Success Stories / Sussman at Sea
Ari Sussman’s $20,000 matching fundraiser for the Chron’s and Colitis Foundation
After Ari Sussman lost a close friend to complications from Crohn’s disease, he set sail across the Atlantic to raise awareness and $10,000 for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. The Lefkofsky Family Foundation, which supports a range of charitable causes, promised to match his goal. Sussman chose The Point to manage his campaign because it offered him an effective, easy-to-use tool to leverage the power of the web. He also knew that, with The Point, people can pledge money but don’t have to give a dime until the goal is reached. This would also keep people engaged and spur them to give more because they hoped to see the campaign succeed. Once the objective is reached, donors know their money will have a measurable impact. For this reason, The Point proved the perfect choice for going after the Lefkofsky Foundation’s match.
Sussman needed a simple yet powerful way to get the word out, raise money, promote his campaign, and stay in contact with donors, especially since he would be out at sea. The Point offered a “one-stop shop,” where he could create a web page and send the link out to his contacts. People could pledge donations with just a few clicks. Sussman e-mailed his family and friends, who, in turn, sent the campaign link out to their own contacts. The Point had effectively set his campaign in motion to go “viral” while he sailed across the ocean. When he could, Sussman sent updates about his journey and encouraged people to keep spreading the word, giving his campaign further momentum. He also garnered new members by reaching out to media and online communities that cared about his cause.
Not only did Sussman reach his goal of $10,000 and win the match, he succeeded in raising awareness about a cause he cares about. “I could have used another fund-raising website, but the problem is, once people make a donation on those sites, they don’t return,” said Sussman. “The Point offered more of a community for keeping people engaged in our goal. They kept coming back to the campaign web page and upping their pledges as we got closer, because everyone wanted to see our campaign succeed.”