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Charitable Campaigns

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“Saving Pets Challege” Fundraising Begins For Groundbreaking Pet Welfare Campaign On Crowdrise

Over 140 Animal Organizations Across the Country Begin Fundraising Initiatives to Win $100,000 in Grants from Michelson Found Animals


LOS ANGELES (September 29, 2014)Michelson Found Animals (www.FoundAnimals.org), an independently funded non-profit working to find the big ideas that reduce euthanasia in shelters, today launched the fundraising portion of the Michelson Found Animals Saving Pets Challenge, the first-ever CrowdRise campaign to specifically support companion animals, like dogs and cats. With over 200 applications thus far, 140 organizations have been approved to begin raising money and win a chance to receive $100,000 in grants to address the underlying causes of shelter euthanasia.

In an overwhelming response to the Saving Pets Challenge, animal welfare organizations both large and small from around the country, have submitted their information and ideas for the chance to win one of the largest privately-funded grants to help at-risk animals. During the campaign, approved organizations are encouraged to incentivize their team of fundraisers to raise money with fun and engaging micro-campaigns.

To add even more excitement to the fundraising portion of the challenge, Michelson Found Animals will award the organization that raises the most money to help at-risk animals with a $50,000 grant; second place will win $20,000; and third place will win $10,000. Teams will also have the opportunity to receive up to another $20,000 in funds by participating in weekly Bonus Challenges.

“As a non-profit on a mission to reduce shelter euthanasia, Found Animals understands the financial needs of other animal-welfare organizations,” said Aimee Gilbreath, Found Animals Executive Director. “We hope that by providing an incentive for animal welfare charities to use the CrowdRise platform they will continue to use it to create new programs, initiatives, and tools that benefit pets in their communities long after the Challenge has ended.”

The Saving Pets Challenge fundraising period begins today, September 29 at 12:00 p.m. ET and ends on Thursday, October 30 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET. Interested organizations can still register to be a part of the challenge until Friday, October 10.

For complete rules and details, visit: www.crowdrise.com/SavingPetsChallenge. For more information about Found Animals, please visit www.FoundAnimals.org.


About Michelson Found Animals

Found Animals is an independently funded non-profit that works to achieve one goal: find the big ideas that help reduce the number of pets euthanized in shelters each year. Led by business and medical professionals, we develop innovative solutions that address the underlying causes of shelter euthanasia. Programs address pet adoption, low-cost spay neuter services, pet microchipping and registration, and sterilization research. By offering a wealth of educational resources to pet owners and animal care professionals, Found Animals advances the health and safety of animals everywhere. Support for Found Animals and its initiatives come from the generous contributions of Dr. Gary Michelson and Alya Michelson. Follow our progress online at www.FoundAnimals.org, or via social media at Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

For more information on the Michelson Prize & Grants: www.michelsonprizeandgrants.org.
For more information on Found Animals Registry: www.found.org
For more information on Found Animals Adopt & Shop: www.adoptandshop.org

About CrowdRise

CrowdRise is the platform millions of people use to donate to charitable causes, create their own fundraisers and show the world their charitable lives. Launched in 2010 by Edward Norton, Shauna Robertson, and Moosejaw founders Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe, CrowdRise the fastest growing online fundraising website for charitable causes and doing good. The CrowdRise community has raised over $130 million for charity to date and is on track to raise another $130 million in 2014 alone. If Facebook is the place that defines you by your friends and Twitter is what you use to say what you’re doing right now then CrowdRise is the site for you to show how you give back. The power of the crowd is real, lots of small donations really do add up to create monumental impact.

CrowdRise is committed to innovation in fundraising, making raising money for your personal cause or charity fun and effective. It is the friend-to-friend fundraising home of The NYC Marathon, the Boston Marathon, The American Red Cross, Unicef, as well as celebrities like Sean Penn, Seth Rogan, Ian Somerhalder, Sophia Bush, Paul Rudd, Olivia Wilde and Will Ferrell. The CrowdRise community was named a “Top 25 Best Global Philanthropist” by Barron’s. And Mashable named CrowdRise something like “the best place to raise money online for your favorite causes.”

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No One Can Stop Me But Me!

No one can stop me but me!

The story of Underground Arena started in May of 2013 when my girlfriend and I visited my high school gym, which I liked so much because of the people and positive atmosphere that filled it. So, I decided to recreate that kind of atmosphere and started Underground Arena.

