Recently, the world has been reminded much too often that emergencies and disasters can occur at any given time, often leading to a tragic outcome for unsuspecting victims. Storms and other natural disasters such as earthquakes can have a devastating impact when they hit, while incidents such as mass shootings leave families, communities and a nation in utter shock.
All of these situations can leave a large financial burden on those affected, and many are turning to crowdfunding as a means to help themselves or those in need. Crowdfunding for disaster relief has proven time and time again to be an extremely effective way to raise funds quickly and help those most affected, recently with successful campaigns for victims of the San Bernardino shooting, the floods in South Carolina, the Syrian refugee crisis and the large earthquake that struck Nepal.
Best Practices: Emergency and Disaster Relief Crowdfunding
A crowdfunding campaign can be created within a matter of minutes to start helping victims rebuild their lives after devastating fires, natural disasters, violent crimes and other emergency situations.
Here are several important best practices to help make your campaign a success.
- Utilize the power of social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about your campaign. With the click of a button on your fundraising page, you can easily share your campaign with friends, family and people all over the country to help you gain the most recognition and support.
- Reach out to local media outlets by contacting the reporter or editor in charge and asking if they’d be willing to publish a story with a link to your campaign on their site. If the disaster or incident you’re raising funds for has already been picked up by local or national news, ask them to include the link in the story that’s being published.
- Contact local businesses where the disaster has occurred to see if they would be willing to match funds that are donated to your fundraiser. More times than not, local businesses are willing to participate in fundraisers for local residents, as they want to show support for the people in their community.
- Update your campaign regularly with the latest details and specific needs to keep people coming back to check in, and make sure you post your fundraiser updates to Facebook and Twitter as well. Let people know the urgency of your situation as most people respond best to immediate requests. Don’t forget to post updates thanking your donors and showing gratitude for all of their support.
YouCaring Disaster Relief Fundraisers
Compassionate folks around the globe have started YouCaring campaigns to support victims of recent tragedies. Here are just a few of the ways people are lending a hand to those in need.
On Dec. 2, 2015, two people opened fire on a group attending a meeting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, Calif., killing 14 people and wounding 21. One of the victims of this horrific act of violence was Michael Wetzel, a 37-year-old husband and father of six children, ranging in age from an infant to a teenager. In light of this tragedy, a fundraising campaign was started on YouCaring by the Lil’ Mamas, a website support group for moms, to help support Michael’s wife, Renee, and their children. To date, the fundraiser has received an overwhelming response from the community and from people all over the world, raising almost $360,000 to date.
For more than 60 years, Mendies Haven, a registered nonprofit organization in Nepal, has been a home for orphaned and abandoned children in Nepal and a beacon in the community. When a large earthquake hit Nepal April 25, 2015, it was a devastating blow to the Mendies Haven community and to the entire country. According to reports, more than 8,600 people had been killed, more than 19,000 were injured, more than 800,000 homes had been badly damaged or destroyed, and an estimated 2.5 million people were left homeless. The Mendies Haven family started a YouCaring campaign to help rebuild their community so they could provide food, water, supplies and resources to those directly affected by the earthquake. Thus far, they have raised more than $62,000 in donations.
In early October 2015, communities across South Carolina were impacted with life-threatening flooding over the course of several days. Seventeen people were killed as a result of weather-related incidents, and hundreds of homes, cars and roads were left completely destroyed. Liza and Stephan Sansbury and their two daughters were forced to evacuate their home as flood waters were washing in. Liza held onto a cooler and swam to the neighbors’ two-story home as Stephan struggled to swim with both daughters above his head. Luckily, the family made it to safety but both of their cars washed away and their home was destroyed. A YouCaring campaign was started to help the family rebuild their lives after this devastating disaster, and so far the fundraiser has raised more than $27,000.
With the current crises in Syria, almost 12 million people have been uprooted from their homes, and 4 million are now in other countries looking for a safe place to live, work, and raise their children. The Downtown Relief Line, a group of concerned Canadians sponsoring a Syrian refugee family’s resettlement in Canada, started a YouCaring campaign to raise the necessary funds to sponsor a family from Syria. As a sponsoring group they are responsible for providing for the family’s needs for their first year in Canada, after which they will have the tools and resources necessary to be self-sustainable. The Downtown Relief Line has now been matched with a refugee family of five, and with their YouCaring fundraiser, they were able to raise more than $50,000.
Help a friend, family member or community that is suffering as a result of an emergency or medical disaster by starting a crowdfunding campaign today.