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Mercy Corps personal fundraising pages generate big results for Haiti earthquake response

Haiti, January 22, 2010

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Portland OR - Thousands of people worldwide are now participating in Mercy Corps’ Personal Fundraising Pages (PFPs) initiative to assist the global relief and development agency’s efforts to meet needs in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake. PFPs allow donors to bring their family and friends into personalized, online giving campaigns.

PFPs have been a very successful source of fundraising for Mercy Corps’ earthquake response. Since last week’s quake, the agency has raised more than $500,000 from PFPs, which accounts for more than 10 percent of Mercy Corps’ $7.1 million in private US fundraising, the majority coming via online donations.

“PFPs take advantage of people’s confidence with social media such as Facebook and Twitter and their desire to do as much as they can to help deal with a disaster of unimaginable proportions,” said Vice President of Marketing and Communications Jeremy Barnicle. “It’s been tremendously effective to have dedicated donors appealing directly to their social circles.”

Mercy Corps’ approach involves an easy three-step online tool that allows anyone to create their own fundraising page on the www.mercycorps.org site. People create an account, name their campaign, write a message about their efforts and set a fundraising goal. Then, they can use the Mercy Corps Facebook, Twitter and email tools to spread the word about their campaign. Mercy Corps tracks PFP total fundraising, creating a friendly competition among online fundraisers.

Barnicle notes the PFPs have attracted some colorful and public personalities to Mercy Corps’giving circles. “We’re very pleased to have people such as best selling author Mitch Albom (“Tuesdays with Morrie”); three-time Olympic ice hockey medalist Angela Ruggiero; and Toronto Blue Jays pitcher and author (“The Bullpen Gospels”) Dirk Hayhurst choose to help drive this new initiative”.

PFP contributions currently are helping Mercy Corps provide relief and prepare for long-term recovery in Haiti. The agency is focused on providing survivors with: access to clean water, health and sanitation services; post trauma assistance for children; as well as job creation through some form of cash-for-work to pay survivors a daily wage to clear debris, restore buildings and repair basic infrastructure.

Go to www.mercycorps.org/fundraising to see how personal fundraisers are getting friends, family and co-workers involved. Mercy Corps communications team members can help you with information about successful PFP efforts and the people involved in your area.

HOW TO HELP:
Mercy Corps
Haiti Earthquake Fund
Dept NR
PO Box 2669
Portland, OR 97208
www.mercycorps.org
1-888-256-1900