Get Started On Your Rally
If You Build It They Won’t Come
Hear that voice whispering in your ear that’s telling you “if you build it, they will come”? Ignore it. Sure, it worked in the movies, but this ain’t Iowa. Truth is, just filling out your Rally, including a video or photos, and then going live, doesn’t guarantee that contributions will automatically start rolling in. It takes a bit more than that. RallyMe gives you all the tools, ideas, and guides, but you have to reach out to your network and ask. Hang with us, it’s not that hard.
1. Conceive Your Rally
Take time and give some thought to these questions. Use them as a guide to help you fill out your Draft Rally.
- What do I want to achieve with my fundraising Rally?
- Why? What ultimate goal will it get my team or me closer to?
- What will it mean to me to have achieved it?
- How much money do I need to achieve my goal?
- How will I use the money?
- What Swag can I offer to people (Boosters) who support me with funding?
- How often can I update my Boosters through my Rally and social media/email to keep them engaged?
2. Your Story Is Everything
A Rally with a good story is crucial. People will Boost your Rally because it’s fun, rewarding, and they want to be part of your team. You need to connect with them and compel them to Boost. Clearly share why your goal is important to you and how your life may change by achieving your goal. Did you experience an obstacle or challenge on your athletic path? By achieving your goal, could it also inspire and benefit others? Be personable, innovative, fun, and share your sense of humor.
3. Amount You Need To Raise
There are many ways to assess this. You can just take a wild guess and go for it. But, since we want you to succeed, here are a few things to consider:
- Pick one specific goal you are trying to reach. OK, you may need $50,000 for the entire year to train and compete, but you’re more likely to reach a goal if you break it up. (You can do up to four Rallies a year). Consider asking for $7,000 to pay for travel, lodging and fees to a certain group of competitions, for example. Or $1,600 to pay for a new piece of equipment.
- Don’t forget to add in the costs you may incur in creation of and shipping Swag to Boosters.
4. Reality Check On The Amount
Take a second to consider whether your amount is realistic. Here’s one way you can do that: RallyMe research suggests that the amount of the average contribution is $75. Industry research also suggests that of the people you tell about your campaign, 10 percent will contribute that amount. Thus, if you need to raise $9,332, you’d need to get 125 people to contribute $75. If the 10-percent rule holds true, you’ll need to find a way to tell your story to 1,250 people.
5. Duration of Your Rally
Your duration will depend upon your campaign strategy. Aim to have 20 percent of your goal raised in the first 48-72 hours of your Rally. Don’t start or end your campaign on a national holiday. It’s also best to start and end on a weekday, preferably mid-week.
6. Rally Video
The truth is, you don’t need to create a pitch video to raise funds on RallyMe. However, crowdfunding industry statistics suggest that you will be 50-70 percent more likely to reach your financial goal if you do. Here are easy steps on how to make it happen. Go to Video Tips to learn more. Or if you can’t create a video and need to get your Rally up right away, use a video you already have on YouTube or Vimeo (for example) showing you performing your sport.
7. Swag for Your Boosters
Swag are perks or services that you can send to your Boosters as a reward for helping you. Though it’s not a requirement, Swag is helpful in gaining Boosters — even if it’s a simple thank you email or shout-out on Facebook or Twitter. If you have cool stuff to offer you’ve just created a huge incentive for people to Boost to your Rally. You come up with Swag in the beginning, display them on your Rally page, and fulfill them as your Rally progresses. You can still have a Rally without Swag, but many more find greater success by offering desirable rewards.
8. Swag Ideas
When setting your swag tiers, consider what would appeal to you. You should tier them according to the amount contributed. Swag items could include signed photos of yourself, sporting equipment, and lessons in the sport of your expertise. Maybe you know someone else who can donate something of value that you can offer as Swag. Maybe you know a famous athlete who will sign some jerseys for you? Will your sunglasses sponsor give you a few extra pair that you can offer? Does anyone you know have tickets to a sporting event that they can donate to you? Think outside the box.
Introduce scarcity – create greater demand for your Swag. Limit one or more of the higher level rewards to just a few. This will inflate demands for your higher-level Swag.
9. PayPal Account to Get Funds
You will need a PayPal account to accept contributions. You only need to provide your PayPal account login email when setting up your Rally. If you don't have a PayPal account, it's easy to set up at PayPal. Go to Costs to learn more about the basic RallyMe and PayPal fees and how you get your money.
