What’s the best way to advertise and promote your GoFundMe page?
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I’ve been getting emailed a lot about this question and it frequently popped up during the charity and personal fundraising webinar that we conducted a few weeks back. How do you go about promoting your GoFundMe page and are there any best practices for advertising it to strangers?
That’s a great question! Before we get into a few ways that you increase the views of your GoFundMe campaign, I first want to list out a few facts.
- Sharing your campaign on Facebook increases donations by 350%. (source).
- “Most of your donations will come directly from people who know you or have some kind of personal connection to your campaign” (source).
- “Keep in mind that donors don’t really browse GoFundMe. They’ll visit your campaign when it’s shared through email, Facebook, Twitter, the local media and any other online community you can share it with.” (source).
- “Almost all GoFundMe campaigns that’ve gone viral and gained media attention were first successful in their local communities” (source)
- “Rarely do we see strangers donating to other strangers on GoFundMe and this only happens when a campaign has already been successful in its own communities.” (source)
- You will only be listed in the GoFundMe search engine once you’ve raised at least $500 in online donations, are FB verified, and have an appropriate photo or video.
You can find more statistics and facts in this article that we published.
If you took the time to read some of the above quotes from the GoFundMe help center, it’s pretty clear that there are not strangers roaming the internet just looking to give money to your campaign. Almost all campaigns that were successful in a viral sense were first successful in their own local community.
Therefore, any advertising or promotion that you target at strangers is likely to fail, particularly if you have not received any donations to your campaign thus far from your social network. Unfortunately, if you are unwilling to post your campaign on Facebook and ask for help from your friends, family, and local community, then personal or charity crowdfunding probably isn’t a good avenue to secure funds.
That being said, there are a few ways to improve the chance of raising money from your local community and snowballing that into media attention or attention from a larger community.
1. Prime Your Network
Not everyone in your social network is going to know what GoFundMe is or how to donate to an online fundraising campaign. Rather than just posting on Facebook through an update and hoping that people will check out your campaign, reach out to them before you launch.
This is a great opportunity to re-connect with old friends, catch up, and let them know about the fundraiser that you’re going to be doing in a few weeks. I would directly message, email, or call each person. Yes, this is going to take some time!
When explaining your soon to launch GoFundMe campaign, you need to have a compelling story about why you are raising money and the benefits of contributing to the campaign.
2. Tag and Thank
This phrase is owed to DepositAGift and the webinar we did with them on personal fundraising. Use every excuse that you can think of to share your project on social media and to remind potential donors about your ongoing fundraiser.
By publicly thanking each person that contributes to your campaign and mentioning them in a Facebook update, you’ll not only make people feel good about their decision to give to the initiative, but it also gives you an opportunity to promote your campaign to your social network!
3. You must ask to receive.
Don’t expect people to share your campaign on their own. Ask them to share it or to vouch for your fundraiser so that you have a chance of attracting donations from 2nd degree friends and family.
This same logic applies to asking for donations. I know that it’s really scary to ask people in your network bluntly for a share or a donation, but the worst that’s going to happen is you’ll be turned down. The best way to make sure this type of ask doesn’t compromise your friendship with them is to make sure you’ve been nurturing the relationship before the ask and to continue to do so after.
4. Think Local
If the reason that you are raising money can appeal to a greater audience, then start thinking about the ways in which you’ve been an active participate in your local community. This kind of previous participation could pay dividends in terms of donations or help sharing the campaign now!
For example, if you are an active member of your local church, you could ask them to mention the campaign at the next Sunday gathering?
You could also reach out to your town’s local newspaper and share your story.
5. Should you consider long shots?
Based on everything that we’ve gone over so far, any time spent promoting your campaign to strangers, posting on message boards or sharing your GoFundMe story with journalists probably won’t have any impact on your campaign if you haven’t put in the work first with your own social network.
I think that after you have put in that work, and the cause or story is interesting, it would make sense to share it with journalists as a human-interest story and to share it online, particularly in communities that you’ve already been involved in. But, don’t expect it to go viral. That happens to a very small number of campaigns.
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