crowdtilt Team
Plan your Cinco de Mayo party in 3 easy steps! (AND GET FREE SHOT GLASSES!)
Magnífico sombreros and bright flowery crowns. Delicioso burritos, tacos, salsa, flan, and margaritas that we can’t get enough of. Cinco de Mayo is full of food, music, and fun that you and your friends will want to celebrate!
Whether it’s a get-together over Mexican goodies and margaritas or a full-on fiesta with tequila, pinatas, tres leches and more, we’ll help you invite your friends, plan, and fund your Cinco de Mayo party in 3 easy steps :)
PLANNING THE EASIEST CINCO DE MAYO PARTY EVER:
1. Tell your friends what’s up! Start a page in 5 minutes. Add a quick description and set a fundraising goal! Check out these two real parties for inspiration:
Instead of making the party BYOB, Bryce collected money beforehand and provided kegs, margaritas and crawfish.
“Lots of friends and lots of fun means lots of money! We want kegs, margaritas, sangria for bag slapping, tequila shot block, queso and guac, tres leches, pinatas, flower crowns…but we’ve gotta get some mula first!”-Elizabeth
2. Invite your friends with a Facebook event. You can automatically set up a Facebook event connected to your Crowdtilt! This lets you invite all your friends in a few clicks. (you can tweet or email the link too)
3. Get your friends to donate before a deadline. Don’t worry about BYOB or check/cash reimbursement. Your friends can pay on Crowdtilt with their credit card in about 2 minutes and 5 clicks!
Shortly after their parties, Elizabeth and Bryan from the parties above emailed us, saying:
- “THANK YOU! Crowdtilt let us throw a fiesta that was beyond our imaginations! Tequila!!” -Elizabeth
- “Our crawfish Cinco de Mayo party went great! Thanks to Crowdtilt, raising the money was a breeze and allowed us to focus on getting the party set up!” -Bryce
Happy Crowdtilting! We can’t wait to hear how your Cinco de Mayo parties go! :)
FREEBIE OF THE WEEK:
Want free, unbreakable shot glasses? Tell us your favorite Mexican food or drink in the comments! :) Then email your mailing address to email@example.com!
TRIVIA: Officially, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. But if you care less about the history side of things, it’s basically a festival of Mexican pride and heritage in the United States.
Worry less and tilt more! Set a limit for your campaign.
You might have heard the saying you can never get too much of a good thing. Though we love the biggest parties and our dessert indulgences at the office as much as the next guy, when it comes to limited-seating party buses, events with only so many spots, or special edition T-shirts, sometimes scarcity can be important too. (After all, would Marilyn really have been singing about diamonds, if every girl and a monkey’s uncle were wearing them too?)
That’s why we built our newest feature. Now you can enhance your Crowdtilt by setting a max number of spaces, tickets or goods that can be claimed!
Crowdtilters who dreamed big, used to worry about overshooting their goals. Our team got hundreds of emails asking for a way to automatically close a campaign once a certain number of people joined. Although many admins specified campaign limits in the description, their over-eager friends often glanced past those words in zealous pursuit of coveted private jet seats — snatching up more than our unfortunate admins had available.
With your requests in mind, our team has worked hard over the last few weeks to develop an incredibly simple way to handle this! :) All you have to do is:
- Fill in a max quantity when you set up your Crowdtilt.
- Kick back and watch your total number of spots decrease as contributors claim them (in real-time!)
- Pat yourself on the back as your campaign sells out and automatically closes! (lifting all your worries!)
It’s that easy!
Now Crowdtilters who dream and tilt big will no longer have to worry about overselling tickets, puppies, or autographs. We hope the new urgency and transparency of this feature helps you tilt better and more than ever before. :)
Here’s how the magic works:
- Go to www.crowdtilt.com and click Start here
- When setting up your campaign, select the option to define a contribution amount. Under the second option, you can now enter a maximum quantity.
