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In her Billboard article, Erin Strecker reports on the latest charitable act by superstar Taylor Swift. Billboard covers daily music news, charts and artist features for all music genres.

Taylor Swift Donates $15,000 to Firefighter Who Saved His Own Family

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By Erin Strecker | Billboard | 6/11/15

In between sold-out 1989 World Tour shows, Taylor Swift took a moment to quietly help out a family in need.

On Saturday, Texas volunteer firefighter Aaron Van Riper responded to a 911 call regarding a car crash when he made a heartbreaking discovery: The victims in the accident were his own wife, Amber, and his son; the boy has been released from the hospital and Van Riper’s wife, Amber, remains there.

The heartbreaking incident quickly gained national attention, and a friend of the family set up a GoFundMe account for the family’s mounting medical bills. On Wednesday night, a donation for $15,000 was left for the family, which was signed “Taylor Swift.”

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Taylor Swift Donates with Style

When Houston firefighter, Aaron Van Riper responded to a car accident on a local highway, he wasn’t prepared to see his wife’s vehicle in the wreckage. Both his 7-year-old son and wife were injured and rushed to the hospital.  But while his son has been released, his wife remains in intensive care with serious injuries suffered after being ejected from the vehicle.

Taylor Swift donationThe VanRiper family does not have health insurance. To help pay the approximately $125,000 in medical bills, a family friend set up a crowdfunding page. The generous support they initially received from the community was overwhelming. And then a surprising donation showed up. Billboard has confirmed that Taylor Swift quietly gave $15,000 to the family.

Mobile Crowdfunding: Everything Has Changed

The power of crowdfunding continues to grow. As we see more and more stories of incredible generosity, small business start-ups, and interesting campaigns (potato salad, anyone?) we can’t help but realize how much attention the world is giving crowd-sourced fundraising. Over the last 4 days, 2,4222 people have contributed $105,000 to help the VanRiper family recover from the horrific accident and financial burden.

Setting up a mobile crowdfunding campaign or individual fundraiser page can be done in less than 5 minutes with no technical skills required. It can even be done from your smartphone! Once your ambassadors have their page set up, all they have to do is share the link or keyword with family, friends, co-workers and social networks. Donor data and funds are securely and directly transferred to your nonprofit.

Two (Or More) is Better Than One

Studies have shown that each person typically attracts donations from 8 of their family/friends/co-workers in their social network, and 6 of those people are introduced to your organization in this way. Taylor Swift’s generous donation is proof that sharing crowdfunding links over social media increases visibility for your cause. You never know who will contribute to your cause.

Crowdfunding is the most powerful way to leverage your current donors to increase donations and expand your donor base by almost 60%.  On average, individual nonprofit ambassadors raise about $586 for the cause just by sharing their custom text to donate keyword or link to a secure donation form. 

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