Crowdfunding to help a friend or family member is an amazing gesture. Whether they are facing unexpected medical costs, legal costs, have a business that undergoing hardship (or desperately needs to expand), are in need of money to achieve or save something very dear to them a fundraising campaign can not only be an amazing experience of love and support, it can literally be life-changing.
Although we don’t know for sure, our years of experience and feedback from fundraisers suggests that when a campaign is created for someone else, it immediately tells potential donors that someone is trying to help someone else (one of the most basic elements of humanity), this often ignites an urge to help in others.
Think about it; If a parent has lost a child in a busy area, and is looking around for the child and asking people if they have seen the child, people who do not know this person, and will probably never meet them again, will automatically start helping or comforting them, or at the very least start telling others to look out for that child. They want to help and support the person asking for help AND they want to help the person who is the subject of concern.
Many fundraisers who are raising funds for a friend or family member in need will begin the campaign without them even knowing – which is understandable. There is no guarantee with crowdfunding, so to make a promise to them that crowdfunding will solve their problems is a risky strategy that could actually build false hope. Isn’t it better to start a crowdfunding campaign discreetly among friends and family who know about the issues they are facing, and let them know when the campaign is building momentum or has reached it’s target?
Please note; if you are not directly associated with the intended recipient of the funds, or are aware that they do not wish their issue to become the subject of a fundraising campaign, you should respect their wishes.
We suspect part of the success of campaigns such as these is because of the excitement around raising money for someone that doesn’t know what’s being done behind the scenes to help. Imagine their surprise when they realize that the financial burden that they thought they had no longer exists – and you were a part of that happening!
We regularly receive emails from people in desperate situations, asking for help or guidance with raising funds to help themselves. However, they are so constricted by their situation they literally do not have the time or energy to focus on managing a fundraising campaign too. This can lead to a downward spiral of despair. When we suggest asking someone close to help with the campaign to help ease the burden it is as if the curtain has been lifted and they start to realise they don’t HAVE to do it alone.
So how do you go about starting a fundraiser for a family or friend in need? Thankfully, our website makes it quick and easy. Here’s how:
2. Fill in the required information – that usually takes less than 5 minutes.
3. Share your fundraising link with friends and family. You’ll receive any donations immediately and will be able to track visitors, donors details and more.
It really is as easy as that!
Security Concerns & How to Overcome Them
When you’re raising money for someone other than yourself, potential donors that don’t know you very well might have concerns about where the money is going. For example, they might wonder if the beneficiary will actually receive all of the funds raised.
As your fundraising link can quickly spread out of your immediate network and even go viral, it’s important to alleviate these concerns so that you can raise as much money as possible. These steps will help you do that:
1. Explain who you are and what your relationship is to the person / family that you’re raising money for. Most people you share your campaign with initially will already know this, however as the campaign grows people you may not know will still want to feel confident you are connected to the person the funds are being raised for.
2. Explain when and how the money will be sent to the beneficiary. Having an end date for the campaign not only focuses the campaign, it gives you an opportunity to tell your donors when the money is going to spent or handed over to the intended recipient. Providing proof of this with simple things such as receipts, order confirmations, or transaction confirmation notices in the update section of your campaign should satisfy any query they may have when the campaign ends.
3. If possible, obtain the bank account / PayPal information from the person you’re raising money and connect them directly to the campaign, so that everyone knows the funds are going straight to the person in need. This of course, is only likely to work if the person you are raising funds for, is made aware of the campaign (If you intend to use their PayPal account remember PayPal will email them when a deposit is made into their PayPal account. The last thing you want is for your loved one to reject the donation as suspicious!)
4. Use the updates feature to keep everyone up to date with the situation. This is also a great place to keep people informed of upcoming fundraising events you may be hosting (things such as quiz nights, bake sales, parties etc are incredibly popular)
Other Ways to Help
Fundraising for a family or friend in need is an excellent way to help them when there’s financial difficulties. However, here’s a quick reminder on other ways to help:
- Provide emotional support or get them in touch with a relevant help organization if needed.
- Reduce everyday burdens. From buying their groceries to helping them wash-up – these little gestures can go a long way.
- Rally your friends and family in so that they have a network of support and aren’t just reliant on you.
Raising money for a friend or family in need can go a long way and the sooner you start, the better.
Update: We’ve just published a useful infographic on raising money for a friend in need. See it here!