- (After you Create your campaign…) On your campaign page you’ll see the max quantity show up in the green Contribute (or Pay) button.
- When your friends, relativesc or others contribute to your Crowdtilt, they’ll be able to select the number of items they want to claim, and the price will automatically update for them.
- As always, when the campaign tilts, you can continue collecting funds past your goal (Read about what a tilt is here).
- As the campaign progresses, you and your contributors will be able to see exactly how many items are still available. This creates a sense of urgency for your contributors, encouraging them to chip in before it’s too late! It also helps you easily keep an eye on how your campaign is going.
- SOLD OUT! When your campaign hits its maximum, it automatically closes. We’ll transfer the funds to your bank acount, and you’ll get ready to celebrate the sweet taste of success!
Our team has been thrilled watching campaigns earn more support, love, and demand than their creators could possibly fulfill! The fact that we just had to build this feature is a testament to the awesomeness of our ‘tilters. ♥
Lessons learned? You can never get enough of the best things. Because they’re scarce! And sometimes a limited quantity can actually be… a really good thing! For one, it tells us that the people, experiences and things everyone is clamoring to get a piece of, are really just that special.
We hope the new “Quantity Available” feature helps Crowdtilters around the world embrace their scarce and indispensible inner awesomeness.
Love, The Crowdtilt Team
For a shot to win a free, limited-edition Crowdtilt T-shirt, answer our question of the week in the comments! Q: You and your friends just tilted $1,000,000 on a vacation Crowdtilt campaign. Where would you go?
How We Got 31K Pageviews in A Day By Pretending To Be Obama
A week ago, on April Fool’s Day, we launched Crowdfund The Debt: a spoof splash page claiming that the White House was asking everyday Americans to chip in and help pay off our mounting national debt using Crowdtilt. At the end of the day, we had 31k+ pageviews, press mentions in TechCrunch and others, 3,000+ Facebook likes, and countless tweets.
Here’s the story and what we learned:
What was the joke?
Just about a week before, we were brainstorming a good prank for April Fool’s and hit upon the U.S. National Debt. It was the perfect combination of a culturally relevant crisis, a match with Crowdtilt, and just a fun concept. So with the goal of cribbing as much as possible from the Obama 2012 campaign aesthetic, we created CrowdfundTheDebt.com in a few days (with design help from our friends at Hypr) to go live at midnight on April 1st.
With a national debt counter that was counting down rather than up, and a real quote from JFK (as well as fake quotes from Paul Ryan, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Warren Buffett), the page seemed real. Almost a little too real, which we’ll get into below. But luckily, people seemed to get a kick out of it, and with a morning push of our own, the page started to get off the ground.
Our splash page linked to a fake Crowdtilt campaign that we customized with a script that would trigger random contributions from $100 - $10,000 throughout the day. We also needed a HTML hardcoded tilt amount, since our backend didn’t support a $16 trillion goal (thanks Crowdtilt tech team!):
When a visitor clicked to actually contribute, they got this custom popup (with a fancy American Flag background):
Finally, if the visitor came through this far, and logged in/created an account, they were met with the slogan “You’re the hero America needs, but not the one we deserve right now” and this swanky GIF:
How much traffic, and where from?
Here are the traffic stats (from Google Analytics, screenshots at bottom) for CrowdfundTheDebt.com, filtered to just April 1st:
- Unique Visitors: 24,853
- Pageviews: 31,097
- Average time on page: 3:08 min
Almost all of this traffic was a direct result of a viral bump. We were lucky enough to be listed in TechCrunch’s big morning roundup of pranks, and had very kind features later in the day by the Daily Dot and GOOD Magazine, but a relatively small bump from any of that press. 36% of the traffic was direct, and of the 63% referral traffic, the largest sources were Facebook and Reddit (attached is another screenshot of traffic sources at the bottom, if you’re interested).
