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The Bonfire Blog

Thoughts about fundraising, doing good & making an impact

  1. Keys to a Successful Fundraising Campaign

    Here at Bonfire we are often asked what makes for a successful online fundraiser.   We want this blog post to be able to serve as a resource for your campaign as a whole. 

    Be passionate for your cause

    A cause is only as good as the voices behind it.  Passion is something that is non-imitable and will give a sense of genuineness for your campaign.  What makes up some of the best fundraising campaigns on the planet are the people who are the most enthusiastic for their cause. 

    Identify core values

    Your core values shape your fundraising message.  They are in essence the foundation of what your campaign is all about. What are your campaign core values?  Is your campaign core value to help children fight cancer?  Maybe it’s to help your team have hope and inspiration.  We all have our own unique values for our campaign.  For Bonfire, one of our core values is the idea of “B Good.”  We are here to help others.  This is what drives us each and every day. 

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  2. Be Cool To Your School

    A recent article by Philanthropy News Digest states that giving to colleges and universities was essentially flat in 2012 compared to 2011.

    This isn’t exactly shocking since most institutions rely heavily on alumni giving.   In a tough economy, even the proudest alum can’t always fork over a big chunk of money to his or her alma mater. 

    A lot of people may shy away from giving because they feel like they aren’t able to give enough.  Sure, on the surface a $1000 gift from an individual is “better” than a $15 gift.  But how many recent grads have a cool grand lying around?  My guess is not many.  A better question is this:  how many recent grads have ten friends from college, who also have ten friends from college, who all love their school and want to give back in some way?  And how many of those college buddies love showing their school pride by wearing cool t-shirts?

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  3. Redefining Race Day

    I’ve made no secret of my disdain for the standard race-day shirt; you know, the gaudy one that’s sort of thin and crunchy and typically ill-fitting.  How many of you really wear those shirts again in public?  It’s sort of like the bride-to-be choosing a bridesmaid dress because her friends will “definitely be able to wear it again one day.”  Let’s face it, they won’t…  Don’t get me wrong, I love a freebie as much as the next guy, but I’d much rather come home with something stylish and wearable to commemorate my participation a cool event.

    Before you know it, winter will be behind us and we’ll start gearing up for race season.  I’m not talking NASCAR, I’m talking fundraisers.  Everywhere you turn there’s a 10k to support one great cause and a triathlon to support another.  A fun run for the kids, a 5k walk for the non-runners, a mud race for the folks who like to get dirty.  They’re nationally known events like Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure.  They’re local favorites like RVA’s beloved Monument Avenue 10k.  No matter where they are or how big they get, they’re all fun and support wonderful causes and organizations.

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  4. Save Mitchell Dot Com

    "Save Mitchell" is a movement to keep a 19-year-old young man alive and well after battling renal failure since the age of eight. To this day, his VCU Medical Center team in Richmond as well as world renown medical institutions around the United States have not been able to definitively determine why he has kidney disease in the first place. In total, he has received 3 kidney transplants; the first organ was donated by his sister in 2002 (it did well for many years, then eventually caused issues), the second organ was donated from a family friend in 2010 (it seemed to have trouble adapting to Mitchell's body from the surgery and beyond - he received kidney dialysis for about 6 months to keep him alive once the organ slowed functioning), and the most recent organ came from a stranger (known as 'altruistic' by way of a paired kidney exchange). In early 2012, a special Facebook page was set-up to promote Mitchell's need for a kidney and provide the family support. Low and behold the Facebook page was a catalyst for receiving his third kidney. 

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  5. How we make money is a secret. Please don’t tell anyone!

    Have you ever wanted to buy something and been upset about having to purchase it from a particular company?

    Most likely, if you were upset about having to buy from that company, you stopped and didn’t complete the checkout.   Or if you had no choice but to buy from that company, you also made the choice to not return.

    As the world becomes flatter, our access to choices and options increases.  No one likes to be fooled, so why is it that some companies feel like they can lie to us?  Is it because they are worried that someone may copy them?  That their “gig” will be up?

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