What does personal fundraising mean?
When you or a loved one experience a challenging time, whether it be a medical emergency, loss of a family member, or a natural disaster, it can be emotionally and financially stressful. Often paying for medical bills, a funeral, or relief aid, prevent the situation from getting better.
Friends and family want to be supportive in your time of need, but they may not know how. Creating a personal fundraiser is an easy way to let friends and family know that they can show their support by donating, sharing your fundraiser, or leaving a thoughtful note.
A fundraiser not only alleviates you or your loved one’s financial burden, but it also can act as an emotional support system. People who turn to crowdfunding often find it uplifting to see their many friends and family come together with encouragement, love, and support.
How do I start a personal fundraiser?
It’s easy to start a fundraiser on YouCaring. Simply click create and begin telling your story.
A great fundraiser page is a personal and authentic way to connect your community. The more you share with your friends and family, the more supportive responses you’ll receive.
- If you’re raising funds on behalf of someone else, contact the recipient before starting the fundraiser. You’ll need to be in touch with the recipient to send them the funds.
- Pick a name that people won’t forget. Read Great Ideas for Naming Your Online Fundraiser.
- Prepare your fundraiser roadmap. Read How to Create a Fundraising Plan.
- Learn How to Ask for Donations and read our tips on How to Get People to Donate.
See How to Start a Fundraiser for step-by-step instructions for fundraiser setup.
How do I tell my story?
The story is the heart of your fundraiser. You might feel vulnerable telling it, but know that by sharing your story you’re creating a stronger support system around you. Providing as much information as possible fosters trust and transparency for potential donors. Communicating your passion and a personal connection will help people understand the purpose of your fundraiser.
- If you’re running a fundraiser on behalf of someone else, explain who the beneficiary is and your relationship. If you don’t personally know the recipient, that’s fine too. Just let your supporters know about it by including this in your story.
- The story should be authentic and transparent. Paint a complete picture of the situation and let the fundraiser reflect your personality.
- Be clear about how much money you need to raise and where the money will go.
- Add high-quality pictures to make it feel more personable. Learn How Images Can lead to Fundraiser Success.
What are the best ways to share my fundraiser?
When raising funds for a life event, it can be scary to share your story with the world. But rest assured your friends and family want to help. Donors feel good showing their support in this time of need. You aren’t limited to your network, or even your network’s network – with the right sharing strategy and a little bit of luck, you have the potential to share your fundraiser with millions of people worldwide.
Email is the best way to share your fundraiser with loved ones.
- Personalize the first paragraph of your email for the recipient.
- The second paragraph can be a short summary that is sent to your entire community. It should say concisely why you’re fundraising and why you need your community’s support.
- If you’re raising funds for another, ask the recipient’s friends and family to help you share the fundraiser with their email lists too.
- Create a Custom URL for Your Fundraiser so that it’s easier for people to recognize, remember, and share with others.
Read about 15 Ways to Skyrocket Awareness for Your Cause.
2. Social Media
Social media allows you to spread your story further than your immediate friends.
- Create a social media contest that incentivizes people to share your fundraiser. Ask your friends to upload content such as a favorite quote on Facebook and share it with five friends.
- Start a conversation by tagging friends.
- Favorite, comment, share or re-tweet your friend’s fundraiser posts on Twitter.
- Don’t forget to utilize Facebook, learn how with our Facebook Fundraising 101.
- Create a Facebook Page for Your Fundraiser and include a link to your fundraiser in every post.
- Consider creating a Facebook Life Event to boost your fundraiser’s visibility on your friend’s Facebook feeds.
- Create a Hashtag for Your Fundraiser to make it easier for others to recognize and follow your fundraiser.
- Make your fundraiser go viral, learn how here.
3. Fundraising Events
Offline events are not only a great way to raise money, but they can also raise awareness in your community and attract local press.
- Bake sales, potlucks, and garage sales are fun community events that cost little to organize.
- At the event, hand out fliers that have the link to your fundraiser page.
