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This comprehensive guide will provide tips on how to set up and run your campaign to optimize your chances for success.
When you’re using a crowdfunding website to raise money for yourself, it might be tough to know where to start, especially if you’re going through a hard time, but we’ve got you covered.
This might seem obvious because if you have the need to fundraise, then you know what you need the funds for. That’s true, but for some people there may be more than one thing they need help with, or they may not be sure exactly what to ask for.
You need to be specific about what you need so that you can tell your story and set your goal clearly. People often use personal fundraising for medical fees, legal costs or to cover bills among many examples.
There are a lot of crowdfunding sites out there; before you get started it’s vital to choose the right site for your needs.
While most fundraising sites will not charge you anything upfront to set up your campaign, they need to be able to cover their own costs so will typically charge a percentage of the donations you raise. A lot of sites may charge a significant percentage and may even encourage ‘tipping’ which goes to the site rather than to your campaign, while sites like GoGetFunding only charge a 4% site fee and encourage donors to focus on your campaign.
Check out the reviews for any site that you are considering; looking at the experience of people who have been in a similar situation to you can be useful in making that final choice.
Does the site make it easy to involve loved ones?
If you want to involve family and friends to help you raise your funds, then you need to pick a site that is going to encourage and accommodate this. While some sites may focus on an individual rather than a team, GoGetFunding offers a feature that displays clearly who is on your fundraising team, so that they get the credit they deserve. Our site even provides the ability for loved ones to set up their own ‘support campaign’ which is like a sub campaign, raising funds for your campaign which are sent directly to your page.
Pick a site that suits your location and language
Picking a site that allows you to display your campaign in your own language as well as other languages that your donors may use, and that caters for your country specifically is vital for reaching your audience. GoGetFunding offers you the option of launching your campaign in more than one language.
Depending on the site, various payment options for your donors will be offered. Consider which sites offer mainstream payment options like PayPal and Stripe as well as card payments and what transaction fees are charged for these methods.
Does the site allow a deadline on personal campaigns?
Some fundraising sites will only allow you to set a deadline for your campaign for business campaigns or charity organizations for example, whereas GoGetFunding allows you to use deadlines for personal campaigns.
Does the site help to promote your campaign?
Some sites like GoGetFunding will actively help you promote your campaign, reaching out to media outlets to promote campaigns when appropriate as well as providing easy tools to help you self-promote such as embedded widgets which you can use on other blogs or social media to link back to your campaign.
What help is available?
With some sites there may be minimal or ‘self help’ customer service and with others you may have more assistance; ensure you choose an assistance level that suits you. With GoGetFunding not only do you have access to customer service, you also get a personal fundraising coach to help you run your campaign who you can reach anytime of the day or night!
What customization tools are available?
Look at how the site allows you to customize your own campaign page to make it reflect who you are and your story; our site allows you to choose fonts and font colours, to include pictures and videos and so much more.
What happens if you don’t reach your target?
While some sites like GoGetFunding will allow you to keep any money you have raised even if you don’t reach your target, others will send money back to donors if the target is not raised; be sure to check this out when you’re doing your research.
Once you’ve picked which site you want to use, you’re ready to go. Setting up your campaign page can be as in depth or as simple as you like.
Tell your story clearly
Be sure to explain who you are and what you are raising funds for so that the audience understands what you need help with.
Choose customization that suits you
If your page reflects who you are, not only will it be more fun, it will help those who read it to connect more with your personality.
Be sure to include a picture of yourself; while in most cases your donors will be people who know who you are, a picture of yourself helps to make a connection with those who aren’t as close to you and makes your campaign page more personal.
Including pictures which are related to your situation could be useful and emotion evoking for those who read it. They say a picture paints a thousand words and it really is true; pictures connect so much more with the audience.
If you’re ready to go a step further, including videos can connect even more with prospective donors. You could make a video talking about your situation and why you’ve turned to crowdfunding, or a video related to the situation you are in.
Include screenshots or copies of receipts and bills
If you feel comfortable, including screenshots, scans or pictures of bills or receipts in relation to what you are raising money for, can really help the audience to build that trust in you, to know exactly where their money is going and therefore feel more comfortable in donating.
