You’ve probably seen plenty of GoFundMe pages raising money for all sorts of causes; some are sweet stories, some are tragedies, and some are from people who just need some help.
If you’re trying to think of ways to raise money for your needs, GoFundMe is an excellent choice. But with over 2 million campaigns, it can be hard to get noticed.
Learn what you can use GoFundMe for, how to set up a campaign that really works, and other tips for a successful campaign. Note, United Access does not provide assistance to fundraising; this is intended as an informational guide to start your journey to finding and funding your mobility solution.
What to Use GoFundMe For
GoFundMe is a crowdfunding platform that allows people to donate money to individuals who are requesting assistance. Unlike donating to an organization, the money goes straight to the campaign owner.
While many people use GoFundMe to pay for exorbitant medical expenses, people with disabilities have used GoFundMe to raise funds for other needs as well, including:
Step-by-Step Guide to Set Up Your GoFundMe Page
Once you’ve decided to set up your GoFundMe fundraiser, the next part is actually doing it! Here’s how:
- Start an account. You must first start a GoFundMe account. Make sure to use an email that you can access regularly.
- Create your fundraising campaign. Just click “Start New Campaign” and you’ll be able to start. Your campaign must be verified before you start raising money; here, you’ll be able to input your fundraising goal, your campaign title, how the funds will be spent, and more.
- Choose an image and write a story. This is where you’ll share your story with the world! Be honest and open about who you are and what you need. The more information, the better.
- Set up your banking information. GoFundMe will send the money to your bank account (or someone else’s, if applicable) when you withdraw money. You can also withdraw money from your PayPal account. Be sure to withdraw your money on a regular basis; It can take between 2 to 5 business days for you to receive the money; this is especially important to remember if you’re using your donations to pay bills.
- Share your campaign! Send your donation page to every single person you know. This is not a time for pride! GoFundMe users are making hundreds of millions of online donations to fundraising campaigns just like yours, and most people truly want to help. Share in emails, on social media, and via word of mouth.
- Manage your campaign. Look at the donation page if your campaign isn’t gaining the traction you want. Are your photos crisp and clear? Is your story well-written? Ask a friend for feedback if you need some help. You can also use the “Updates” feature to share more about your campaign’s progress or how you’re doing so far.
Tips for A Successful GoFundMe Campaign
While the basics of setting up a GoFundMe campaign are always the same, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the donations you need. GoFundMe works best when shared often. These tips and tricks should help you build a good GoFundMe campaign.
- Make sure your fundraising goal is realistic. Don’t aim too high—people might think a small donation won’t mean much against a large goal. But don’t aim too low either! The point of the campaign is to get you the help you’re seeking. Be honest about your needs.
- Have a sharing strategy. Don’t just post your campaign once and let it linger. Use social media every day to remind people to donate.
- Create a hashtag. Speaking of social networks, hashtags are one of the easiest ways to collate all posts about your campaign in one place. With a hashtag, people can follow along with your progress, both on the fundraising platform and on social media.
- Add a video. Everyone loves to watch a video. Share a video of yourself talking about this campaign and how the donations will impact your life and the lives of those around you.
- Create a Facebook event. Fundraising events in real life are a classic way to solicit donations for good causes. But you don’t have to commit to a live event.! If you make an event about donating and invite your friends, they will get reminded each day when they login to Facebook to donate.
- Utilize the GoFundMe app. Stay connected to your campaign while you’re on the go. You can thank donors, post updates and pictures, and even withdraw funds while you’re out and about.
- Ask your friends to share. When you tell friends about your campaign or you share on social media, include a call to action to share. While many people will donate, they won’t think to share a campaign with friends unless they’re reminded. A polite request to share a campaign could be the one thing that makes your GoFundMe campaign go viral!
- Post thank yous in the updates. As we mentioned, share “Updates” to tell people what’s happening with the campaign. This is also a great place to show gratitude to your donors for their generosity.
- Write personalized thank you notes. If you are able, write personalized thank you notes (handwritten or email) to each donor to make them feel personally appreciated.
- Remind people that there is no platform fee. Sometimes people hold off on donating if they have to pay a bunch of extra fees. GoFundMe does not have a platform fee (but they do charge a processing fee; more on this later!)
- Share with a few people first. One tactic that some people see success with is sharing their campaign amongst family and close friends first. Write personal letters to your loved ones to tell them why this campaign matters so much to you. Those people can donate early on, so more people are inclined to give as the campaign spreads. Additionally, they’ll be able to give you feedback on your campaign.
- Reach out to local media. Local news stations and papers are always looking for human interest stories to cover. Get in touch with someone at these organizations to give your campaign a larger platform.
Things to Remember About GoFundMe
GoFundMe is one of the best personal crowdfunding platforms out there, but there are a few things to keep in mind, particularly when it comes to the donations themselves.
- GoFundMe is free. You do not need to pay anyone to set up a campaign for you. You can absolutely do this yourself!
- Check the fees. If your donors use a credit card or debit card to donate, they will be subject to a transaction fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction that goes to GoFundMe‘s payment processor.
- Identify who you’re raising money for. You’ll also need to put in the name of the person you’re raising money for, whether that’s yourself or someone else. If you are raising money for someone else, you will have to designate a beneficiary.
- Must be in the same country. Your beneficiary must live in the same country that you do (e.g. You cannot live in America and have a Canadian beneficiary).
Crowdfunding sites aren’t the only way to get financial assistance for the things you need. The Mobility Specialists at United Access are trained to help you try to find resources and assistance. Whether you need help purchasing a wheelchair van or just need a list of mobility resources.