In October of 2013 we opened the door, and, in 8 months, we achieved way more than my original vision. We created a place that people looked forward to going to, where they reached new limits and experienced indescribable euphoria. More importantly, they gained a feeling of unity and togetherness without the feeling of being observed through a narrow lens. We created a place where equality radiated.

After returning from a week-long seminar in February of 2014, something special happened. I received a list of stories from people that were visiting Underground Arena, which left me astonished and at a loss for words. Everyone’s life was changed in some way or another; however, all of them in different manners. For me, the most important thing that I can achieve is to make others feel self-confident and appreciated.

Even though I received this awesome reinforcement for my work from my clients, I felt that I still wasn’t doing enough. I wanted to spread positive energy and a feeling of confidence and hope to more people. Those people who are struggling day to day are whom I want to focus on to encourage them to keep living happily.

To start helping people who truly need it, I began organizing outdoor charity boot camp sessions for the general public. The first of such boot camps took place in March of 2014 and we had 10 people attend. Although small in numbers, the amount of enthusiasm made up for that and motivated me in the process.

All the money that was collected on the registering fees was given to a regular individual who suffered from an incurable disease. When we all saw him excited to be at the boot camp and noticed that he wasn’t even paying attention to his disability, he gave us an unbelievable amount of energy, fueling our passion.

In the end, the family did not take home a big sum of money, however, they brought home something much more valuable, the feeling that someone cared about them and what happened to them, something that can’t be measured by dollar signs. They are now aware that people do exist who won’t turn their backs on them. From that point on, I decided to actively create this boot camp monthly.

People at one of our first charity bootcamps.

I want to help collect more funds for these kids and their families that have found themselves in unfortunate situations. This was the driving force behind why I started my own charity foundation, Train and Help.

This foundation will help me gain trustworthy partners and also increase my ability to collect funds for the families who need them. The vision is to organize a massive, monthly boot camp session while creating an unforgettable atmosphere and a sense of belonging to something bigger than us.

I started a crowdfunding campaign (igg.me/at/undergroundarena) through IndieGoGo platform, and our goal is to raise enough money in order to register the Train and Help organization as a charity foundation and also rent equipment and space for the first couple boot camp sessions.

It is a great opportunity for us to effectively help and provide the encouragement these people need in order to keep fighting their day-to-day struggle. We are here to make sure that their lives will be filled with as much happiness as possible.

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Razoo hosts Everyone’s Kids: Everyone Gives Campaign to Fight the Sex Trafficking of Children in the United States

A nationwide 24 hour Day of Giving on September 16th will raise money for nonprofits working to end child sex trafficking

SAN FRANCISCO, March 18, 2014Razoo, the leading crowdfunding platform for causes, today announced the Everyone’s Kids, Everyone Gives campaign which will raise funds for nonprofits focused on ending the sex trafficking of minors in the U.S.

The campaign originated from a TED Challenge Group that formed at TED 2013, where a group of attendees was asked to seek solutions for some of the most intractable problems of our time, including the domestic sex trafficking of children in the U.S. This TED Challenge resulted in the formation of a small group of technology and media influencers dedicated to fighting the child sex trade industry. The group established a Razoo Giving Day to raise funds for nonprofits that combat domestic child sex trafficking, as well as a major media campaign and national Public Service Announcement (PSA) to raise awareness and inspire action on this important issue.

Hosted on Razoo.com, the 24 hour Giving Day will take place on September 16th, 2014 to support fundraising efforts for all registered organizations working to end child slavery and sex trafficking in the U.S. The campaign will be supported by a PSA created by Wondros, a creative media company and strategic consultancy founded by Jesse Dylan.

The PSA will raise awareness, and provide access to The National Human Trafficking Resource Center toll-free hotline, where victims can get assistance and individuals can anonymously report suspected trafficking. Other campaign partners include the Knight Foundation and Getty Images.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that there are 100,000 youths under the age of 18 forced into the commercial sex trade in the U.S. Polaris Project, which operates the national human trafficking hotline, has received reports of nearly 4,500 cases of human trafficking involving minors since 2007. Over 3,400 of these cases involved sex trafficking. Despite these numbers, there is very little public awareness about this issue, particularly in the local communities where it occurs. “Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry. “We know firsthand that traffickers are exploiting children, women, and men for profit here in the United States. All of us play a role in effectively stopping this form of modern slavery,” said Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris Project. “By coming together, we can substantially increase desperately needed resources to train stakeholders, hold traffickers accountable, and provide survivors of human trafficking with services and support to rebuild their lives.”

