HomeFree Intro Crowdfunding Course

Personal and Charity Fundraising 101

Published by Salvador Briggman. Find him on Twitter.

This past week, Dana Ostomel, the founder of the DepositAGift (a nonprofit and charity crowdfunding platform), and I conducted a joint webinar on charity and personal fundraising. We had over 125 people who signed up for the webinar and have been getting emails and messages ever since, saying how helpful it was.

In case you didn’t have a chance to attend the webinar live, I’ve embedded the youtube video of the entire webinar below.

What you will learn

  • How to choose a crowdfunding platform.
  • Why people donate to charity and personal fundraisers.
  • The best ways to engage your network and promote your campaign.
  • How to set realistic expectations for your fundraiser.
  • Will strangers pledge to your crowdfunding campaign?
  • Getting initial supporters.
  • What types of initiatives or causes are a good fit for crowdfunding.
  • Common marketing and fundraising mistakes.

Webinar Notes

  • Your personal story or the story behind your cause is the most important aspect of fundraising. It will determine your success both in terms of donations and PR attention.
  • The majority of the supporters to your campaign will be friends, family, 2nd degree connections, and local connections.

marketing crowdfunding

  • It’s best to have a team of people who are willing to help you run the online fundraiser.
  • Marketing is everything. Think of excuses to share your ongoing campaign and ask your friends to share it. People don’t share unless they are prompted to.
  • Frequent communication is a must. Always be communicating, both with your existing supporters and potential supporters. This does not mean that you should spam your cause. You should be thanking your supporters, giving shoutouts, and celebrating victories.

marketing plan

  • Plan for a soft-launch period. The more people that you get donating to your campaign early on, the better. Not only does it show social proof, but it also gives you a lot of people to thank, which gives you an excuse to share your campaign link.
  • Always try to create a sense of urgency. Remind donors that there is a deadline, that there is a contest, or that there is some kind of matching incentive.
  • Don’t forget offline activities like picking up the phone or holding an event. DepositAGift even has some great ticket-sales functionality for hosting events.
  • “Giving begets giving.”
  • Going viral or gaining mass media attention might happen, but don’t plan for it. The odds are slim. Instead, focus your time and energy on what you can control and begin with local outreach.

DepositAGift’s Fundraising Platform

Dana has provided a wealth of information if you’re looking to launch a personal or charity crowdfunding campaign. All of this knowledge comes from running her platform, DepositAGift, for several years.

I like that you can customize the look and feel of your online fundraiser on their platform, that you can sell tickets to an event, and that you can create a donation registry.

You can thank her via comment below or via Twitter. If you’re hungry for more information, check out our podcast interview with Dana on nonprofit crowdfunding here.

We’ll answer your questions via comment!

I hope this webinar has been helpful! If you have any questions, leave a comment below and I or Dana will get to them. Also, let us know if you’d like access to the slides for the webinar.

Feel free to share your campaign link after leaving a question or providing encouragement to others who have commented with theirs.

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  • Dana Ostomel

    It was a pleasure leading this webinar with you, Sal! Lots of fun doing a deep-dive into the planning and marketing strategies it takes to make a campaign ‘go’!!

    • CrowdCrux

      Definitely :). For anyone reading, feel free to leave questions below for Dana on personal or charity fundraising!

  • dsjenks

    Thank you for sharing this. It is so helpful to me right now!!

    • CrowdCrux


  • Tapsay

    may you please assist me by sharing my link, i want to take my 92
    year old granny to Zanzibar for her 93rd birthday. She has never been
    on a plane or in a tourist resort area before………#LetsMakeOurElderlyHappy……


  • Molly Kummerle

    This is very helpful, thank you!

  • Ishfi

    is there a way for people outside US who does not have paypal account or stripe to use fundraising websites ?

    • kidsandliz

      use a site that uses wepay (gofundme, youcaring I know both use it) as they deal with a number of countries

  • Melanie Fraser

    Can you delete the first 7 minutes of the video? It’s just dealing with IT stuff and a waste of the viewers’ time

  • This was helpful but it’s hard when you have no family that can help you raise money for your GoFundMe and you have no friends to ask for help so I am asking if any body can please share my GoFundMe thank you.

  • Gabe29Education


    Chicago resident wanting to go back to school!!
    Small goal just to cover this semester. Please.
    I’ve been out of school so long, once i raise my GPA high enough i’ll qualify for financial assistance. Any help would be appreciated.