Scott shared the difficult journey that led to the founding of both organizations, a journey which started with his father being diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer. As Scott’s family sought possible treatment options for his father major organizations told them that this form of kidney disease was so rare that there was little research being done into possible treatments. It is difficult to imagine how devastating it would be to hear over and over again a statement that might go something like this — you have cancer and we can’t help you.
However devastated he might have been, Scott was not deterred by those difficult circumstances. Knowing that funding for research was a challenge, and after conversations with a fellow teammate from his Penn State football team, the idea for Lift for Life was born. Designed to raise funds to support orphan disease research, Lift for Life transformed into the nonprofit organization Uplifting Athletes and spread from college campus to college campus. Uplifting athletes has a simple mission:
“To Inspire the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport.”
Seeking to make a greater impact Scott’s journey led him to found Pledge It, an online giving platform used by pro athletes and everyday people to raise funds to support a cause. While Pledge It has served large organizations such as the American Cancer Society, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Scott noted that it is a DIY site, meaning that smaller nonprofits and individuals can launch campaigns as well.
Lest this article seems like a sales pitch for Pledge It (no payment or consideration is being given to me in exchange for writing this piece), I offer a few articles about crowdfunding campaigns that might prove of interest to those considering launching such a campaign:
- Crowdfunding for Nonprofits (National Council of Nonprofits)
- 5 Ways to Make Your Next Crowdfunding Campaign a Success (Bloomerang)
The Crowdfunding for Nonprofits article makes an excellent point, one which I heard reinforced earlier this week at the PA Association of Nonprofits’ annual conference:
“As with any fundraising activity, nonprofits need to know the laws that regulate fundraising.”
Before proceeding with crowdfunding I suggest checking out the website for Harbor Compliance related to fundraising compliance. Thanks to Ify Aduba for a great PANO conference presentation on this topic!
Having offered words of caution I return to Scott. It’s pretty amazing what a powerful difference 1 man with 1 vision can have. It seems that Scott, like those fundraisers and fundraising volunteers reading this article, took Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words to heart:
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
Thank you the energy, effort, and passion you have given to “have it make a difference that you lived.”