Razoo Giving Days are powerful 24-hour, online crowdfunding fundraising events that unite communities around specific causes. Razoo and its partners will identify, educate, and onboard hundreds of nonprofits in advance of the Everyone’s Kids, Everyone Gives Giving Day to help them raise awareness and activate donors nationwide.

“While there are hundreds of U.S, organizations working to fight child sex trafficking and slavery, they are battling in an under-resourced and cash-strapped environment,” said Lesley Mansford, CEO of Razoo. “We are honored and excited to have such committed partners for Everyone’s Kids, Everyone Gives. Together, we hope to have an impact on the fight against human trafficking and slavery and end child trafficking now and forever.”

The Everyone’s Kids, Everyone Gives Committee includes:

Bonnie Calvin, Executive Producer, Everyone’s Kids/Wondros
Ann Charles, CEO BRANDfog
John Lapham, SVP General Counsel, Getty Images
Lesley Mansford, CEO Razoo

For more information or to sign up to participate in the Everyone’s Kids: Everyone Gives Giving Day, please visit: www.everyoneskids.org.

About Razoo

Razoo is crowdfunding for causes. Named for an Australian coin of little value on its own, until combined with many, Razoo powers small acts of giving that together change the world. From multimillion-dollar, community-led giving days to individuals collecting donations on behalf of the nonprofits or personal causes they support, Razoo has helped raise more than $200 million online – one small donation at a time. Razoo has offices in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., and is seed funded by the Legatum Group. See how we’re creating a new generation of everyday philanthropists at www.razoo.com. Follow us on Twitter at
@Razoo, or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/razoogiving.

About Wondros

Founded by director Jesse Dylan, Wondros draws on a powerful combination of filmmakers, activists, innovators, policy-makers, designers and storytellers to create content that informs culture and inspires change. Our portfolio includes campaign development and execution for organizations like George Soros and the Open Society Foundations, ONE, (RED), The Getty Foundation, Rock the Vote and The California Endowment, as well as film production for innovators such as the Clinton Global Initiative, the Columbia School of Journalism, the Council on Foreign Relations, MIT Media Lab and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

About Polaris Project

Polaris Project is a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Named after the North Star “Polaris” that guided people escaping slavery along the Underground Railroad, Polaris Project is transforming the way that individuals and communities respond to human trafficking, in the U.S. and globally. By successfully pushing for stronger federal and state laws, operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline (1-888-373-7888), conducting trainings, and providing vital services to victims of trafficking, Polaris Project creates long-term solutions that move our society closer to a world without slavery. Learn more at www.polarisproject.org.

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Deaconesses Get Tech-Friendly through Newly-Funded Skype Ministry Program

Program launches from Wheat Ridge Ministries’ new Christian crowdfunding website, WeRaise.us

Itasca, IL, May 13, 2014 – A group of Lutheran Deaconess Association (LDA) women are meeting the emotional and spiritual needs of caregivers through 90-minute “mini-retreats” via Skype after raising more than $4,000 through Wheat Ridge Ministries’ (WRM) new Christian crowdfunding website, WeRaise (www.WeRaise.us).

The deaconness’ program, Have a Heart for Caregivers, launched a project funding page on the WeRaise platform on January 1, 2014 and surpassed their $3,800 funding goal in only 45 days. The feat is now familiar to WeRaise, which in its young 4-month lifespan already boasts more than five successfully completed projects that raised more than $23,000 in total pledges.

“Our goal at WeRaise is to connect inspired project leaders with like-minded supporters,” said Abigail Miller, Manager of Crowdfunding and Social Media at Wheat Ridge Ministries. “Unlike Kickstarter or Indiegogo, we have a highly-targeted platform for innovative Christian programs developed to bring health, hope and healing to specific communities around the world.”

