A Guide to Dominating the Newman's Own Crowdrise Challenge

The Challenge 411

  • The Challenge launches on Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 at 12pm ET and runs through Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018 at 1:59:59pm ET. 
  • The organization that raises the most during the Challenge wins $150,000. There are also prizes for 2nd-10th place, but we're not concerned with those.
  • On #GivingTuesday, November 28th, the organization that raises the most online wins $50,000. 
  • There will also be an additional $115,000 given away through weekly Bonus Challenges. 
  • Only donations made through the Crowdrise platform will count towards the Challenges (e.g. offline donations or checks, while much appreciated, will not count).
  • Link to the challenge and to set up your team: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/experience-camps


Weekly Challenges

BONUS CHALLENGE #1 - Nov 21-Nov 28

For every $500 raised online by your organization, you will be entered for a chance to win $2,500. There will be 1 winner each day for a total of 8 winners.

Starts November 21st at 12pm ET and ends November 28th at 11:59:59pm ET.


The top 3 organizations to raise the most online on #GivingTuesday will each win a cash prize. First place wins $50,000, 2nd place wins $25,000, and 3rd place wins $10,000.

Starts November 28th at 12am ET and ends November 28th at 11:59:59pm ET.

BONUS CHALLENGE #2 - Nov 29-Dec 5

The top 10 organizations that raise the most online this week will each win $2,500.

Starts November 29th at 12am ET and ends December 5th at 1:59:59pm ET.

BONUS CHALLENGE #3 - Dec 5-Dec 12

Every organization that raises at least $1,000 online this week will be entered to win $2,500 and there will be 2 winners. And, every organization that raises at least $5,000 online this week will be entered to win $5,000 and there will be 1 winner.

Also, the 3 organizations that have the greatest number of unique donors during this time period will win one of the following:

  • Prize One: A full-page spread in Newsweek for one week in 2018
  • Prize Two: Digital billboard space across the US for four weeks in 2018
  • Prize Three: Global digital banner ads on the web for four weeks in 2018

Starts December 5th at 2pm ET and ends December 12th at 1:59:59pm ET.

BONUS CHALLENGE #4 - Dec 12-Dec 19

The organization that raises the most online this week will win $10,000. The organization that raises the 2nd most online this week will win $5,000.

Starts December 12th at 2pm ET and ends December 19th at 1:59:59pm ET.

BONUS CHALLENGE #5 - Dec 19-Dec 26

The 4 organizations with the most active team members this week will each win $5,000.

Starts December 19th at 2pm ET and ends December 26th at 1:59:59pm ET.

BONUS CHALLENGE #6 - Dec 26-Jan 3

Every organization that raises at least $1,000 online this week will be entered to win $2,500.

Starts December 26th at 2pm ET and ends January 3rd at 1:59:59pm ET.


The organization that raises the most online today will win $10,000. And, the organization to get the most donations online from unique donors today will win $10,000.

Starts December 31st at 12am ET and ends December 31st at 11:59:59pm ET.



  • Set your fundraising goal. Set it high. People rise to a challenge. 
  • Write an email that tells your story and why you're raising money for ExCamps. This should be a little bit personal because your friends will want to support YOU. Remember to ASK them to donate. That's the whole point, right?

  • Go to town on social media. Share your story, your link, and your photos and then share them again. And again. Record a video of yourself making a personal appeal about why this is important to you. Get creative with it...sing it, rap it, choreograph a dance to it!
  • Send that email to everyone you know. Remember...you're not just asking for money. You're giving people the chance to support something really important. People like to do good things. Social media is great too, but an email is 10 times more likely to get a donation. Remember to include the link to your page.
  • It costs $1,000 to send a camper to camp for a week. Just so you know. Or in case you want to include that.

Fast facts

  • Experience Camps are FREE, one-week camps for boys and girls, ages 9-16, who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver. It's a place where all kids can feel normal and nobody has to feel alone, because everyone there understands what it's like to lose someone important.
  • We started in 2009 with 27 campers in Maine, and this summer we had 450 campers in Maine, New York, California, and Georgia.
  • Next year, we're opening a girls' program in Maine at Camp Somerset. In 2019, we'll open a 5th location in the midwest.
  • Last summer, we had campers from 25 different states.
  • We are competing for $500K in prizes through the Newman's Own Foundation Crowdrise Challenge. Last year, we raised $415K in Revlon's Crowdrise Challenge and won an additional $40K in bonus prizes through weekly challenges. 




