A quick word about our 2018 fundraiser….

Every year, our main fundraiser for Heifer International is the Big One. We spend a lot of time planning and organizing it, and while we’ve always been able to work closely with Heifer, this year was special. We were able to join Heifer in Malawi to meet literal villages full of people whose lives have been dramatically improved by the knowledge and support Heifer provides.

It was the most amazing experience!

We met awesome people, learned a ton, ate some delicious food (we do like us some food), and came home more excited than ever to get started on the fundraiser. But we had to make some changes, and change is scary.

Even though Nate made us cookies, which weren’t scary, they were delicious!

We decided to limit the fundraiser to two weeks, no extensions, so that we could plan exactly what to talk about every day. We launched every single auction and lottery item entry on the very first day so y’all could see all the cool stuff at once. We presented our stories and content right on our home page, in the form of a daily magazine called the Daily Builder (because that title made Maria smile every time). And we did a ridiculous amount of behind-the-scenes tweaking, all so that the fundraiser would nearly run itself, giving us more time to do what we’ve always wanted: share more stories with you.

We sat on pins and needles watching the fundraiser total rise, refreshing our home page constantly…

…daring to hope as we got close to our goal…

And in just two weeks, we raised over a million dollars. $1,143,832, to be exact.

Of course, even when we first launched we were immediately blown over by the outpouring of enthusiastic support. It seemed like everyone was spreading the word about our shorter timeline, telling friends, family, and the internet at large that they only had two weeks to get on board. A bunch of you made your own content, shared your own stories, and helped each other find the the information they were looking for–teams, streams, games, videos, AMAs. There was a lot going on during those two weeks, and we had a lot of help directing traffic, so thank you everyone who pitched in above and beyond a monetary donation!

And now the work begins.

At the moment, we’re cleaning up spreadsheets, consolidating multiple donations, assembling prizes, and getting everyone’s information together. We’ll be doing the lottery draw soon, and once prizes start going out the door we’ll post photos and updates here, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Bag is almost literally bursting with anticipation!

This is the fun part, now! We get to tackle lottery fulfillment as a team, get a little slap-happy at the packing table, and wait eagerly for folks to post photos of their spoils on social media!

While we get names pulled and information verified, thank you all one more time for joining us for our 10th annual fundraiser for Heifer International! You’re the best!