As digital natives, today’s youth understand this implicitly and yearn to make a difference that will change the world for the better – on their terms. They navigate both online and offline worlds seamlessly, often merging the two, and hold a much broader interpretation of philanthropy, one that goes beyond giving money to also include time, effort, energy and voice.
Yet, within the K-12 market in the U.S. for instance, there is still a gap – many schools are still using traditional cash pledges as the main driver for their fundraising initiatives, despite the fact that 84% of all Americans, and nearly 100% of all youth, are online. High school student Emma, from La Salle Catholic College Preparatory School in Oregon, raised $1,250 for her school during its annual walk-a-thon. Needless to say, the money and untapped benefits left on the table are significant.
Blackbaud’s innovative crowdfundraising service, everydayhero, taps into the ethos of our tech-savvy young people and removes the barriers to giving often experienced with traditional fundraising methods. Beyond its crowdfundraising features, everydayhero offers additional peer-to-peer capabilities, like social media and fitness app integrations, which elevate the potential reach, fundraising and engagement of campaigns exponentially. “Heroes” commit themselves to a personal goal and share their journey with friends and family to raise funds and awareness for the cause that means the most to them. They are generally very successful, often surpassing the goal they’ve set for themselves – parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and friends are all usually very quick to support a young, altruistic, and ambitious do-gooder.
Take Matthew Miles for example, a 12-year-old boy who decided that for his Bar Mitzvah he would compete in the Spartan trifecta to raise awareness and funds using everydayhero on behalf of his sister Amanda, who suffers from Ulcerative Colitis. Matthew raised more than $2,100 for Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America eclipsing his $1,500 goal by 40%. Read his full story and visit his fundraising page.
“My prayer for my Bar Mitzvah is for a cure for my sister so she doesn’t have to live with this disease her entire life. Finding a cure is so important to me and my family so that my sister, along with almost 700,000 Americans living with this disease, can live truly healthy lives.” – Matthew Miles
From school fundraisers to travel-based volunteering and charity run/walks – youth today possess a spark to make a difference and crowdfundraising has been the catalyst that has empowered them to do so.