How to Build a Successful Campaign

So, you created a Campus Causes campaign, now what? Once you’ve made the first step, it’s understandable to be a bit overwhelmed trying to figure out how to optimize the campaign and thrive in your fundraising efforts. To help you and your team be as successful as possible, we created this quick guide of five things you can do to elevate your campaign!

Check How Much Your Team Makes

Have your team check out the “How Much Can My Team Earn” page, and change the number of shopping trips as well as how many people are on your team. This tool can help your team realize how quickly your campaign can grow if you all use the Campus Causes platform effectively.

Make Sure to Link Your Credit Card

One lesser-known (but incredibly useful) feature of Campus Causes is the Linked Card System. Once you sign into your Campus Causes account, hover over your profile photo and select Linked Payment Card. Once your Visa, MasterCard, or American Express is linked you will instantly earn cash back from eligible stores.

Fill Out Your Campaign Info

When you create your campaign, you are able to share information about your organization and cause. Share who you are and what you are fundraising for! Not only will this help your friends and family know more about your campaign, but other users of Campus Causes may find your campaign and want to donate, too.

Take Advantage of the $5 Bonus

Every team member has the opportunity to bring in an additional $5 to the campaign after they make their first purchase. While $5 may not seem like much, if you have 5 people on your team, the campaign receives $25 of FREE money, plus the additional cash back from the purchases. There is a time limit for this once you start your campaign so take advantage while you can!

Get Cash Back for Team Bonding

Does your team ever travel for conferences, games, or events? You can get cash-back on hotels, car rentals, and airlines! Additionally, whether your team is out of town or not, everyone needs to eat. Check out the numerous restaurants that offer cash back on gift cards for club meetings or bonding events.

We hope these tips and tricks can help you create a successful campaign, but if at any point you run into problems, have questions, or just want some easy fundraising advice, our team is here to help!

THON Strives to “Inspire Every Voice” at Penn State and Beyond

Since its conception in 1973, THON has established itself as the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Raising more than $10 million last year for kids battling cancer and their families, THON strives to make a significant and lasting impact on the families it serves and the Penn State community.

The organization has been run by students at Penn State University since its formation in 1973, when groups of fraternity and sorority members wanted to tie a philanthropic element to their Greek organizations. After several years of raising money through small scale dance marathons and other fundraising events, THON eventually partnered with Four Diamonds, an organization whose mission is to “conquer childhood cancer by assisting children and their families through superior care, comprehensive support and innovative research,” according to the Four Diamonds website. 

While THON is a one-of-a-kind organization in and of itself, the students who head up THON’s fundraising and other efforts supporting kids and families battling childhood cancer are where THON shines the most. Each member of the Executive Committee has unique passions and motivations behind their work with THON.

Campus Causes is currently entering its third year partnering with THON to help the organization maximize their fundraising efforts by integrating our shop-to-raise platform. To celebrate three years of continued partnership, our team at Campus Causes sat down for a chat with four of this year’s executive committee members to learn more about them and get excited about what’s ahead for THON this year.

Meet (some of) the THON Team

Regina Duesler, this year’s Executive Director and a fifth-year student at Penn State, has served THON as a finance committee member, finance captain, finance director, and, this year, executive director. She started her journey with THON when a friend encouraged her to join as a freshman and continues to be involved as much as she can. Above all, she plans to be an emotional support person for others, whether it be members of the team or the families the organization supports.

In her final year at Penn State, Duesler says she is most excited to develop the organization’s outreach strategy and expand fundraising methods to be more collaborative and even more creative than they already are. 

Dan Mele, this year’s Public Relations Director and rising senior, joined THON in 2017 as a member of the hospitality committee before getting more involved with media relations and social media in the following years. He knew he wanted to be involved with an organization supporting a meaningful cause before he started at Penn State, so he was drawn to THON from the beginning.

As the PR Director, Mele is looking forward to increasing THON’s social media presence and taking full advantage of various platforms to share stories, events, and spread the word about THON’s mission. 

Becca Aloi, a rising senior and this year’s Fundraising Safety Director, didn’t really know about THON when she started at Penn State her freshman year, but has stuck with it because of the people—both her teammates leading the organization and the families THON supports. 

Aloi is most excited to use her role as Fundraising Safety Director to support organization members in their fundraising efforts as much as possible and help ensure the safety of volunteers at the same time. She wants to make sure volunteers feel empowered to try new strategies and are supported in things they try.

Olivia Galow, THON’s Communications Director and a rising senior at Penn State, started her THON journey as an organization member and moved into the communications committee shortly after, which led her to her current position as the leader of communications for the organization this year.

