Rent a beach house with Crowdtilt
Seven steps to get you to the beach.
1. Gauge interest.
It doesn’t hurt to get a headcount before you launch a campaign, that way you can gauge how many people are interested in going on the trip. Find a destination that is within the budget range you can reasonably raise with your Crowdtilt campaign. Take into account how many people are going and what kind of income they are working with.
2. When and where?
Begin your stay on a Sunday (the cheapest day for rentals) in early September (big discounts). Skip offers with weeklong minimums; many owners give competitive 3 or 4 day package deals. Try tofind an owner with a few houses; large chains may not negotiate price.
Before signing, always scout the house on Google’s street or satellite view. You’re going to want to know what it really looks like and what local hotspots are close. Property pictures can be very misleading sometimes so it’s best to cover all your bases and check it out.
3. Rent from a private individual
When you rent directly from the beach house owner, you have a better opportunity to negotiate than if you work with a property management organization. So it is usually to your advantage to rent from a private individual. Property management organizations often are unfamiliar with the property and unable to answer questions about the property location or condition. Fees for cleaning, pool heating, extra guests, and pets may set you back as much as $200. Negotiate your way out of these strings up front by suggesting that your trip may be an annual affair.
Beach houses or rentals come in varying sizes. You will want to make sure that you are getting enough space for your group to be comfortable. Also, inquire about the locations of grocery stores, shopping, nightspots, and dining.
Factor in how you’re going to get there. Outside of lodging, transportation expenses are usually one of the pricier items on a trip. Plan accordingly. Are you driving to Florida from Texas? Sometimes flying is more cost effective especially with gas prices skyrocketing.
Don’t sleep on getting a renting a travel bus. It eliminates the need for a designated driver and creates a traveling party atmosphere to and from your destination.
5. Create a campaign.
Once you’ve figured out the destination and how you’re going to get there your finally ready to launch your Crowdtilt campaign. Put the campaign up with the total amount needed and send the link to your vacation companions. Create a friendly campaign that includes a description of everything that the funds will cover for the trip. Make sure to include as much details as possible (travel accommodations, lodging, departure times) and how much everyone is expected to contribute. When handling the money for a group trip it’s best to always be transparent with the book keeping. It allows everyone to see what he or she is paying for and eliminates confusion. It’s always best to let people personally handle everything outside of lodging and transportation. After all, you don’t want to spend the entire vacation book keeping and paying for dinners.
Remember to give yourself at least 6 weeks between the end of the campaign and the departure date. This allows you enough time to receive the Crowdtilt check in the mail and make the necessary arrangements for lodging and travel.
(Note: Crowdtilt is still in Beta and you will need to e-mail us to launch a campaign: firstname.lastname@example.org)
6. During the stay.
Remember to observe the housekeeper’s rules. If you break them, you can kiss your deposit goodbye. Remember to stress that to your companions that it’s their money too. Always clean up the place before you depart, a lot of places will use the cleaning service bill as a way to eat your deposit. The key is to not give them any opportunity to take you for a ride.
7. Post-trip e-mail.
Always remember to thank everyone who came along on the trip. Send a post trip e-mail with a link to pictures and a few stories from the trip. If you plan on going on another group trip it’s best to leave everyone on a positive note.
Thanks to everyone who used Crowdtilt.com to purchase Silent Disco tickets. We don’t claim that guy with the pacifier…..he must have been a walk-up.
Campaign highlight video.
Posted by: G.Case
How to get people to pay you back using Crowdtilt.
Get your stacks back.
Getting friends to pay you back can be a gut wrenching cycle could go on for several months. As a result, the friendships have slowly turned bitter. What used to be a great relationship that included 24-hour marathon listening sessions of the entire Backstreet Boys catalog become an emotional burden. They start avoiding phone calls and stopped “liking” your witty facebook posts. Each month that the loan remains unpaid, you lose more hope on getting your money back. Consequently, feelings of anger and resentment towards your friends begins to consume you. One day soon you might find yourself stuffing bananas in tailpipes and “easy cheesing” someone’s paint job in a Walmart parking lot. Okay, that might be taking it a bit too far but the end result can be lifelong friendships dissolving over something as simple as money.
Crowdtilt can help put that all behind you. Here are three very important steps that can get your money back and relieve the strain on friendships by debt collecting.
1. Set up a campaign.
Create a campaign that details why people own you money.
Example: A few of your friends still owe you $30 each for the Backstreet Boys reunion concert? List the date of the concert, who else played, and maybe recall a funny story or memory from the concert to take the edge off. The reason is you want your friend’s initial reaction to be “oh yeah, that was really fun, I need to pay her back” and not “oh crap, she wants her money right now.”
Make sure to say that the campaign is angled as a friendly and convenient reminder in case they had “forgotten” that they still owe you. (Not likely, Nick Carter was on fire) Be very descriptive about what you paid for and why they owe you the money. People will be less likely to argue over a debt if you’ve covered all your bases and listed them out. It also gives you another chance to go over your expenses and make sure there isn’t anything you missed. (Remember that BSB pillow case that Cindy just had to have.)
2. Use the required payment option.
Set the required amount to the dollar amount that the person(s) owe you. That way you can be sure that they won’t “accidentally” put in the wrong amount.
