When someone in your community is struggling, it’s human nature to want to lend a hand. Perhaps a family needs assistance as they deal with an illness or cancer. Or maybe a parent is struggling with unemployment and unable to make ends meet? At YouCaring, we’re here to help you learn how to raise money for a family in need.
By following our six steps below, you can gather the support to make a meaningful difference in their lives.
- Identify how fundraising will serve the family
- Create an effective fundraiser name
- Make your fundraiser description easy to find
- Increase understanding with photos and video
- Share your online fundraiser on social media
- Invite local press coverage
Six Steps to Online Fundraising for a Family In Need
1. Identify How Fundraising Will Serve the Family
While you may know that a family is going through a tough time, do you know how to set up a fund for a family in need? Reach out to the family you want to help and ask how they are coping with their situation. If they talk about particular challenges, inquire respectfully about how financial support could ease their burden, and if the family is comfortable with becoming the beneficiary of a crowdfunding cause.
A few conversations should equip you to tell their story with honesty and compassion, specify how funds raised will be used, and explain the difference that donations will make for the family. You’ll use these details in the Create Your Fundraiser process, in updates that you share on social networking sites, and for additional outreach such as attracting local news coverage.
Also, determine which family member will receive the funds raised, so that your donation page can make it clear how donations will reach the beneficiaries. For additional planning tips, read our blog posts about how to start helping a neighbor with community fundraising.
Take a moment to learn from others who are raising money online for kids and families in need, such as:
- The Napier Family Fund
- Support The Goss Family
- Let’s help The Khiem and Brenda Van family
- Help Tulla Schmidt, a Single-Mother with a Special Needs Son
2. Create an Effective Fundraiser Name
Similar to a news headline or a book, the title of your fundraiser is your best chance to introduce people to the family you are helping. It will be part of the URL link that people use to reach your page and serve as the page headline.
Feature the last name of the family in the title, because most people search for online fundraisers typically by the names of the beneficiary. Also, include the word “family” and a modifier word that helps explain the situation or type of help needed (for example, Help Sarah Thompson’s Family). You can find more tips about titles in our blog post focused on naming your fundraiser.
3. Make Your Fundraiser Easy to Find with a Great Description
Family-oriented fundraisers that gain visibility beyond a local community achieve higher public awareness and fundraising results. More viewers of your page means more chances to share your story and attract donations.
To make your donation page easy to discover, feature words that people are likely to search for when looking for a cause like yours.
Choose a clever name that draws interest and is simple, inspirational, and specific about the type of help needed.
Add plenty of details in the description so that you broaden the appeal to diverse audiences.
For related advice about creating a description that helps you raise funding online, check out our blog posts about how the length of your fundraiser description matters.
4. Increase Understanding with Photos and Videos
Donation pages that feature several images are more successful. Pictures are a visual way to provide clarity and better understanding of the family’s situation. Additionally, photos and videos with an emotional component offer the quickest route to connect with potential donors.Images are also quick and easy for supporters to share in telling their own social network about the family’s need for help.
5. Share Your Online Fundraiser on Social Media
Share the cause early and often with your friends, neighbors and social network. Your YouCaring fundraising page has simple tools you can use to quickly reach out and share your story on top social networking sites and via email. The “Grab our widget” button on the page makes it easy to embed donation page code on your own blog or website, if you have one.
On each social media channel where you have connections (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram), invite others to donate to a family in need by posting messages regularly. Always include the URL link to your donation page, and ask recipients to let their connections know about the cause, too. To learn more about the best ways to share your cause online, read our blog post about how to use social networking for fundraising.
6. Invite Local Press Coverage
Local news coverage is especially important to family-oriented fundraisers. Your community probably knows the members of the beneficiary family through diverse activities, from schools and clubs to sports and charities. Yet many may have no idea that the family needs help, particularly if the situation arose suddenly. Here are a few ways press coverage can lead to fundraising success:
By contacting the local press to request coverage of your online fundraiser, you can raise its likelihood of attracting donations from the larger community, along with the family’s neighbors, colleagues, friends, and acquaintances. You can find related advice in our blog post on how to write a press release about your online fundraiser.
A news outlet might feature your online fundraiser or include it in a broader story about how the family is coping with daily life, or how to set up a fund for a family in need, or coverage of local community issues.
State or national press might pick up a local news story if they decide it has special relevance or resonance for their audiences.
If your cause gains media attention, post it on social media and as an update on your fundraiser page. Share the link and ask others to post it to keep spreading the word and attracting support.