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How to Raise Funds for Charity Online

Published by Salvador Briggman. Find him on Twitter.

Did you know that more than $3 billion has been given on GoFundMe in the form of donations?

Pretty crazy, right?

It’s easier than ever to raise funds for charity online.

There are so many different websites and platforms out there that you can use to raise money for a cause.

Whether you’re trying to raise money for a personal cause or use modern day peer to peer fundraising and other techniques, there’s a website for you!

At the same time, this means that there is a lot of competition. Many campaigns fail to hit their fundraising goal.

With this blog post, I’m going to walk you through the various steps that you need to take in order to be successful.

1. Pick the Right Platform

Before you go about implementing a fundraising strategy, you have to pick a platform that works best for you.

Generally, platforms vary in a few key ways:

  • Whether they have peer to peer fundraising or traditional crowdfunding functionality.
  • Extended functionality like text-to-donate (MobileCause), or ticket sales.
  • The fee the platform imposes.
  • The user interface and design of the website.

Many beginning campaign creators are unfamiliar with the fee structure of these various platforms. For the most part, they are divided into two types:

  1. Platforms that charge a percentage fee on funds raised. Examples: GoFundMe. How GoFundMe Works.
  2. Platforms that suggest a fee when a donor gives money. Examples: Generosity. YouCaring.
  3. Platforms that do both.

The next biggest differentiator is whether or not a platform includes peer to peer fundraising functionality. This type of functionality allows you to organize a core team that will raise money on your behalf.

They will set up their own individual fundraising pages, and all the money will go towards your organization. One example of this type of platform is CauseVox.

The platform that you go with is going to depend on your needs as an individual or an organization.

2. Prime the Pump and Build a Crowd

One of the biggest misconceptions about crowdfunding is that you’re going to get all of this money “from the crowd.”

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Most crowdfunding campaigns rope in donors who are first and second degree connections of the campaign organizer. These are people who know the person or the individual and want to help out.

Sophisticated crowdfunding campaigns are able to leverage that initial surge in pledges and attract strangers who also care about the cause. They could identify with the story behind the fundraiser.

The absolute easiest way to get a spike in pledges is to build an email list of interested individuals before your campaign goes live.

3. Craft a Story that Creates Empathy

There are so many different noteworthy charities and causes online. What’s going to make yours stand out?

It’s no secret that people are interested in other people, not faceless organizations.

The more that you can personalize your campaign, bring out the personality of those involved, and make a visitor FEEL SOMETHING about you or your cause, the better your chances of converting them into a hardcore supporter.

There are many ways that you can use a story to get donations. Here are a few:

  • Create empathy between the listeners and characters
  • Relay a takeaway message or a moral that causes someone to take action
  • Reveal personal information about you, which says something about your values and gives people the opportunity to like you
  • Transmit the same emotion that you feel towards the cause to another person.

Your story is formed by the images, video, and text that you include on your crowdfunding campaign.

Gain access to my upcoming GoFundMe launch blueprint.

4. Funding is a Function of Relationships

Have you ever seen those crappy looking online fundraising campaigns with very little information, bad grammar, and quite frankly, poor images?

It’s kind of weird that those actually… get funding.

The reason that these campaigns attract funding is because there is an established relationship between the people running the campaign and the supporters.

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t care if my close friends have bad grammar and use a lower cause “i” (even though it makes me cringe).

I don’t care because I love them! They’re my peeps!

When you’ve taken the time to form a strong relationship with a bunch of individuals or a community, that “asset” surpasses all others.

You can raise funds as a function of that relationship you’ve built.

You’ve brought good emotions, good vibes, and happy times to other people on the planet. They know you, like you, and want to help you out.

5. Stay at the Top of People’s Minds

We all make this mistake, me more than others. We tend to think that other people quite simply somehow know what’s going on in our lives.

Our friends, family, and second degree connections can’t read our minds! They also have busy lives and are prone to forget new things that don’t need immediate action.

It’s important that you stay relevant throughout the duration of your fundraising campaign. Otherwise, people are actually going to forget that you’re running one!

There are many easy ways to do this like:

  • Celebrating milstones
  • Thanking donors
  • Sharing images or videos related to the cause

If someone has a to-do list, donating to your campaign should be in the top 3 things that they have “to do” for that day.

6. Raise More With Marketing Tools

If you’re looking to raise money online for charity, it’s likely that you have limited financial and human resources.

An easy way that you can do more with less and leverage the team that you DO have is to make use of powerful marketing tools.

Below, I’ll include a list of several key tools that you can use to reach more people and get more donations for your fundraising campaign.

  • MailChimp: Build an email newsletter and send out mass emails. You’ll get info about click through rates and open rates.
  • Buffer: A social media scheduling service that will help you automate your social media postings.
  • Boomerang: A simple free chrome app that can show who opens your emails. It also allows you to schedule emails to be sent at a later date.
  • Facebook Live: This is an easy way to connect with your supporters and answer any questions that they might have.
  • Canva: A free simple application that will help you create Instagram posts, Facebook cover photos, flyers and more.

There are a ton more tools out there that you can use to create a better storytelling pitch. If you have any questions, leave a comment down below.

7. Create a Core Fundraising Team

According to Indiegogo, campaigns that work with a team typically raise 3x more than campaigns that are run just by one individual.

If you can get together 3-4 hardcore supporters and have them commit to helping you with this fundraising effort, you’re going to dramatically improve the chance that you blow past your charity fundraising goal.

You could have members of this team reach out to their network, share the message, and if you’re running a peer to peer fundraising campaign, raise funds on your behalf.

One of the nice things about having a team is that it’s much easier to create social proof around your campaign and get a few early donations before people arrive at the webpage.

In addition, you’ll prevent burnout. You can assign different tasks to different team members. One person on your team can be in charge of writing the campaign text and another can focus on shooting the pitch video.

8. Draw From a Proven Launch Plan

When I first got started, it was the wild west.

No one knew how to raise funds online for a charity. Now, it’s different.

There is a proven plan out there to not only hit your fundraising goal, but also to surpass it.

I’ve talked a lot about this plan in my book, Crowdfunding Personal Expenses, but I’m also putting together a course that will walk you through step-by-step how to execute a charity fundraising campaign on GoFundme and other websites.

To gain access to this launch blueprint, you can enter your email and check it out.

If you’ve found this blog post to be helpful, you’re going to LOVE this blueprint.

I also think there’s a lot to be said for simply taking the time to study some of the successful charity fundraising campaigns out there to get a feel for how they do their outreach.


I hope you found this blog post to be helpful! If you did, let me know in a comment down below.

It’s becoming far more mainstream to raise money online with charity fundraising websites. I think we’re going to see an even bigger surge in activity this year.

You do have to do a little bit of the legwork, but the funding is definitely out there. You just gotta grab it.

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