As the Communications Director, Galow is excited to continue working alongside inspiring individuals and improve THON’s inclusivity and diversity, which will ultimately encourage as many people as possible to get involved in the organization in some capacity.

THON: A Look Ahead

After raising an impressive $10,621,683.76 at THON 2019, this year’s executive committee is hoping to go above and beyond this year by increasing efforts to engage Penn State alumni and others not directly a part of the THON community.

The overarching goal—and consequently the theme of this year’s executive committee—is to “inspire every voice” and empower anyone to get involved with the cause.

Others on the THON team echoed this goal and have each set goals for themselves in their positions to collectively advance and evolve THON’s mission “for many years to come.” In addition to supporting organization members throughout the year, the team also wants to increase alumni engagement, empower others to think outside the box in their fundraising efforts, and grow the two “pillars” of THON: raising funds and supporting families emotionally.

THON’s biggest event by far is their annual THON Weekend, a 46-hour event where supporters dance and perform in support of the families they support. THON 2020 is set to take place from Feb. 21-23 on the Penn State campus in the Bryce Jordan Center.

In addition to THON Weekend, THON hosts a variety of fundraising events to grow the community and share the stories of families they support, like the annual THON 5K run, the 100 Days ‘Til THON Celebration, the THON Showcase, and the Closer to a Cure Celebration in March. A full list of THON events can be found here

How to Get Involved

Interested in getting involved with THON? Here are some things you can do, according to this year’s THON executive committee…

Shop on Campus Causes: Since we launched in 2017, THON has been one of our most valued partners. In addition to allowing students and alumni directly involved with THON to shop for their own organizations, families, friends, and anyone with a desire to help the cause can shop hundreds of online retailers with a percentage of purchase going to the cause.

Donate Directly: THON accepts direct donations through our online giving platform, where people can get monetarily involved in any capacity they’d like. While THON is about much more than raising funds, this is the easiest way for external folks to get involved and help the cause. You can also check out THON Nation, in order to create your own page and encourage your family and friends to get involved in THON’s mission.

Attend the Events: All THON events on the Penn State campus are open to the public, including the THON 5K, the 100 Days ‘Til THON Celebration, and even THON Weekend. If you can’t make it to Penn State to participate, check out some of the virtual events for people all over the country.

Photos courtesy of Penn State THON. 

Get Ready for Back-to-School with Campus Causes

For many students, there are just a few weeks left of summer break before it’s time to pack up and head back to campus, which means it’s time to start prepping for a new school year (new year, new you?). Whether you’re in need of a new laptop, a new school year wardrobe revamp, or some upgraded school supplies, Campus Causes can help fulfill all your back-to-school shopping needs while allowing you to support a meaningful cause on tons of campuses around the US.

To help get you ready to head back to campus in a few weeks, here are a few brands you can shop online who will donate a percentage of what you spend to any cause you choose, from Penn State THON to College Mentors for Kids to a club sports team at your university. 

Apple (Gives 1.5%): In need of a new laptop? Looking to treat yo’self (queue Parks and Recreation reference) to a new Apple Watch? Make sure you shop online and get 1.5% of your purchase donated to the cause of your choice.

HP (Gives up to 10%): Not an Apple person? No problem! There are plenty of awesome tech brands on Campus Causes to pick from, like HP, which will give up to 10% (yes, 10%!) to a meaningful cause while you get a brand new laptop or device for school. 

Target (Gives 1%): From school supplies to fashion to dorm room necessities, Target is certainly a favorite retailer among college students. Why not buy all your school essentials online and donate 1% while you’re at it. 

Chegg (Gives up to 5%): Arguably one of the most helpful tools available to shop on Campus Causes is Chegg, an online platform with academic resources for students, from homework help to tutoring to textbook rentals. Signing up for a membership through Campus Causes will also donate a percentage to a meaningful cause: win-win! 

Nike (Gives 10%): College students are pretty notorious for setting lofty exercise goals in new school years, but sometimes school and life takes priority and time away from a workout. Maybe some fresh workout gear will be just the motivation you need to get to the gym more often this year. Grab yourself a new pair of running shoes or a sweet t-shirt and donate 10% to the cause of your choice.

In addition to these five brands, Campus Causes partners with hundreds of brands to help college students reach their fundraising goals and support meaningful causes. Check out our complete list of participating brands and start shopping today. 

What is Campus Causes?

Since its initial launch in 2017, Newbridge Marketing Group’s Campus Causes has supported college students across the country by giving them a platform to raise money through donations and shopping. Unique from other popular fundraising platforms, CampusCauses.com, powered by FlipGive, the originator of “shop-to-raise” fundraising, allows supporters to shop brands, retailers, and restaurants online and in-store such as Apple, Nike, Target, Starbucks, Chipotle and hundreds more. Each transaction gives a percentage to a good cause headed by college students across the country.

