How to Raise Money in Eight Easy Steps

| 6 min read Financial Assistance

Have you ever wondered how to raise money? Perhaps you’ve wanted to rally financial support for a cause you’re passionate about in the past but haven’t known how to. If you’ve never raised money through crowdfunding before, the process can seem intimidating or overwhelming – but follow these eight easy steps, and you’ll have everything you need to launch a successful fundraiser for yourself or a loved one.

How to raise money through crowdfunding

1. Define a goal

Start by defining your goal – not just for yourself, but for your potential donors. People are more likely to give money to a cause that is clearly defined. For example, if you’re raising money for surgery, don’t just list the price of the surgery, but also mention related expenses such as loss of earnings, physiotherapy rehabilitation, any prescriptions and OT equipment you’ll need.

2. Set a deadline

Estimate how long it will take you to reach your fundraising goal and set a deadline. Clear timelines create a sense of urgency that makes donors respond more quickly. If your deadline is dependent on an external factor, such as another person, entity or event, make that clear to potential donors.

If you don’t have any external pressures, you should still try to set an ambitious deadline. And if you’re doing a fundraiser that’s connected to an existing national awareness fundraiser, such as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, think about aligning your deadline with that timeframe.

3. Choose a platform

We’re a little biased, but when it comes to crowdfunding platforms, GoFundMe is probably going to be your best bet. Unlike other sites, we have a 0% platform fee for organizers and you can start withdrawing funds as soon as you start receiving donations. Our platform also makes it easy to raise money in person (at a fundraising event, for example) with a mobile device. Many of our most successful fundraisers combine online fundraising with all kinds of events to raise as much money as possible. To find out more about crowdfunding platform comparisons, see our post How the Top Online Australian Fundraising Sites Compare. For ideas for fundraising events, see Fundraising Ideas.

4. Tell your story

Your story needs to answer all of your readers’ basic questions: who, what, where, when, why and how. What will the funds be used for? How are you connected to the cause? How will the donations raised help you or others? When it comes to fundraising, the why is particularly important – why does the recipient need this donation?

If you come up with a strong title for your fundraiser after you’ve written your story, it will help you capture and summarise your fundraiser in one prominent line or phrase. We can’t overestimate how important the title is. Just like with a book or a film, it can draw people in or turn them away (before they know anything else).

For more tips on how to tell your crowdfunding story to raise more money, see our posts, Crowdfunding Fundraiser Story: Your Complete Guide, Great Ideas for Naming your Online Fundraiser, How Images can Lead to Fundraiser Success, and The Power of Video.

5. Use GoFundMe’s resources

GoFundMe offers a wide range of resources to help you set up and run a successful fundraiser. To learn more about how to raise money through crowdfunding, see our fundraising tips, success stories and many other resources, including (but definitely not limited to) the following posts: 15 Ways to Skyrocket Awareness of a Cause, Viral Fundraising, and Using Social Media to Promote your Fundraiser.

6. Ask friends and family to join your team

A little help from your friends can make fundraising easier, more fun and more effective. Make a list of friends who might be interested in helping, based on their life experience or their relationship to the beneficiaries. For example, perhaps a friend who’s passionate about the environment wants to help you raise money for a recycling event? Or maybe someone who lost a close family member to cancer could help you raise money for a cancer walk? See if you can get 3–5 friends to join your fundraising team, even if they haven’t got much time to commit to it. You can divide up the work (for example, one person can manage updates while someone else sends out thank you notes). Having a team also dramatically boosts the reach of your fundraiser through the size of your combined social networks.

7. Start spreading the word

People often want to start sharing their fundraiser straight away, but it’s vital to lay the proper groundwork first.

Once you’ve posted your fundraising page, ask for feedback from trusted friends and family. Use any good suggestions to refine your story, images etc. Next, ask your close circle of friends and relatives (the combined close circles of the people on your team) for donations. Why? If people who know you less well see that some funds have already been raised, they will be more likely to donate to your cause.

Once your close circle has donated, share your fundraiser with everyone everywhere – including with local media. If you create a Facebook page for your fundraiser, consider paying to promote your posts if the costs will be offset by donations. Also consider approaching local businesses, perhaps asking one of them to host a fundraising event. The more visible your fundraiser is, the more donations you’ll receive. Follow up regularly with people who haven’t donated, but who you expect will.