“I typed in 3 dollars instead on 30? My bad! LOL”
3. Set a strict deadline
Set a deadline (2-3 days) close enough so they don’t put it on the back-burner and come back later. You’d be surprised how many people will forget come back and pay before the deadline. The most active times during the campaign happen at the beginning and end. Make sure to communicate that the window here is very short to create a sense of urgency.
4. Send it out.
Make sure to be very clear about what the link is pertaining to and why you need the money. Don’t be condescending or call people out. This is going to be seen by their social networks so be courteous.
Good example: Hey guys, just wanted to let you know I set up a Crowdtilt campaign so you can pay me back for the ubertastic BSB concert without having to swing by my house. It expires in 2 days so please hurry!
Bad example: Cindy, Brittany, and Brooke. Holy cheeseballs, I still can’t believe you haven’t paid me back. OMG, we saw A.J. Mclean shirtless together and now you won’t even return my calls. I need my greenbacks stat!!!! I know where you live.
Crowdtilt can be used as an online I.O.U.
It’s basically a way to transform Crowdtilt into an online invoice system. It allows Cindy to see that Brittany and Brooke have already paid you back and will motivate her into action. Like dominoes, once the first one starts falling the rest topple into place.
It doesn’t have to be for an event. If you covered someone’s lunch one day and know you won’t see that person for a month or two, throw up a campaign. It’s quick, easy, and most importantly saves gas money.
Silent Disco brings the noise.
A new musical movement is taking the nation’s dance floors by storm - the sound of silence.
Imagine being at one of the hottest nightclubs in town on a Saturday night and the place is filled to capacity. The dance floor is packed with people swaying and grinding to the beat but something is slightly different, there is no audible music. This is the type of experience that only the Silent Disco can provide.
Rather than using a traditional speaker system, music is broadcast via a FM-transmitter with the signal being picked up by wireless headphone receivers worn by everyone in the crowd. It lets the attendee hear the DJ in crystal clear audio rather than getting the sound degraded by a crappy PA system or poor building acoustics. Those without the headphones hear no music, giving the effect of a room full of people dancing to nothing. To add to the fun disco-goers may tune in to two or more music channels created by competing DJs, creating the delicious sight of half an audience head banging to some fast techno while the other half gets down to some slow jams. Silent discos are also becoming increasing popular with city officials as they allow dancing to continue past noise curfews. Did I mention that you could now have a conversation with somebody at a club without having to scream two inches from their ear? It’s one of the many reasons these “silent clubs” are becoming very popular.
Check it out Dallas, we’ve got a campaign going for one right now on Friday, July 22nd at the Green Elephant. The first 100 tickets are $15 and then the price gets bumped to $21. Hurry up!
Wanna read more about the silent disco experience?
Dallas Morning News article on Crowdtilt
Feels awesome to get some love from our hometown paper!
Posted by: G.Case
Tax break tips for Non-profit donations.
Giving to Non-profits? Here are some quick tax break tips.
Americans gave more than $307.75 billion to their favorite causes despite the economic conditions in 2009. By 2050, an estimated $41 trillion will transfer from one generation to the next, with gifts to nonprofit organizations projected to exceed $6 trillion. That much money can mean big time tax breaks for the general public if you know how to file them correctly.
Tax deductions are a significant bonus for many people that donate money to various worthy causes. The IRS understands that many organizations that offer valuable services could not operate without a considerable portion of their budgets being funded privately. In order to encourage people to continue helping these organizations do their jobs within their communities, the IRS offers tax breaks to reward the contributors.
Make sure the charity is registered.
The main requirement is that the charity must be registered as a 501(c) organization. This means that it is a non-profit entity. So what if you’re not sure a charity is registered as a 501(c) organization? Place a quick call to the IRS Customer Account Services division for Tax Exempt and Government Entities with the charity’s name and address they will verify the status for you.
The number is toll free: (877) 829-5500
There is also new section of the IRS website where you can search through their database for approved organizations: http://www.irs.gov/app/pub-78/
Subtracting the correct amount:
Once you’ve got this verification, you can offer money and take the deductions for the donations. Also, any donations over $250 must be documented with a receipt showing the transaction to the charity. Your records must indicate the name of the charitable organization, the date of your contribution, and the amount your contribution. Remember to always deduct the Crowdtilt 5.5% operating fee when making a contribution to a non-profit campaign. (Claim the amount you typed in, not how much you were actually charged.)
Also, keep in mind that if a person received anything in return for a donation, such as a service, merchandise, or admission tickets to a musical or sporting event, that person can deduct only the amount of the donation that exceeds the value of the gift. For example, if someone gives $100 to the local PBS station and they give a $20 DVD of a Stevie Ray Vaughn performance to that person in return, he can be deduct only $80 as deductions for the donations, not the full $100. So in another words, subtract the value of what you received from the total amount you contributed.
The smaller gifts are usually simple and straightforward as far as the tax guys are concerned. You declare a nominal value for your donation and get a receipt. It only gets complicated when you give larger amounts to national and international organizations.
Need some more info?
Check out the IRS documents “Form 8283” and its instructions, as well as Publication 526, Charitable Contributions. These forms and publications are all available at http://www.irs.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
Statistics provided by: Giving USA 2010
Posted by: G.Case