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How to Do a Birthday Fundraiser

birthday candles on cake
Paige Kutilek
|4 min read

Fundraiser Promotion

Any fundraiser runs over a defined timespan. One question to ask yourself is whether any important dates, for you or others, occur during that time. Think of any birthdays, anniversaries, yahrzeits, memorials, or other dates from your personal life that could have a significant connection to your fundraiser or cause.

On GoFundMe, we often see people use such dates to significantly boost their crowdfunding efforts on a single day, in conjunction with events including birthdays.

A successful birthday fundraiser

Erica Flament started a GoFundMe fundraising page for her friend’s daughter Maddie, who was battling leukemia. In total, Erica raised more than $10,000, with $1,500 of that raised on a single day—Maddie’s birthday. Here’s how she did it.

For Maddie’s sixth birthday, Erica asked friends and family to each give $6 to help Maddie beat cancer. She sent out a request on Facebook, asking friends to donate and share. Word spread of the birthday fundraiser, and more than 85 people donated. Many donations were for the requested $6, but many more were for $16, $26, $56, or even $106.

To raise as much as possible, Erica didn’t just send one Facebook message and hope everyone would remember to donate. She also sent reminder emails as the date approached, and asked people to share the news with their own friends.

You can follow the same approach around a birthday or any other significant date related to your fundraiser or cause, be it personal, medical, or charitable. In addition to dates from your own life, you can also tie your fundraiser into public dates such as Giving Tuesday or awareness campaigns such as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Raising funds around a birthday or other key date creates a natural deadline that can compel people to donate. It also give you permission to gently remind people to make a donation by that date.

More tips for special-event fundraising

Make the birthday or other key date the campaign deadline

With any fundraiser, you set a deadline for meeting your fundraising goal. With a birthday fundraiser, you can make the birthday (or maybe the day after) the deadline. Deadlines are “ticking clocks” that create a sense of urgency and make donors respond faster. If you’re doing a fundraiser that’s also connected to an existing national awareness campaign, such as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, think about aligning your deadline with that timeframe and using the birthday or other special date as a rallying cry, as Erica Flament did.

Tell your story

A birthday or other special date creates a natural storytelling opportunity, and telling your story is key to raising funds. With a fundraiser, your story needs to answer basic questions any reader would have: who, what, where, when, why, and how. What will the funds be used for? How are you connected to the cause? How will the donations raised aid you or others? When it comes to fundraising, the why is particularly important—why does the recipient need this donation?

For more tips on how to tell your crowdfunding story to raise more money, see our posts, Great Ideas for Naming Your Online Fundraiser, How Images Can Lead to Fundraiser Success, and The Power of Video.

Use social media to spread your message

To get the most from your birthday fundraiser, pair your date-driven fundraising approach with social media tools.

For ideas, see our guide for Facebook Fundraising 101.

Host an in-person fundraising event, such as a birthday party

Fundraising events serve several purposes—they help you raise money for your cause, bring communities together for a common purpose, and spreading awareness of your cause in unique ways.

For event ideas, see our post Top 10 Fundraising Event Ideas.

Take advantage of GoFundMe’s resources

We’ve provided you with a complete set of fundraising tips, success stories, and many other free resources, including (but not limited to) the following posts: Viral FundraisingFree Online Fundraising Tools You Need to Revamp Your Efforts, and Using Social Media to Promote Your Fundraiser.

Let’s make it a date

The beauty of fundraisers is the act of people coming together to reach a common goal. What better way to bring people together than with a birthday or other special date? With the ideas we’ve outlined here and the resources we’ve provided, your birthday crowdfunding campaign will be well on its way. Get the party started by starting your free campaign.

Start your birthday fundraiser

Paige Kutilek

About Paige Kutilek

I'm keen on creating meaningful and thoughtful content that will have an impact. I'm a dedicated individual with a creative touch who is always eager to learn more. Lover of cats, avocados, and tea.

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