You may know people who started personal crowdfunding campaigns, or you may have read some success stories online. Determining when to start your own online fundraiser can be tricky. For people who don’t like being the center of attention, it can be nerve-wracking to have members of your social networks sharing your page online and talking about it in person. For those of you who have difficulty asking for help, it can feel like admitting failure to the whole world. Still, it’s important to remember that crowdfunding works because people want to help you or your loved ones and often, making a page is actually a relief for friends and family who aren’t sure how they can lend a hand. If you’re having a hard time deciding whether to use crowdfunding, consider whether one of the following situations applies to you.
1. You Have an Urgent Need
Many people who turn to charitable crowdfunding do so in moments of personal crisis. Whether they’re facing a medical emergency, insurmountable costs related to rebuilding after a natural disaster, or the death of a loved one, YouCaring’s platform is an easy, instant option for families who must meet immediate financial needs. While the idea of crowdfunding may be unattractive if you pride yourself on your independence, consider that it can be a low-pressure alternative to asking people for help individually. YouCaring has privacy options that let donors keep their name or the amount they’ve given confidential, so loved ones can maintain their privacy and feel comfortable giving what they can. Remember that by accepting help from others now, you’re investing in your own future. Once this specific trial has passed, you may have opportunities to help others and pay the generosity forward.
2. Friends Ask You How They Can Help
If you’re going through a tough time, and friends ask you how they can help, you may not know how to answer. Crowdfunding may not have occurred to you. Perhaps family members help around the house, babysit, bring or cook meals, or anything else they can do to support you in this time of personal crisis. If you have a strong support system and people in your life who have already expressed that they want to lend a hand, though, consider turning to crowdfunding. With loved ones who are willing to share your campaign online, help out at fundraising events, and provide feedback and advice in the planning stages of your fundraiser, you are in a position to launch a successful campaign. Even if you personally aren’t very active on social media, having well-connected friends and family members can be just as useful. You may only have a handful of Facebook friends, but remember that your kids, grandkids, friends and other relatives are active on their own networks. When they share your fundraiser online, you’ll be amazed at how successful your campaign can be. If people know you need help, offering them a concrete way to do so is actually a relief, not a burden.
For many people, it’s difficult to come right out and ask for help. While it might not be something you’re used to doing, remember that by accepting the generosity of others now, you’re putting yourself in a position to do the helping next time. Many families and individuals who have run highly successful crowdfunding campaigns in the past will use their platform to promote other people’s fundraisers in the future. By speaking up and expressing your needs, you’re helping your friends and family help you, and they appreciate that as much as you’ll appreciate their support!
3. Someone Close to You Has an Urgent Need
When friends or family members face a personal crisis, people aren’t always sure how to help. Gestures such as cooking dinner, cleaning house, or writing a card can show that we care, but what if there’s more we can do? If you know someone in urgent need of funds, setting up a crowdfunding campaign is one way to show you care and provide immediate, tangible relief. Consider setting up a campaign for someone who needs help paying for a medical treatment, supporting their family, or getting through a tragic event. There are hundreds of reasons why people might need help, but one thing is true in almost all of these circumstances: the generosity of our friends and loved ones gets us through life’s hardships.
4. You’re Active on Social Networks
Social media and crowdfunding work together and a large social media following can be a huge boon in launching an online fundraiser. If you have a major presence on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, or Twitter, consider starting a crowdfunding campaign to benefit a cause you care about, using your social networks to raise awareness and excitement. Whether you know someone going through a tough time or you want to raise money for a cause or an organization that does good work, crowdfunding can help you make tangible changes in others’ lives. Whether you realize it or not, your social media clout has financial value as well as social value, and the right tools can help you use that financial value to help others. If you know someone going through a personal crisis who needs immediate financial relief, consider using your social networks to promote a crowdfunding campaign on their behalf.