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Grassroots fundraising: “It’s about you and me and all of us”

As the two winners of the March grassroots fundraising challenge, Kayla and Loretta will soon get a phone call from President Obama. After pitching in to help the campaign reach a major fundraising goal, Kayla and Loretta asked their friends and family to do the same. Kayla got the most contributions to her grassroots fundraising page, and Loretta was selected from a pool of participants who got at least 10 contributions.

The two have never met, but Kayla, a political science major at Howard University, and Loretta, a high school counselor in Nevada, have the same issue on their minds for this election:

“College is the main thing,” Kayla says. “I’m fortunate that my family is pretty stable now, but my mom raised me by herself and she was laid off, so if it weren’t for the Pell Grants that the President passed, I probably wouldn’t have made it to college in the first place. With a lot of the cuts that are being proposed, it’s going to affect kids like me.”

“As a high school counselor, it’s about Pell Grants,” Loretta says. “A lot of my students never thought they could afford to go to college, maybe no one in their family has been to college. So to hear them say, ‘Mrs. Harper, I can go to college now,’ after they get a Pell Grant… it really means a lot to me.”

Kayla reached out to family and friends to get over 100 contributions to her grassroots fundraising page. One of them was a first-time donor:

“My mom doesn’t consider herself a very political person, and she’s never donated to any political campaign,” Kayla says. “But I told her, ‘This election is going to be very difficult with all of the outside money, so we’re really going to need a lot of grassroots support to fight back.’ And so she made her first donation to my page.”

Loretta turned the grassroots fundraising challenge into a volunteer team effort.

“I heard how the Republicans were going to outspend us on this campaign, and I got so fired up, and thought, I’m going to start my [grassroots] fundraising page again!” Loretta says. “So I told my team members we should set a goal to raise $500 within the next few days, and everyone started donating bit by bit. And when we got on the leaderboard I got so excited, so I called my team members and said, ‘We can do it! If I win the challenge, I’ll have a drawing and one of you will win the call from the President.' Let me tell you—they were really pumped up.

“I tell them, ‘Whatever motivates you, whether it’s Pell Grants, or health care, or seeing the troops come home from Iraq, it’s all about you and me and all of us. That’s why we’ve got to make these small donations. That’s why we’ve got to fight hard and grassroots organize.’”

What motivates you? Join Kayla and Loretta by starting your own grassroots fundraising page.

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