Before You Go Live
1. Get 20% of Your Goal the Day You Go Live
Make sure to have a campaign plan ready to kick-off online and in-person so that you have Boosters ready to contribute in the first 24 hours of your Rally. Rallies that raise at least 20 percent of their goal in the first 48 hours have a greater chance of reaching their total goal.
2. Ideas to Build Your Team
- Organize your contacts into two lists. The first list is comprised of people you are closest to: friends, family, anyone who you can count on to contribute to your Rally right away. These people are critical to getting your Rally off to a strong start. The next group will be comprised of acquaintances and friends of friends. You won’t reach out to them until your Rally is rolling and they can jump on board.
- Next, meet, call, or email the first group (your closest contacts) and tell them what you’re doing, and a little bit about crowdfunding. Encourage these people to help you out on the day your Rally launches. Momentum is important. It gets people excited about contributing, participating, and sharing your Rally.
Here is a sample email that you can edit and change to suit your needs.
Dear Friends and Family, I am about to do something very risky and exciting: I am about to ask all my friends and family for help in supporting my athletic dream. I’m using a new, online platform called RallyMe. It’s part of a growing movement called crowdfunding. The idea is that athletes and teams can reach out to a large circle of their friends, family, friends of friends, and fans and ask everyone for a small amount of help. As you’re in my inner circle of supporters, I wonder if you can help me get my Rally rolling? We get started on INSERT DATE HERE. At kickoff, I’ll send you another email with a link directly to my Rally page. It would be great if you could contribute on that day or right after. You can also help me by spreading the word about my Rally through email, Facebook, or Twitter. Thanks for taking the time to read this, Sincerely YOUR NAME HERE
You're Live! Keys To A Successful Rally
1. Update, Thank Boosters, and Update Some More
People Boost your Rally because they want to be part of your winning team. At least 62 percent of successful Rallies have repeat Boosters when you thank them along the way, provide constant updates, and celebrate small victories when you get another step closer to your goal.
Throughout the duration of your Rally, let Boosters live vicariously through you by sharing progress updates, cool moments in your training or games/competitions, and publically thank Boosters by name for their contributions and support.
2. How to Update and Thank Boosters
- Comments Tab: When logged into your Rally page, click the "Comments" tab and you can write messages, thank people, and update those who already have Boosted your Rally. These updates will be automatically emailed to all of your Boosters. In return, they can comment as well. Do this at least two-three times a week.
- Social Media: Post at least 2-3 messages each week letting people know about your Rally and ask for a Boost, thank Boosters, share milestones, and if you have Swag to offer – promote it. You can easily "share" your Rally page on your various social media pages by clicking the "Share This" button on the right-hand side of your Rally page. Don’t forget to post updates on your personal blog and website with a direct link back to your Rally page.
3. Get Your Boosters to Spread the Word
The essence of crowdfunding is getting others to help you raise money. Most contributions come from the athlete’s or team’s immediate social network. That network will need to Boost at least 40 percent of the goal before the Rally widens beyond the immediate social connections.
Here’s how: Ask friends and family to share your story and your Rally link on their social media pages and via email. Provide rewards or incentives to your family and friends for helping raise the most money. Set up a challenge. Ask 10 people closest to you to get 10 people in their network to Boost at least $25- $50 each to your Rally. Voila! You just raised $2,500-$5,000.
4. Use the RallyMe Widget
On the right-hand side of your Rally page you can choose to Share your Rally using a widget, which is a fancy term for an embeddable box that contains your Rally’s critical information and a “Support Now” button. We provide the embeddable code and you can paste it into your blog or website. It takes you right to your Rally and allows them to choose their Swag and Boost away. You can give the code to others to do the same on their sites and blogs.
5. Beyond Social Media – Host a Simple Party
Host or ask a friend or family member to host a simple fundraising party to kick-off the launch of your Rally. Have a laptop or tablet set up and encourage people to contribute right on the spot and then ask them to share within their networks. If you have Swag, have it ready to deliver on the spot and save in postage. Or consider doing the party with only a couple days remaining in your Rally. Set up a “Campaign Headquarters” to create a sense of urgency to reach your financial goal.
6. Push the Swag, Do a Contest
If you have great Swag to offer, make sure to let people know what you’re offering. Post a photo of your Swag or send out an email telling people that if they contribute, they will get this cool stuff. Or, hold a contest on your Facebook page. Say that every person who Boosts your Rally within the next 24 hours is entered to win. The prize can be anything — from a cool signed jersey or a video chat with you. Announce the winner on Facebook.
