Fundraisers are an impactful way to help individuals fund what matters most to them. Today, we are able to raise money online for any kind of cause – and anyone, anywhere in the world can donate to support us. Personal causes, such as medical expenses, tuition, celebrations or veterinary bills, are typically very meaningful and emotional, making us that much more driven to reach our goals. When running a personal cause fundraiser, there are a few techniques you can use to help maximize your efforts. Here are 5 of the best and most impactful tips for personal fundraising.
1. Share your personal story
For any type of personal cause, whether it’s a celebration or a challenge, your personal story is what makes it unique. This is your chance to communicate to your audience, whether it’s close friends and family or complete strangers, why you are raising money for this purpose and why this purpose is so important. When writing your personal story, ask yourself these questions to get started:
- Who are you, and why do you care about the funds you’re raising?
- Are you raising funds for someone else? If so, how do you know this person, and why do you care about them?
By answering these questions, you’ll begin to craft a framework for your personal story. Fill in the details to provide more insight into what makes your story unique. When reading your drafted story, imagine that you are someone who has no knowledge of your situation. Would you feel the impact of the story and understand why the fundraiser was started? Communicating your passion and personal connection will help people understand the purpose of your fundraiser.
2. Use positive messaging
Though your fundraiser may revolve around something negative, such as medical expenses, the loss of a loved one or another tragedy, the best way to relay your story is with positive messaging. According to Stanford psychologists, positive emotions drive decision-making in the world of microlending. People who feel excited about your fundraiser story tend to donate more than those who feel guilty. When writing your personal story, focusing on how you will use the money you’re raising to change a life, whether it’s yours or someone else’s, in a positive manner will give the reader a sense of excitement, knowing that they can help you achieve this positive change. Include positive photos to help drive the message visually, such as clear, smiling images. If the person you are raising funds for is facing a tough time now, you can share a photo of that person in a happier time, giving donors the opportunity to see the impact they can have in bringing that person back to a positive state.
3. Focus on impact
You may have set an arbitrary fundraiser goal, or perhaps you have an exact dollar amount you need to raise. Make sure you clearly explain how you are planning on using the funds and what kind of impact each donated dollar can have on the situation. The more specific you can be about how the money will be spent, the better. For example, Escarlet is a Bolivian girl who was accepted to Lewis and Clark college in Idaho, but cannot afford her tuition. Within her personal story, which is filled with positive details of her life and how she has worked toward her goal, she outlines the exact cost of tuition, how much she is fundraising and what that money will be used for. Setting a realistic and feasible goal is an important part of your fundraiser, but if you are able to raise more than your initial goal, you might also consider sharing how you will use the additional funds to achieve more. This sort of clear and transparent communication will give potential donors insight into the impact they can have on your lives.
4. Share, share, share!
One key characteristic of online fundraising is that you can reach complete strangers all over the world. You aren’t limited to your network, or even your network’s network – with the right sharing strategy and a little bit of luck, you have the potential to share your fundraiser with millions of people worldwide. The first step is to get your closest community involved right away. This includes your friends, family members, coworkers, gym buddies – anyone that you feel comfortable striking up a conversation and asking for their email addresses. You should aim to raise at least a third of your total goal from those who know and love you and your beneficiary most. Then, consider affiliated networks – who else would care about your fundraiser by virtue of their affiliation with you? Do you have any alumni networks, neighborhood groups or religious communities? Reach out to organizers of these types of groups and ask if they can share your fundraiser to their social media channels. Promote and share your fundraiser through not only your own networks, but your network’s networks.
5. Keep updating
Once you have your fundraiser up and running, it’s important to keep your donors engaged with regular updates. Share any interesting highlights regarding the status of your fundraiser, such as reaching a milestone (we reached 50% of our goal!). Updates about your personal progress related to the fundraiser are also great to share with the community. For example, if you are fundraising for tuition, you might post an update about enrolling in or attending your first class. Or, if you’re raising money for medical expenses, any update about your medical prognosis would be insightful for your community. Research has shown that fundraisers that post regular updates raise 218% more funds than those that don’t post at all, so make sure you keep your followers in the loop.
Raising money online for a personal cause is a great way to help cover expenses that you can’t afford otherwise. Indiegogo LIfe offers a community of millions of people worldwide, industry-leading customer support and trust teams and 0% platform fees, making it the best online fundraising platform for your needs. When creating your fundraiser, make sure you write a compelling story that conveys why you are raising money and what you are using the money for. Be sure to use a positive tone and messaging to help influence donations, and remain engaged by continually sharing and updating your fundraiser.
Ready to start your own personal fundraiser?