$26,684. That’s how much money people raised to help Sharanda Jones start her new life with our new fundraiser tool.
Sometimes effective advocacy requires resources that the people calling for change don’t have access to. So last week we announced that in addition to creating change with petitions, now anyone can crowdfund for their campaigns with fundraisers on Change.org.
Fundraisers give petition starters the ability to raise funds directly from their existing petition supporters, and the wider Change.org community, and it gives those supporters another opportunity to push their favorite causes closer to victory.
When we started testing the tool earlier this year, Sharanda’s daughter Clenesha was one of the first people to start a fundraiser.
Clenesha was just eight years old when her mother was convicted of a first-time nonviolent drug offense and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Fifteen years later, Clenesha started a petition asking President Obama to give her mother clemency, which was supported by nearly 280,000 people. She was granted clemency in December.
Clenesha knew that her mother would have to remake her life once she left prison. So she turned to the community of people who had supported her mother’s request for clemency.
She started a fundraiser with a goal of raising $25,000 that her mother could use for housing, clothes, transportation, and other basic needs. That community answered by surpassing the goal in three weeks and giving Sharanda a chance to start over.
Sharanda and Clenesha’s story exemplifies the power crowdfunding to amplify the advocacy work being done by the Change.org community. How those fundraisers boost that work, however, varies greatly depending on what people are trying to change.
For Clenesha, a fundraiser was a means of completing the work she began with her petition -- to give her mother a second chance at life.
For Darius Adams, crowdfunding will allow him to deliver a petition to the NCAA asking them to ban violent athletes from play.
For Aberash Bekele, supporters contributions will help screen a documentary on child marriage in rural communities in Ethiopia.
Fundraisers are now available to all people who have more than 500 signatures on their petition.
To start your fundraiser, log in to the site and visit your petition. If you meet the signature requirement, you will see a button on your toolbar that says “Add a fundraiser.”
From there, just follow the simple three-step process to get your fundraiser live. For tips on how to create a really successful fundraiser, check out our guide.