7. For Team and Organizations, the Power is in Numbers
You have a secret weapon — people. Everyone on your team and in your organization needs to be involved — including volunteers, parents, athletes, and the board of directors. If the Rally and promotion of the campaign is left to one person – it will fail. Utilize people in your organization or team who have special skills: the person who Tweets every 10 min; the athletes and parents who have a great interactive following on Facebook; the tech-savvy person who loves to make videos; and the effective emailers who could charm you into buying a used car.
8. Provide Incentives and Challenges for Your Team or Organization
Athletes want to win, so use that. Have an interactive contest to see who can generate the most Boosts. Maybe they get a cool prize or just plain bragging rights. Challenge your athletes and members to get 10 people in their network to contribute at least $25-$50 each.
Take Your Rally One Step Further
1. Enhance Your Rally
People want to feel part of something bigger than themselves, that’s why you’re asking them to join your roster and Boost your athletic goal. But most don’t want to be the first or only supporter of a crowdfunding campaign – they want to see other influential people joining in. Do you have a notable supporter or endorser. Share a list of partners and give confidence to new boosters and let them know they won’t be only one joining in.
2. Enhance by adding “Roster Members” to Your Rally
On the left-hand side of your Rally page, you can choose “Manage Roster” and list people who are helping your Rally. Rallies that have “Roster Members” raise at least 50 percent more than those without. Once you add them, they will receive an email invite.
3. Enhance by Getting Matching Funds
Potential Boosters are 40 percent more likely to contribute to your Rally if they know their contribution will be doubled by matching funds. Any business or individual can pledge funds to match your Rally. They choose the amount and then their logo or photo will appear on the left-hand side of your Rally page with the amount pledged. (Or they may remain anonymous.) To set up a matching fund, contact us at email@example.com.
Ideas: Maybe you have a company that has sponsored you in the past and will do a match; a business you have interned for or worked with and wants to help; or you might ask several friends or family members to pool their money and provide matching funds.
4. Offline Boosts
You may get checks or cash from people who want to contribute to your Rally, but don’t like to make online payments. If you want to reflect those Boosts in your Rally total, just let us know and we’ll include the additional amount. As much as we'll be thrilled to do this for you, we will ask you to send us the same 5 percent of the contribution that would normally cover platform fees automatically. These fees, which we've kept lower than most other crowdfunding platforms allow us to stay in business and keep providing our services to athletes. Be cool and pay your share. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ups and Downs on the Way to the Finish Line
Your Rally will go through natural peaks and valleys. You are likely to raise the first 25-30 percent of your goal within the first few days. Then you may experience a lull in the middle and within the last seven days of your Rally, you will see another rise in Boosts as people feel the sense of urgency to help you reach your goal.
Be creative in those times of lull. Do contests or challenges to excite people into contributing. Remember that you will need to reach out to people at least seven times before they will contribute. Most people are just busy and need a friendly reminder about your Rally.
Now It's Time To Thank Boosters
1. Take Care of Boosters
Don’t leave your Boosters in the dark for weeks after they’ve supporter your Rally — interact with them and thank them, give them updates. Don’t think of this as the end of your campaign, think of this as the beginning of a new relationship with a great group of Boosters. With that in mind, make sure to send a thank you to everyone who supported your Rally.
Here’s a sample thank you that you can change to suit your needs.
Dear Booster, Thank you so much for supporting my Rally on RallyMe. I really appreciate the faith and belief you’ve shown in helping me to reach for my athletic goals. We (INSERT OUTCOME OF RALLY HERE, ie reached, exceeded, or didn’t reach our goal). IF YOU REACHED OR EXCEEDED GO HERE: Now, I am going to take your support and strive to INSERT YOUR ATHLETIC GOAL HERE. IF THE BOOSTER SIGNED UP FOR THE SWAG YOU OFFERED: I will be fulfilling your swag INSERT TIME HERE. IF YOU DIDN”T REACH YOUR GOAL: We didn’t reach our stated goal, but I will use the funds you’ve provided to: INSERT YOUR PLAN HERE.
2. Fulfill Swag
When a Booster contributes to your Rally and they are set to receive Swag, they will be prompted to provide their mailing address after they complete the payment process. That address appears on your “Fulfillment” Tab on your Rally page. Only you can see it when logged in.