Tarek El-Messidi is a master online fundraiser. If you’ve been paying close attention to LaunchGood, you’ll notice his CelebrateMercy-led crowdfunding campaigns consistently raise over $100,000 — whether it’s for themselves (e.g. annual Giving Tuesday campaign) or others through living their mission (e.g. Rebuilding Desecrated Jewish Cemeteries).


In fact, to date CelebrateMercy has raised or helped raise over $4 million USD! Speak to one of our Fundraising Specialists if you have a campaign in mind.

The obvious reasons: team, speed, storytelling, credibility

There are several obvious (but not always easily replicable) reasons why Tarek has been so successful, and we’ve talked about many of these in other blog posts:

  • Team — Tarek has an incredible, dedicated team he works with + army of volunteers
  • Speed — Tarek knows every minute can matter, and is quick to mobilize resources and capitalize on momentum
  • Storytelling — It’s not the best stories that get supported, but the best-told stories.
  • Credibility — Through his selfless work over decades, Tarek has earned the trust and respect of thousands at this point, from Imams across the world to Jack Dorsey, Founder of Twitter.

Beyond the obvious: unique link tracking 🤫

Beyond those obvious reasons, there lies a secret with Tarek’s success that anyone can access: leveraging LaunchGood’s unique source tracking & insights page.

This is the unique link share section on every campaign
CelebrateMercy’s call to supporters for help

For a while, LaunchGood has had the ability to track when users share a campaign and the donations made from that.

It seemed technical, so we didn’t bother sharing it with campaign creators.

Boy, was that silly. 🤦‍♂️

Tarek helped us realize this was actually a powerful tool campaign creators like him could use in so many ways. And when we looked closer, we found user sharing generated millions in donations!

So at the end of 2019, we updated our INSIGHTS tab on campaigns to show where donations were coming from. And then Tarek leveraged it in a very clever way to help him win 1st place in our Giving Tuesday contest and win a $20,000 boost to his campaign.

Engaging your core fans with link tracking

Tarek, hoping to win our $20,000 prize for Most Donors on Giving Tuesday, arranged a first-of-its-kind contest for CelebrateMercy’s core fans.

Anyone who could get at least 10 friends & family to donate to their LaunchGood campaign would be entered in a raffle to win a free Umrah trip with CelebrateMercy.

He then taught them exactly how to get involved:

  1. Make sure they are logged in to LaunchGood

2. Go to the LaunchGood campaign

3. Click in the little share area and copy your link and/or share over social media

4. Make sure the link ends with a unique “?src=12345” where 12345 = their user ID on LaunchGood (fun fact: your user ID = which number user you were in the system)

5. When a friend donates using your unique link, you’ll get an email confirmation.

Tracking user referrals: let the fun begin!

Using the INSIGHTS tab of his LaunchGood campaign, Tarek was able to track users and see who reached the threshold of 10 donors to earn a spot in the Umrah giveaway.

If they were at 9, he could share with them how close they were and entice them to get 1 more donor.

Ultimately, Tarek was able to generate 1,333 user-referred donations in just 24 hours!

Ironically, he came in 2nd to Pilgrim UK for Most Donors by just 2 donors. But a funny thing happens when you get 1,000+ donors — you get a lot of money too! So he ended up accidentally winning our other $20,000 prize for Most Funds Raised.

And 3 blessed fans won a free Umrah trip with CelebrateMercy 😇

Beyond just user referrals: keep track of EVERYTHING

Good news for all the data-geeky people out there: we intentionally made this system very easy to manipulate.

Let’s say you want to track more than just user referrals. Maybe you’re about to send your April Newsletter blast, and would like to track how many donations that drives.


Just take your unique link, and swap out the ID # for anything you want.

Some examples:

Hoping Mo Salah will start a LaunchGood campaign one day! AMEEEEEEN!

Better insights ➡️ better fundraising

As far as insights go, this isn’t rocket science — but it can be really helpful in getting you information as to what’s working, and what’s not.

And the more you know, the smarter and more efficient you can be with your fundraising.

There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy to fundraising. Some people thrive on Instagram, others on Facebook, others with just old fashioned phone calls.

We’ve seen celebrities raise hundreds of thousands, but also a boomer, working-class immigrant community.

What’s best for you?

Try it all — and track it.

Then double down on what’s working.

And like Tarek, don’t be afraid to be creative and try something new!

If you'd like to speak to a Fundraising Specialist, just click here and we'll help you with anything you might need!

Chris Blauvelt is the CEO & founder of LaunchGood.com, a passionate Muslim American entrepreneur committed to building up the global Muslim community to reach its full potential.