WeRaise.us shares basic similarities with other crowdfunding sites: project leaders communicate a vision through a brief description, post a video, and spread the word through social media and other communication channels. Compared to traditional fundraising or crowdfunding, however, the platform differentiates itself with five unique tactics:

  • Niche Audience: WeRaise is the only Christian crowdfunding website specifically focused on health and human care ministries.
  • Long-Term Vision and Ministry Sustainability: Not only do successful WeRaise projects generate funding from their network, they also become eligible for additional funding through WRM’s grant programs.
  • Low Fees: WRM created WeRaise as a tool, not a revenue source. Thanks to generous donors, WeRaise is able to restrict fees to platform and credit card transactions. Successful WeRaise projects enjoy the lowest industry fees at 3.7 percent, while unsuccessful projects do not incur any fees.
  • Unique Donor Experience: All projects are vetted by WRM through a process that has been used in their grant programs for over 50 years. This ensures that WeRaise donors only give to verified organizations with a Christian mission. Gifts given through WeRaise are tax-deductible.
  • Sabbatical Incentives: As opportunities for sabbatical grants become increasingly competitive and rare, WeRaise invites ministry leaders to raise sabbatical grant funds online. All sabbatical projects automatically receive a $500 pledge from WRM, and leaders have access to free sabbatical coaching to assist in the planning process.

WeRaise was soft-launched in late 2013 to support health and human care projects that serve multiple populations across the United States and abroad including:

  • Children and Young Adults
  • Ministry Leader Sabbatical
  • Families
  • Victims of Violence and Abuse
  • Immigrants and Refugees
  • Military and Veterans
  • Older Adults and Aging
  • People with Limited Access to Healthcare

To learn more about Wheat Ridge Ministries and the WeRaise crowdfunding site, or to arrange an interview, contact Natalie Bisaro at natalie@wilkspr.com, 708-434-5006.


WeRaise.us is a Christian crowdfunding platform from Wheat Ridge Ministries that helps organizations engage their online community to support new, innovative programs that meet community needs and bring health, hope and healing. WeRaise-funded programs also have an opportunity to garner additional support through Wheat Ridge Ministries’ longstanding grant programs, organizational work and ministry resources. View past and current projects or submit your own project proposal at www.WeRaise.us.

About Wheat Ridge

Established in 1905, Wheat Ridge Ministries provides funding and support for inspired leaders starting new health and human care ministries. Their granting efforts are focused on improving the health of the whole person, by addressing wellness of body, mind and spirit. Currently more than 70 ministries around the world receive assistance through Wheat Ridge grants, in addition to the thousands of past grantees who have received funds totaling over $30 million. To learn more, please visit www.wheatridge.org. For a listing of Wheat Ridge’s current innovative grantees, visit the grant directory. You can also find Wheat Ridge on Facebook and Twitter.

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First United Methodist Church of Salt Lake City Crowdfunds Organ Repair

The First United Methodist Church of Salt Lake City has the oldest organ in the state and it’s showing its age. The lungs that feed the pipes are no longer able to supply enough air. A decades old “repair” that incorporated “modern” electronic components to fill the gaps leaves the beautiful organ deficient.

The Church has raised over $200,000 from a variety of sources, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and is completing its fundraising with a $100,000 crowdfunding campaign on Razoo. So far, the campaign has raised over $75,000.

On Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 5:00 Eastern, Church organist Scott Mills will join me for a live discussion about the campaign and the organ. Tune in then to watch the interview live.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

More about the First United Methodist Church of Salt Lake City:

First United Methodist Church of Salt Lake City is home to a true community treasure. Our pipe organ is the oldest organ containing more of its original components in their original location than any other organ in Utah, Idaho and Nevada. The organ, constructed by noted builder George Kilgen and Sons Organ Company of St. Louis, Missouri, was installed in 1906 and originally contained 33 ranks of pipes. Today, 17 of those ranks are in working order. Our vision is to restore the amazing piece of living history to its full capabilities and make our sanctuary a welcoming space for the community to come together. The organ will be restored with pipes and components from another historic organ from the early 1900s, the Austin/Kimball organ that was originally housed in the American Theatre on Main Street in Salt Lake City, Utah’s largest silent movie theatre during its time. Bigelow and Co. Organ Builders of American Fork, UT has been contracted to do the organ renovation. The completed organ will have around 3,300 pipes – a vision that gives our campaign its name.


Scott’s bio:

Scott R. Mills is the Coordinator of Music Ministry and Principal Organist at First United Methodist Church in downtown Salt Lake City. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University in Organ Pedagogy. His teachers were J.J. Keeler at BYU and Arnold Bullock at Arizona State University. While attending BYU, Scott performed several recitals on Temple Square as a guest organist. He has taught piano and organ since 1976. He has judged with The National Guild of Piano Teachers and other organizations since 1982. Scott has served as a Dean of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and Chair of the National Guild of Piano Teachers in Utah Valley. He was also the sub-Dean for the Salt Lake Chapter of the AGO from 2009-2011.

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