Decide if you’re setting an end date
With personal fundraising some people choose to leave their campaign open if they are raising money for things like living costs for example, meaning it’s ongoing with no set end date so people can just keep donating. Others may be raising money for something more specific like legal costs, which has a timeframe and a set amount that needs to be raised, and so to increase urgency will set an end date. You can decide which option suits your needs.
Consider when you’re collecting your funds
With the right site like GoGetFunding you can decide whether you want to withdraw money out along the way, or wait until you reach your target before accessing your money.
Allow anonymous donations
Be sure to allow people to donate anonymously as many people won’t want to include their name; you want to make people as comfortable as possible making a donation.
Remember not to feel guilty
By setting up a fundraising campaign you are actively doing something to improve your life or reach a goal; this is something to be proud of and not something to feel guilty about.
Check that everything is running smoothly
Once you have set up your page, it’s a good idea to go through everything and ensure it’s all running smoothly before you start promoting your cause!
In order to raise the money you need, it’s vital that you work hard to promote your campaign. The more proactive you are, the greater the chance of success.
Share your link on social media
Crowdfunding websites will create a link that you can share to your campaign. Using social media to raise the profile of your campaign and share this link, can help you to attract donors.
Utilize email and text
Not everyone will be on social media, so ensure you use email and text to reach as many people you know as possible; sending them a message about what you are doing and attaching your link is proactive.
Use word of mouth
Don’t forget that sometimes spreading the word to those around you can spread like a ripple on the water; if you tell your closest loved ones what you are doing, they can pass on the word to those they know and so on.
Print or draw flyers
Flyers to draw attention to your cause can be very impactful.
Use collection boxes at local businesses
Asking local businesses if you can put out a collection box near their checkout area can be a great way to encourage people to donate their spare change to your cause; GoGetFunding has a feature for you to add offline donations to your campaign page so that you keep your total accurate and keep your donors up to date.
Plan fundraising events
If you’re ready to get even more proactive, planning a fundraising event can step up your game. These events raise your campaigns visibility and often when people see you being active in fundraising, they are more inclined to donate.
Get family and friends involved
You don’t have to do all your promoting yourself, don’t be afraid to ask those around you for help. Friends and family may be willing to set up fundraising events of their own on your behalf, to help spread the word and may even set up a support campaign.
Consider a blog or vlog
You could start a blog or vlog to record your online fundraising journey; this could help to get potential donors more invested in your cause and reach more people.
Once your campaign is up and running and you’ve put everything in place, there’s still work to be done to ensure that things continue running smoothly.
Continue promoting throughout
Your promotion efforts need to continue throughout your campaign to keep the profile of your cause high; don’t allow those efforts to fade away.
Use the update section
There’s an update section on GoGetFunding, which allows you to keep your audience up to date with how the campaign is going, what events you are running or even just how you are feeling; using this will make things more interactive with your donors. It will help those who have already donated and are invested in your journey to keep up with how things are going and can even encourage potential donors to get involved.
With our site you can enable the donors to comment; this allows them to be more interactive and feel more involved with what is going on.
Set up thank you messages for donors
Some sites like ours will allow you to send out automatic thank you messages to donors when they make a donation; this helps them to feel valued and gives you the chance to tell them just how much their help means to you.
Consider rewards and incentives for donors
Running a campaign can feel stressful but remember that you don’t have to work on it every moment of the day. Keep that balance in your life between being proactive and allowing yourself the time to rest. Talk to those closest to you and allow them to help you out.
Remember to ask your fundraising coach for help if you need it
If you’re using our site, remember that your fundraising coach is there to help you with anything you need.
Withdraw your money
One of the most important steps of course is withdrawing your money when your campaign is finished; remember that clearing times may apply so account for this when you are withdrawing your funds.
Ensure you have thanked everyone
Be sure you have thanked all your donors and any family and friends that have helped you out; once the campaign has ended thanking your donors once again is a nice touch.
Use the update section to explain the campaign has ended
Explain in your update section or in your campaign story that the campaign is finished and recap about how it’s gone; try to keep this upbeat where possible so that those who have gotten involved know that they are appreciated.
Include screenshots or pictures of transactions
To show the donors that their money has gone directly to you and that you have used it in the way you intended, including screenshots, scans or pictures as evidence of transactions can reassure them and bolster the trust they put in you when they donated.
Be proud of yourself
Last but certainly not least, be sure you remember to be proud of yourself! You’ve worked hard to get where you are and run your campaign, so praise yourself for that.
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