About Fund the First

Leadership Team

ROBERT GARLAND
FOUNDER & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

With a mission to provide a trustworthy crowdfunding platform for those who serve across the nation, Robert and his team at Fundthefirst.com have helped countless people raise millions of dollars through numerous fundraising causes.

But, the inspiration for Fundthefirst.com came from a personal place. When Robert's close friend was facing mounting medical expenses related to his daughter's rare illness, he set out to help and researched the best ways to raise money. It was then that he realized his brothers and sisters in blue were skeptical of existing crowdfunding sites, leading him to make the decision to build a better platform that all could trust.

Before founding Fundthefirst.com, Robert was a decorated Detective with the New York City Police Department, specializing in complex narcotics investigations. During his 14 years in law enforcement, he worked in various roles, including joint interagency operations with the Department of Homeland Security and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Well-respected in his field, he also served as an expert witness to the Office of Special Narcotics New York.

Robert's accomplishments go beyond his career in law enforcement. He is a philanthropist, entrepreneur, and former Division I baseball player who attended the New York Institute of Technology. When he's not helping those in need, he can be found spending time with his three children, volunteering as a baseball coach, and serving on the board of numerous business and non-profit organizations. Robert continues to be a fixture in his local community, using his platform to make a difference.

MICHAEL LALUNA
CO-FOUNDER & CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Born and raised on Long Island, Michael developed a passion for baseball at a young age. He played on his high school team and later attended New York Institute of Technology where he was a standout player for their Division I program. After graduating, he was signed by the Detroit Tigers and played professionally for several years before deciding to retire from the sport to pursue other interests.

Since retiring from professional baseball, Michael has been focused on his career in finance. He is a licensed CPA and runs his own accounting firm where he helps businesses and individuals with their tax and financial planning needs. In addition to his work as a CPA, Michael is also the Chief Financial Officer of Fundthefirst.com, a crowdfunding platform that helps people raise money for various causes.

In his free time, Michael is devoted to attributing his expertise to various sources. He is the co-founder of Robosport Technologies, a company that uses robotics to help baseball players. He is also a father of two children and enjoys spending time with his family and playing golf in his spare time.

Platform Statistics

$11,180,276
Raised in total donations
80,379
Unique Donors
9,027
Registered Users
838
Fundraisers Launched

Fund the First Launched on July 4th, 2020

User Stats By Group

First Responders

First Responders

3,193

Military

Military

603

Law Enforcement

Law Enforcement

349

Nurses

Nurses

85

Medical Providers

Medical Providers

104

Teachers

Teachers

84

All Others

All Others

1,673

Widows/Widowers

Widows/Widowers

8

Retirees

Retirees

10

Standard Users

Standard Users

3,041

User Stats By Badge

Bronze: Donate at least $100 to earn this badge.

Bronze

1,881

Silver: Donate at least $500 to earn this badge.

Silver

184

Gold: Donate at least $1000 to earn this badge.

Gold

84

Platinum: Donate at least $2,500 to earn this badge.

Platinum

7

Diamond: Donate at least $5,000 to earn this badge.

Diamond

10

Helpful Tips:

4 Easy Ways to Build a Successful Crowdfunding Fundraiser
Here at Fund the First, we are in the business of supporting first responders, military, and medical professionals. Let’s get started on building your successful crowdfunding fundraiser. We want YOU and your crowdfunding fundraiser to be as successful as possible, while simultaneously building a community of support. No matter where you are in the fundraising process, these tips and tricks from our experienced Fund the First team are for you!
Tell your Story

From the title and description to the photos and videos, conveying the unique story behind your fundraiser is integral in your success. The first aspect of your campaign, the title, should include the beneficiary and an accurate synopsis of your cause. The best way to engage viewers into potential donors is to explain your story in a way that is easy to both connect with and skim. It is important to answer basic who, what, when, where, and why questions with authenticity. When answering these questions, highlight details that are most inspiring. Ensuring cohesiveness from the top to bottom of your campaign is the best way to draw in more eyes. Bottom-line, your story has the potential to make an impact!

Quick Tips:

  • On average, the most successful campaign descriptions contain 300 to 500 words
  • Campaigns with personal videos raise 105% more than campaigns without them
  • Adding personal information to your campaign could get you 79% more backers
Set your Goals Strategically

Now that you have created the content of your fundraiser, it is time to select a goal amount of money you want to raise. We understand goal setting for your fundraising campaign may feel daunting at first. The two best tricks you can use when strategizing the amount of money you would like to raise are keeping goals achievable and updating them as needed.

Goals help to create the momentum of your campaign. By making your fundraising goals achievable and updating them as you hit milestones, both you and your supporters will continuously be encouraged through the entirety of your campaign.

Quick Tips:

  • Update your goal after reaching 20% of your target (if needed)
  • Campaigns that can gain 30% of their goal within the first week are more likely to succeed
  • 42% of funds are raised in the first and last three days of the campaign’s duration
Update your Campaign Often

Continuously posting new information regarding the progress of your fundraiser creates a community between you and your donors. Remember, no update is too small. People who share or donate to your fundraiser are investing in you and your cause! Keep them in the loop and celebrate your successes together.

Quick Tips:

  • Successful fundraisers are updated on average at least 4 times throughout their course
  • Campaign organizers raise an average of three times more if they update their supporters every 5 days
  • Campaign organizers who update their supporters raise an average of 126% more than those who don’t
Share! Share! Share!

The effort and ability to share a fundraising campaign is the separating factor between successful and unsuccessful fundraisers. Utilize social media as a promotional tool. Share your message with your friends, family, coworkers, etc. and encourage them to share with their network as well. The more eyes on your campaign, the higher the rate of success. Gaining walking ambassadors for your cause will cultivate community building and donations. The most important time period to be pushing your fundraiser is immediately after you it is created, especially within the first 48 hours.

Quick Tips:

  • 53% of email shares of crowdfunding campaigns convert into donations
  • 12% of Facebook shares convert to donations
  • 3% of Twitter shares convert to donations
  • Crowdfunding campaign organizers that shared fewer than 2 times have a 97% chance of not meeting their goal