Join the WeLoveMI Campaign and benefit from community fundraising!
On Wednesday, April 15, the Mercer Island Community Fund (MICF) will launch WeLoveMI, a new community-wide effort to provide relief during the COVID-19 emergency. WeLoveMI makes it easy for community members to directly support local organizations that have been impacted and that help community members who are most in need during this difficult time.
Keep reading to learn more about WeLoveMI and how your local business or nonprofit can get involved.
This fundraising and outreach campaign aims to ensure that Mercer Island remains a place where community members are cared for, the business district is vibrant, schools deliver top-notch education, and nonprofits offer services and programs that support residents and bring the community together. MICF collaborated with a community coalition including leaders and advocates from Mercer Island Youth and Family Services, Mercer Island Schools Foundation, Mercer Island Boys and Girls Club, the Stroum Jewish Community Center, and the Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce to develop this campaign.
WeLoveMI for Local Businesses
MICF and the Chamber know that local businesses have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 emergency, so WeLoveMI is here to help Island businesses, too!
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How does it work?
WeLoveMI leverages the trusted online fundraising platform GoFundMe. Start a fundraiser for free, and WeLoveMI will list your GoFundMe page on www.welovemi.org. There, community members can find all local business fundraisers in one place and donate to whichever businesses they choose.
As a bonus, GoFundMe is helping small businesses affected by COVID-19 emergency through its Small Business Relief Initiative. Raise $500 via your GoFundMe fundraiser, and you could receive a matching grant of $500 from GoFundMe.org. Click here for more information about this initiative.
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What’s in it for my business?
- A platform to tell supporters your COVID-19 story – WeLoveMI offers a central way to connect community members and other audiences with your business and share how you and your employees have been impacted by this emergency.
- Extensive promotion and outreach – WeLoveMI leverages the networks of MICF, the Chamber, and the City of Mercer Island to raise awareness for your business and boost support. Marketing efforts will include e-mail campaigns, press coverage, signage, flyers, social media marketing, and print & digital advertising.
- Community-wide support and collaboration – Local businesses are part of the Heart & Soul of Mercer Island. Now is the time to join together to preserve the Island’s vibrant economic ecosystem. Be part of that effort through WeLoveMI!
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It's easy for businesses to participate!
All you have to do is set up your GoFundMe fundraiser and submit your information to WeLoveMI.
Launch your GoFundMe fundraiser for COVID-19 relief.
- Visit www.GoFundMe.com and click “Start a GoFundMe.”
- On your fundraising page, make sure to include the following:
- In your fundraiser title, include your business name and “COVID-19.” Ex. Support Mercer Island Florist during the COVID-19 Emergency or Help Auto Spa Employees during the COVID-19 Shutdown
- In the fundraiser description, tell your business’s COVID-19 story. How have you been impacted? How have your employees been affected? How can supporters best help your Island business during this difficult time? It also helps to share how you will use the funds; examples could include employee salaries and benefits, rent, and utilities.
- Also add #SmallBusinessRelief to your fundraiser story. This will help you pursue the matching $500 grant from the Small Business Relief Initiative and Fund.
- Set your fundraising goal. Choose a goal that meets your needs. And don’t worry if you exceed it! Your fundraiser will stay open to continue receiving donations until you close it. You can also change your fundraising goal at any time.
- Confirm your small business with GoFundMe to be eligible for the $500 matching grant. Fill out this form to confirm your business.
- Link your GoFundMe campaign with your bank account to ensure you receive your funds quickly.
- MICF and the Chamber are not equipped to provide tax advice for your fundraiser, so make sure you talk with your accountant to better understand how GoFundMe fundraising works for your business.
- Note that GoFundMe no longer charges platform fees, but payment processors like WePay and PayPal charge recipients a standard processing fee (2.9% + $.30 per transaction). Learn more about these fees here.
Submit your WeLoveMI Application for Businesses via this Google Form.
Once you launch your GoFundMe fundraiser, make sure MICF adds your information to www.welovemi.org! To be listed on the campaign page, fill out this brief Google form. Once you submit your information via the Google form, your fundraiser will be included in all WeLoveMI promotion and outreach.
Start your GoFundMe fundraiser and submit information to WeLoveMI as soon as possible!
WeLoveMI launches this Wednesday, April 15, so set up your GoFundMe fundraiser and complete the Google form ASAP! To make sure you are included in the campaign launch this week, please submit your information by Monday, April 13, at noon. If you can’t make that deadline, though, don’t worry – MICF and the Chamber will continue to add businesses to the campaign as GoFundMe fundraisers go live, so you can still take part in this community-wide effort.
WeLoveMI for Nonprofits
To be included in WeLoveMI, nonprofits must meet the following criteria:
- Have 501(c)(3) status
- Primarily serve the Mercer Island community
- Experienced decreased revenue (donations) and/or increased costs resulting from the COVID-19 emergency
- Be equipped to receive online donations
Eligible organizations should submit their information via this Google form.
If your organization is not set up to receive online donations but you meet the first three criteria, you may be eligible to apply for a MICF grant. Contact Debbie Hanson at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
How will community members participate?
Beginning April 15, community members can visit the redesigned www.welovemi.org to support community organizations in one place. To support local businesses, community members will be able to find all GoFundMe fundraisers that have been submitted on one easy-to-navigate page. hopes to have a “rising tides raise all ships” effect by promoting all fundraisers in one locatioWeLoveMIn.
MICF collaborated with Mercer Trade, Inc., a student-run business through the International Entrepreneurship class at Mercer Island High School, to design a full marketing campaign. Students have been working from home during what would have been their spring break to create the website as well as campaign branding, signage, and social media plans. Look for this extensive community outreach kicking off on Wednesday!