Two local business owners have raised almost $50,000 for Red Cross hurricane relief in less than three days using their own skills and a crowd-funding website.
Bret Morgan and Danny Croak, co-founders of Bandsonabudget, launched a site, restoretheshore.cowerking.com, to sell T-shirts and hoodies in exchange for donations, at around 7 p.m. Thursday night. They’d been working on the concept since Wednesday. Morgan got the idea on Tuesday night, he said. Greg Edgerton of Humble Humans in Red Bank provided the T-shirt design.
Morgan launched the site on Thursday night, went out to dinner, came back and saw that $2,000 in donations had already been received.
During our interview with Morgan last night, they’d just surpassed their initial $25,000 fundraising goal. Morgan said he’d be setting a new goal of $50,000. This morning, they’re up to $47,000.
To get the word out initially, on Friday morning, Morgan started to reach out to the New Jersey and New York City tech communities to pitch in, as well as his own business’s customers. They’ve been raising about $1,000 per hour ever since.
Morgan and Croak built the site on an open-source platform called Selfstarter. They decided to sell T-shirts because as a custom apparel company, Bandsonabudget is familiar with printing and shipping large quantities of orders quickly.
“We’ve essentially been doing this since 2006 and have a very streamlined process for handling large volumes of orders — essentially we’re just leveraging those systems to raise some money for the relief efforts,” Morgan said yesterday.
They’re located on Mattison Avenue in Asbury Park, but Morgan has been working from Haddon Township, where he has electricity.
Morgan and Croak have seen a lot of orders from New Jersey and throughout the East Coast, as well as California, Texas, Arizona, Florida and even the United Kingdom.
They chose to donate proceeds to the Red Cross because they feel they have the ability to have the most short-term impact.
“They’ve been on the ground and mobilized since before the storm and they’ll be here long after,” Morgan said.
They’ve also considered changing recipients at some point and donating to a different organization if they can find another worthy one, but that’s only an idea at this point.