8. Show your appreciation

Don’t overlook or underestimate the importance of this step. When people make a donation, think of it as the beginning of them caring about your cause, not the end. From this perspective, your thank you note is just the beginning of an ongoing relationship with the donor in question, so that they keep on being part of the story. Simple, personal thank you letters are an easy way to show your appreciation and strengthen relationships with donors. For more ideas, see 20 Affordable Ways to Thank Donors.

Putting it all together

Raising money means asking for help. When you do this right, it can become less of a plea and more of a transformative experience for everyone involved. The wonderful thing about fundraising is that it is basically the act of people coming together to reach a common goal. With these steps for how to raise money and the other resources we’ve provided, your crowdfunding fundraiser will be well on its way. Start your fundraiser today.

Start your fundraiser

Written by andres

How to Raise Money in Five Easy Steps

Group of people in front of a stage
| 5 min read Financial Assistance

If you’re wondering how to raise money quickly, consider crowdfunding as your solution. If you’ve never raised funds online before, the process may seem overwhelming. But if you follow these five simple steps you’ll have everything you need to start a fundraiser for yourself, a loved one, or your favorite cause.

Start a fundraiser

How to raise funds online

1. Define your goal

Start by determining how much money you need to raise. This is very important because it helps your potential donors understand how much money you need to raise for your specific cause. People are more likely to give money to a cause that is clearly defined, so calculate your goal based on your total cost breakdown. For example, if you’re raising money for a medical procedure, don’t list just the big-ticket price of the procedure itself, but also related expenses such as lost income, rehab, medications, and medical devices.

2. Choose an online fundraising platform

When picking a platform for fundraising online you should look for:

  • The lowest fees (both platform fees and payment processing fees)
  • Ease of use and website design
  • Customer support options
  • Safe and quick access to your funds
  • Fundraiser sharing capabilities

To dive deeper into crowdfunding platform comparisons, see our blog post Top Crowdfunding Sites: Pick the Right One for Your Needs.

3. Tell your story honestly

We, as humans, are hardwired to respond to powerful stories. Personal fundraising stories help facilitate an emotional connection between the reader and the beneficiary, which can ultimately lead to more donations. This is why it’s important to be as honest as you can about your situation.

We understand that asking for help can be scary, but you don’t have to do it alone. To help, we came up with a few questions you can ask yourself when writing your story:

  • What will the funds be used for?
  • How are you connected to the cause?
  • How will the donations raised aid you or help others?
  • Why does the recipient need this donation?

Make sure you answer basic Who, What, Where, When, Why, How questions to increase the likelihood of donation. Remember, when it comes to fundraising, the why is particularly important. If you would like additional guidance, learn how to write a captivating fundraiser story with our guide.

Write a captivating title to match your story

Come up with a strong title after you’ve written your personal fundraising story. It will help you summarize your story in one standout phrase. Titles are really important because you’re giving the audience a glimpse into what your fundraiser is about. Make sure it reflects what your fundraiser is for in a clear way so that people click through and donate. Check out some great ideas for naming your online fundraiser.

4. Share your fundraiser with your friends and family

Once you’ve posted your fundraiser, get feedback on it from trusted friends and family. Use any good suggestions to refine your story, images, etc. Then ask your inner circle for donations. Why? If potential donors see that some funds have already been raised, people are more likely to donate. Once your inner circle has donated, share your fundraiser with everyone everywhere.

Sharing on social media

A common question we see asked is “how to get my GoFundMe noticed?” The more visible your fundraiser is, the more donations you’ll receive. If you create a Facebook page for your fundraiser, consider paying to boost posts if the costs will be outweighed by donations. If you want to use email try using one of our email fundraising templates to help simplify the process.

Sharing without social media

While social media is a great way to connect potential donors with your fundraiser, there are other ways to share. If you want to know how to raise money online without using social media, consider trying one of our 42 ways to share your fundraiser offline like creating flyers for bulletin boards.

5. Show appreciation towards your donors

When a person makes a donation to your fundraiser, it’s because they believe in your cause. This is why thank-yous are so important–they serve as a way for donors to remain part of your story. Simple, personalized thank you letters are an easy way to show your appreciation and strengthen relationships with donors. If you’re not sure how to thank donors for their support, check out our blog, 20 Affordable Ways to Thank Donors.

How to raise funds quickly: getting started

Now that you know how to raise money online in five easy steps, start your fundraiser on GoFundMe today. If you need additional guidance, we offer a wide range of resources to help you double your donations and cover topics ranging from raising money for surgery, rent assistance, and much more. For more ways to raise money through crowdfunding, check out our fundraising tips, fundraising ideas, and many other guides on the GoFundMe blog.

Start your fundraiser

Written by pkauffman