- Keep a list of attendees and follow-up with them after the event.
- Have a laptop or iPad handy so attendees can donate on the spot.
- Add any offline donations to the fundraiser page by donating on behalf of the attending donors.
Read our list of Fundraising Event Ideas for inspiration.
4. Local Media
Local news agencies can help you spread your story to people outside of your immediate network.
- Create a list of media contacts to reach out to. The email can be a similar template that you used to reach out to friends.
- Write a press release to make it easier for reporters to find your story.
- A few days after your press release goes out, reach out to that list of media contacts and ask if there is any other information you can provide that would inspire them to write a story.
How do I write an update?
Once you have your fundraiser up and running, it’s important to keep your donors engaged with regular updates. By donating or sharing your fundraiser, friends and family are expressing that they want to come on this journey with you. Use the updates section like a blog to keep loved ones informed.
- Send out weekly updates about the fundraiser or beneficiary’s progress.
- Post pictures, videos, and personal testimonials.
- Share local media coverage about your fundraiser.
- Reveal any interesting highlights regarding the status of your fundraiser, such as reaching a milestone (like reaching 50% of your goal).
For best practices and more ideas on what to share read How to Write a Fundraising Update.
What’s the best way to thank my donors?
Don’t forget to thank friends and family – demonstrating your gratitude is often enough to encourage a second donation to the fundraiser.
- Write a personalized email to show your gratitude.
- Give a shout out to your donors on social media, don’t forget to tag them on the posts.
- Send a handwritten thank you. You can use these templates for donation thank you letters.
There are so many ways to show appreciation for your supporters, read about 20 Affordable Ways to Say Thank You to Donors.
Where else can I get help fundraising?
We know that fundraising for a medical need, a crisis, a funeral or memorial can be hopeful, scary, inspiring, and heartwarming all at once. That’s why our support team is here to help you during this emotional time.
- We’re an empathetic group who can relate to the ups and downs during a fundraiser. Just like your friends and family, we know this is a tough time and we want to support you.
- It’s frustrating to receive auto-replies when you need advice, so all our inquiries are answered by real people, and who are trained experts in fundraiser management.
- Head over to our YouCaring blog for educational material, more ideas, and inspiration.
- Use our Fundraising Checklist to get the keys to success.
- Use these 20 Free Online Fundraising Tools for proven fundraising resources.
Three impactful tips for personal fundraising
Fundraisers are an impactful way to help individuals fund what matters most to them. Personal causes are typically very meaningful and emotional, making us that much more driven to reach our goals. When running a personal cause fundraiser, there are a few techniques you can use to help maximize your efforts. Here are three of the best and most impactful tips for personal fundraising.
1. Use positive messaging
Though your fundraiser may revolve around something negative, such as the loss of a loved one or another tragedy, the best way to relay your story is with positive messaging. According to Stanford psychologists, positive emotions drive decision-making in the world of microlending. When writing your personal story, focus on how you will use the money you’re raising to change a life in a positive manner. It will give the reader a sense of excitement, knowing that they can help you achieve this positive change.
2. Share photos and videos
Include positive photos to help drive the message visually, such as clear, smiling images. Share photos that showcase how you’re using the funds. Raising funds for a natural disaster? Share pictures of the relief efforts. If the person you are raising funds for is facing a tough time now, you can share a photo of that person in a happier time, giving donors the opportunity to see the impact they can have in bringing that person back to a positive state.
3. Focus on impact
Make sure you clearly explain how you are planning on using the funds and what kind of impact each donated dollar can have on the situation. The more specific you can be about how the money will be spent, the better. For example, YouCaring fundraiser Help Four Tibetan Kids Get to High School! does a good job of setting up her story by outlining the four people the fundraiser will help and breaking down the expenses needed.
Personal fundraising can work for you
Raising money online for a personal cause is a great way to help cover expenses that you can’t afford otherwise. YouCaring offers a community of millions of people worldwide, industry-leading customer support and no platform fees, making it the best online fundraising platform for your needs.