September 19, 2011

Rally: Raise money for your favorite cause

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Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, fundraising professionals, social media managers, cause supporters.

This is Part 6 of our series on social fundraising. See below for other articles in this series.

JD LasicaIf you’re a nonprofit looking to raise funds online or an individual looking to support a favorite cause, there’s a new kid on the block you should know about: Rally. Rally is an online fundraising platform that helps causes raise money faster, easier and in a more social way.

Following in the tradition of Causes, Give2gether, Fundly and other social fundraising services we’ve been writing about in this series, Rally brings some impressive things to the party: a sleek, streamlined interface, a simple business model and a platform that will soon be open to anyone who wants to support a cause. We wrote about Rally in Social fundraising tools: Our top 5 picks.

The platform is currently restricted to beta testers, like Students of the World, which raised an impressive amount of money in a few weeks, but is expected to open up to everyone this fall. Rally will be for anyone — nonprofits, foundations, political campaigns, churches, sports teams, neighborhood improvement efforts, filmmakers creating a documentary — looking to leverage social media on behalf of a bigger idea. We’ll update this article when Rally flings open the doors wide.

Check out the Students of the World page on Rally to see what it’s all about. Students of the World is a nonprofit that helps other nonprofits tell their story through video and photography, and they achieved success on Rally by interacting with their supporters with photos, videos and conversation.

I recently visited the San Francisco headquarters of Rally — where they also host the “RallyPad” incubator space for fledgling startups — and interviewed Kaitlyn Trigger, Rally’s director of marketing.

Watch, download or embed the video on Vimeo

Rally is for nonprofits looking for a new revenue stream, Kaitlyn says, but it’s also for any person looking to raise funds to build a neighborhood playground or to raise money to support a friend with a medical condition.

“We know that one of the most powerful ways to get people to donate money is to have a friend ask them,” she says. “It’s the Uncle Joeys and Aunt Lucias of the world. When they tell family and friends about a cause they deeply care about, they’re going to respond much more generously than if an organization makes that ask.”

Rally has no monthly charges, no contract or set-up fees, and a flat per-donation fee of 4.5 percent, which drops to 4 percent when you raise a certain amount.

How Rally differs from its competitors

I asked Kaitlyn how Rally differs from its main competitors — all of whom do estimable jobs — and she laid out these reasons:

  • Customization: Rally allows causes to completely customize their donation pages to align with their brand identity, while Fundly and Give2gether have a set modular template.
  • Fan fundraising: Rally empowers your supporters to instantly create their version of your donation page and post their own content about your cause. Give2gether doesn’t accommodate this, and this feature is minimized in Fundly’s user experience.
  • Ongoing vs. project-based: Rally is built for causes that want to raise money year round with multiple different campaigns. We make it easy for you to create unlimited donation pages, each with its own design, copy, and donation amounts. Give2gether and Fundly allow you to create only one page. Give2gether also asks you choose an end date for your campaign, and they transfer money into your account only at the end of the campaign.
  • Pricing: Rally has its own payment processing network (just like PayPal), so we charge no additional fees on top of the 4 to 4.5 percent transaction fee. Both Fundly and Give2gether charge their own transaction fee, plus an additional credit card or PayPal processing fee on top of that. They both also charge a monthly fee, which Rally doesn’t do.
In this series on Socialbrite

What social fundraising means for your nonprofit

Social fundraising tools: Our top 5 picks

Fundly: Tap into your supporters’ social networks

GoodThreads: Custom T-shirts as a fundraising tool

HelpAttack!: Unleash the charitable power of social media

Rally: Raise money for your favorite cause

Mobile: The next frontier of nonprofit fundraising

10 tips for a successful fundraising event
JD Lasica, founder and former editor of Socialbrite, is co-founder of Cruiseable. Contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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  • Kent Cavender-Bares

    Thanks for this very helpful piece. Were you able to determine how Rally will handle contributions? In other words, will they go directly from the contributor to the nonprofit like happens with Give2gether and Crowdrise, for example? I’m trying to understand if nonprofits will be able to issue a receipt for tax purposes, and it’s my understanding that the payment needs to be directly into the nonprofit’s account for this to be functional. Thanks!

  • This is an excellent selection of tips on raising money for a cause. Truth is, the method you chose solely depends on what you’re raising money for and there are thousands of options. I’m trying to compile them here (http://raisingmoneyforacause.com) and would love additional input from the Social Brite team or community. Lets make it easier for people to raise money!

  • ScotChisholm

    StayClassy wasn’t mentioned, either. We power the social fundraising of over 3,000 social impact organizations (of all sizes), including Oxfam, Invisible Children, Pencils of Promise and others.