When the virtual “doors” to Campus Causes first opened in 2017, Steve Schubert had a pretty good idea of how the platform would impact those who used it, especially college students. As the Co-Founder and Partner of Newbridge, Schubert had been working in the collegiate marketing business – helping brands connect with students – for 13 years when Campus Causes launched, so he already knew the target market fairly well. Nonetheless, one of the greatest parts of Campus Causes was the introduction to student organizations that he didn’t know existed. 

“It was great to be inspired by the people we met and the organizations that found us when we launched, whether it be a philanthropic group or a sports team,” Schubert said. “It made me want to go back to college.”

Something that really added to the excitement of launching Campus Causes for Newbridge was the partnership with THON, an organization started by students at Penn State and the largest student-led fundraising group in the world. THON has been using Campus Causes to raise funds since our launch, and other dance marathons and student organizations have followed suit. THON has a special place in the Campus Causes story. We were excited to have been able to do our part to support the organization’s total raise of over $10 million in 2019 and are looking forward to helping them reach their funding goals in 2020.

“Campus Causes has been an incredible partner to THON through student engagement, fundraising, and brand awareness,” said Regina Duesler, the 2019-20 Director of THON. “With hundreds of Penn State students enrolled in Campus Causes over the years, we have given student organizations a platform to shop their favorite brands, while supporting a cause they are passionate about.”

While the core of the platform is to help dance marathons, club sports teams, and other campus organizations raise money, Campus Causes also takes an integral role through social media and blogs that allow students to share their inspiring stories. Through the philosophy of “sharing the good,” we love to shine a spotlight on college students doing something they’re passionate about and helping others in a meaningful way. 

“We’re really tuned into student lifestyles, and we see this as something that not only provides an organic way for students to raise funds, but it also amplifies their voices and their stories,” Schubert said. “The press tends to pick up on a lot of negativity. Negative news sometimes carries the day, so Campus Causes is an opportunity to share the good. We welcome all to follow us on social media and send us some of the cool things your organization is doing.”

Director of Campus Causes Mark Marovich joined the team specifically for this special platform and really wanted to continue spreading the shop-to-raise concept, which he had been passionate about since his days working at FlipGive.

“What sealed the deal was the directive to bring this new type of fundraising to a digitally native generation whose DNA touts giving back and one who holds a collective expectation that brands need to play a part in this bettering of tomorrow,” Marovich said. “The ability to shop with hundreds of brands online and in-store to raise money is our secret sauce. Combining this with easy donations gives us an edge”.

So how does shop-to-raise + donations fundraising work? Student groups create a campaign for their cause and share it with friends, families, alumni, and other members of their campus communities. From there, anyone can shop or donate directly all year long to help college students reach their fundraising goals. 

So whether you’re a student leader looking for a new way to fundraise or collect donations for your cause or are looking for a unique way to support college students doing meaningful things, Campus Causes is the place to be.

You can learn more and start raising by visiting campuscauses.com.

Five acts of kindness to “share the good” at any time

At Campus Causes, we like to always think about “sharing the good” in any way we can. Whether it be a motivational quote, a shout out to some college students doing something amazing in their community, and, most importantly, providing a platform to let anyone help meaningful causes. While we love sharing the good in these ways, we think it’s important for everyone to be sharing the good in their everyday lives. In that spirit, here are five nice, unexpected things you can do for someone at any time.

Pay it forward at your favorite coffee shop

Offer to purchase coffee for the person behind you in line or in the drive thru. This can not only shine a bright spot on someone’s day, but it only costs a few dollars and is completely unexpected.

Put up some positive sticky notes

Write a note of appreciation and stick it on your roommate’s door or put some of your favorite motivational quotes on stickies throughout your office. This is an unexpected way to switch up the day-to-day grind and maybe even make someone smile while you’re at it.

Bake cookies for your roommate or neighbor

Not only are cookies delicious and easy to make, but who doesn’t love a sweet treat to liven up their day? This simple and unexpected act can bring a whole lot of sweetness to someone close to you.

Recognize a coworker for a job well done

Sometimes, we just need a little extra affirmation to let us know we are doing something right in our jobs or day-to-day lives. Taking five minutes to thank a coworker for helping you with a project or rocking a presentation at a business meeting can seriously put a smile on someone’s face and motivate them to keep it up.

Share something cute or funny on your social media

Social media these days is nearly at full capacity with information, photos, and news. Why not unexpectedly change up someone’s feed by sharing a cute video of a dog or some jokes that made you laugh. They will probably thank you for it.

If everyone went out of their way to do one nice thing for someone each day, we think the world would be a much better place.