Watching the number of active users on the site spike upwards was exhilarating! Instead of having to push for traffic through PR — or even through Hacker News (we were killed off the front page after a quick surge to the top), we saw the site spread organically. Before we knew it, Bloomberg/BusinessWeek social media director Jared Keller was playing along, and we got a phone call from a group of giggling young women, who had a bet whether the campaign was a joke or not.
What did we learn?
- People actually got fooled, and more than you would think. Now this one, we weren’t quite expecting. We tried to match the Obama 2012 campaign aesthetic as much as possible, and succeeded thanks to some design help from our friends at Hypr. But even when you confirmed your whopping $55,820 contribution, we never clearly confirmed it was a joke (although we didn’t ask for payment details either). The “realistic prank” is definitely in the April Fool’s spirit, but it ended up hurting us: the admins of a Facebook page with a huge following tried to post our link as a favor, but had to take it down after 15 minutes of confused and angry comments.
- Call to actions are important, even for one-off efforts like this. We spent so much effort tweaking the page and jokes, that we put minimal effort into how users would land on Crowdtilt as a result. Because CrowdfundTheDebt.com linked to an actual Crowdtilt campaign that eventually required a signup to contribute, we got a pretty good amount of traffic/conversions to our actual site. But there was no clear explanation of Crowdtilt from the gag, and no push to create a campaign once they had signed up.
- Apparently, we weren’t joking after all? Thanks to a tweet by Seth Juarez, we learned that one can actually give a financial contribution gift to help reduce our public debt. Huh. Who knew?
Google Analytics screenshots, filtered for just April 1st:
Facebook likes on CrowdfundTheDebt.com as of 4/8:
Thanks for reading, and a very special thanks to modern American politics for making this silly prank even remotely believable. We couldn’t have done it without you :)
Subscribe to our blog for more updates as they come.
The Crowdtilt Team
Planning a big event? You will love this!
You love hosting successful events: there’s nothing like watching the different pieces you planned come together beautifully, while all of your guests are having a great time too.
For your next event, you already know how to use Crowdtilt to spread the word and pool the money to make it happen. But what about the logistics and specifics once you have the money in the bank?
This is where our friends at Fiestah come in!
You simply list what food, drinks, decoration, entertainment, etc you’d like at your event, and Fiestah will find local vendors and quotes for you. You then choose your preferred vendors, and pay them through Fiestah. That’s it! They’ll do all the legwork for you, and also centralize all the information and communication you need to keep track of.
Fiestah is currently available in New York City and will expand to other major cities this year.
Did you already have a good experience with Fiestah you’d like to share, or questions you’d like to ask? Tell us in the comments!
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Real-Time Campaign Updates
If you’ve ever run a campaign on Crowdtilt, you may have noticed that you couldn’t make changes to your campaign after the first person contributed. That restriction is now a thing of the past. Starting today, you can make changes to your campaign at any time. Here’s why this is cool:
A Mardi Gras To Remember
What’s up, Tilters? It’s that singular time of year again - time for the beignets, king cake, colored beads, and other accoutrements that mark…Mardi Gras! We hope you have an awesome Fat Tuesday wherever you are, but in case you’re lucky enough to be headed straight to the Big Easy, we’ve got a few tips for you.
Let Crowdtilt take the hassle out of organizing your lodgings so that you can focus on the party. Start a campaign today to pool money with your friends to rent out an entire home on Airbnb. Here are a few properties that we like.
- Right in the heart of the historic Treme neighborhood, within walking distance of the French Quarter, this place is a beauty: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/474197
- Smack dab in the middle of the French Quarter, so you can gorge yourself on alligator po’boy, gumbo, and king cake way into the wee hours of the night: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/896450
- Or for those of you who might not want to be right along the parade route, check out this place in the Lower Garden district. It’s a short cable-car ride from downtown, so while it’s easy to get to the action, you’ll still be able to sleep at night: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/406103
And subscribe to our blog to be the first to get tips on how Crowdtilt can help you #DoMoreTogether.
Wishing you a great Mardi Gras,
Will & the Crowdtilt team