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    Thursday, June 25, 2009

    World Bicycle Relief featured in Chicago Tribune

    World Bicycle Relief just launched their Bicycles for Education Empowerment Program (BEEP) in Zambia, an initiative to distribute more than 50,000 bicycles to school-aged children. Many of the children start walking to school before the sun comes up, and must walk more than ten miles a day. The Chicago Tribune ran an article on the initiative. You can donate to WBR in support of our bike trip by clicking here. Thanks for your support!

    Wednesday, June 24, 2009 Website Fundraising

    I will be blogging for professional kayaker Brad Ludden's website, a site about philanthropy and sports, about the work behind planning a "goodwill adventure" or trip to raise money for a non-profit.
    My second blog post is about creating a fundraising website:

    One of the most effective and easiest ways to raise money for your trip is through a website with online donations. There are two steps to this: creating a personal website or blog and creating a page for online donations. Building a website is free, easy and the best way to keep many people updated on your progress throughout the adventure. I personally like building a website/blog through Blogger because with their layouts, it’s ready in about five minutes and looks fairly professional. The website should be where you gather all of the information—bios of team members, your fundraising goals, a map of your progress, any fundraising events, and updates and photos from the trip. You can check out our website here. It still needs some work, but you can get the basic idea.

    Creating a website where people can donate money to your cause is even easier than creating a blog. The best website is Firstgiving, which has over 30,000 organizations to choose from. Even if your charity isn’t on their exhaustive list, it’s simple for your charity to sign up. Friends and family donate via credit card or PayPal to your personal page on the website, and Firstgiving handles everything, so you don’t need to deal with any money transfers or expenses. The only downside: they charge a 7.5 percent transaction fee, so not all of your money goes to the charity.

    If you’re working with a slightly larger charity, contact their outreach organizer as one of your initial steps. They can let you know if the organization has their own fundraising technology they can set you up with that will allow them to bypass the higher transaction fee. For example, World Bicycle Relief uses Kintera, a similar service, and gets to keep more of the money. Our fundraising website is here.

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