You know what they say about pictures...

People love to see where their money is going. If you have photos of you with campers or your campers from our Facebook page, definitely use them. If you don't, you can use any of these. It's ok if you don't know the kids. These are the faces of Experience Camps and they represent what we do. 

Sample Emails

Dear Friends and Family,

<Insert your story here. This is the part that gets everyone's attention. It's the reason they want to support YOU in this campaign. "Last year i volunteered at...", "When I was 12, my mom died...", etc.> 

Childhood grief is confusing, lonely, and, without support, can be very detrimental to a child's future. Our camps are giving these boys and girls the opportunity to form bonds that they cannot form at home. Our campers build confidence, form deep connections with other kids who get it, and learn to see a positive vision for their futures. Our camps are 100% free to all who attend and we are expanding rapidly to meet the growing demand. We started with 27 campers in 2009, had 450 campers last summer, and expect 520 next summer. I'm asking for your support to ensure that we never have to turn away a grieving child who needs our help.

Experience Camps is competing in an online fundraiser against hundreds of other non-profits. There is $500K in prizes up for grabs and we think we have a good chance of winning a whole bunch of it! But we need each and every person to participate.

To donate, it takes two minutes - please follow this link: <insert your link>

  • $5,000 invests in a camper's growth over 5 years at camp
  • $1,000 sends a kid to camp for a week
  • $500 gives a camp of kids a trip to the ice cream shop
  • $100 pays for s'mores for a campfire

**Anything that you can give is deeply appreciated.**

Thank you for caring about these kids and for recognizing the impact this program has on them and on me.

With deep appreciation,

<your name>]



Hey friends!

Just a quick update on my team progress for the Experience Camps Crowdrise Challenge:

  • So far, we've raised $323,000 and won $12,500 in bonus prizes, thanks to 1,775 generous donors! If you were one of those donors, thank you so much for being part of this!! 
  • We still have a ways to go to meet our goal of raising $500,000 and winning the remaining bonus challenges. 
  • This week, $10,000 will go to the team that raises the most online. If you've been meaning to donate, this would be a great time to do that!

To make a donation and help me reach my goal of <insert your goal here>, please click here: <insert your team page link>

If you're still not sure what this is all about, check out my friend, Logan, talking about camp. Logan started as a camper when he was 12 years old and now he's a counselor, paying it forward to other kids who know what it's like to lose someone important to them. It's pretty powerful and this organization is deeply meaningful to me and everyone involved. Please consider supporting an incredible cause.

<your name>


Advice from Past Dominators

Wiley Cerilli

Q: What was the strategy that led to your Crowdrise domination?

A: I do a few things...

  • I email people individually and reference what they donated last year and ask for the same or more. 
  • I set goals for my donors. For example, $1,000 sends a kid to camp. $500 pays for ice cream at Giffords, etc.
  • I send a follow up email each week. 
  • I set my goal higher than I expect to reach so people feel bad that I'm not reaching my goal and donate more.
  • I thank and tag my donors in a weekly Facebook post.
  • For the emails, take time to write one sentence at the beginning of the email that is personal to the person you are writing to, and then one sentence at the end, even if it is just referring to the first sentence. This makes it feel more personal and people will take it more seriously. 
  • MAKE SURE to put a picture of you and your bunk or kids in the email. This is huge. 

Sunil Arora

Q: What was the strategy that lead to your Crowdrise domination?

A: Here's my strategy:

  • I spend a lot of time on the original email discussing the cause, my connection to it, and some specifics of my experience at camp 
  • I send a combination of personal/group emails
  • I highlight the $1,000 cost to send a kid to camp 
  • I use follow up emails as an opportunity to share different things (Today show video, blog post I will soon write, etc.) to give further insight on camp is and what it means to all of us without overloading people with information 
  • I wait for a few weeks to incorporate the specifics of the fundraising challenge in follow up emails because it builds greater urgency towards the middle/end
  • I send personal thank you emails to everyone who donates and handwritten notes to really big donors 

Danny Goldberg

Q: What words of advice do you have for this year's rising stars?

A: Just keep being that annoying friend and ask away. The worst thing someone says is No and even then it's not a big deal. This is an amazing and life-changing organization, and people will get behind you if you can show that!