12 Tips to Help You Write a Powerful GoFundMe Fundraiser Story
A successful fundraiser starts with honest, often courageous storytelling—and compelling stories turn passive visitors into active donors and sharers. Does your story move people to make donations? Could it be sharper or more compelling? Let’s dive into these tips for your GoFundMe fundraiser story to help you get started.
1. Get inspiration from great storytellers
Wondering how to write a GoFundMe? Before you tell your own story, it’s a good idea to explore successful GoFundMe fundraisers for examples of courageous storytelling. Take a look at Chauncy’s Chance, Aeric’s Fund, VICTORY for VINNY, and Saving Mila — Time is Running Out!.
As you experience these pages, ask yourself these questions:
- How do these stories work to create understanding and empathy?
- What can you learn from their approaches to storytelling?
- For each story, are there any specific aspects that made you feel strongly?
- What emotions do you want your own story to convey?
2. Start with a personal introduction
When writing a GoFundMe, start with a sentence that introduces yourself and the “main characters” of your story. Give readers (potential donors) the most relevant information first. How do you define yourself in relation to your story, or to the beneficiary? Whether it was your role as a parent, an entrepreneur, an environmentalist, or a cancer survivor, what was it that led you to start this fundraiser? For now, keep this introductory information brief. You can always add more context if it becomes relevant later. However, be sure to tell it from the heart. Be honest and direct with your supporters.
Example: My name is _____, and I’ve spent my life _____.
3. Define the essential pieces of your story
After you write your introduction, start identifying the elements you need to tell your fundraiser story fully. Note which details you have, and which you may need to find or develop. Make a list of photos and videos that exist, and ones you could create. What details will make your story come alive?
Your GoFundMe story needs to answer basic questions any reader would have: who, what, where, when, why, and how. Answer questions like:
- What will the funds be used for?
- How are you connected to the cause?
- How will the donations help you or others?
- When it comes to fundraising, why is it particularly important—why does the recipient need this donation?
Example: My life changed dramatically when _____.
4. Share the challenges you have faced
If you’ve tried other solutions before crowdfunding, it may be a good idea to share what you’ve done so far. Take this opportunity to also describe the effect of your struggle on your family, your local community, or society as a whole. Feel free to add more context now that readers have the basics.
Answer questions like:
- How have you or your loved ones attempted to overcome the challenge presented to you?
- What hurdles have you faced, and how have they changed you as a person?
Example: When _____ happened, we made a choice to ______. And then ______.
5. Emphasize the turning point that led you to start a GoFundMe
What event led you to take action and start crowdfunding? Whether that moment took place in the boardroom, in a doctor’s office, or at the kitchen table, summarize it in a sentence or two. Bold, underline, and italicize when you’re trying to drive your most important points home.
Example: It was at that point, when_____, that we realized that we needed help from our community.
6. Form a connection with potential donors
It’s important to show potential donors why they should care about your story and cause. People often feel a connection to individuals who are doing their best under extreme circumstances. Telling one’s story requires courage and honesty. It can be scary to broadcast your most sensitive moments to the world, but your honesty and vulnerability allow people to form a human connection with you or the individuals your fundraiser is for.
7. Review the flow and tone of your story
It’s important to examine each part of your story to make sure it’s easy to understand and conveys the right tone. One option to consider is telling your story in sections with subheadings. This approach can make it easier for people to absorb information. Additionally, paragraphs and bullet points work wonders when trying to make something easier to read and understand.
While reviewing, also ask yourself these questions:
- How does the tone of each sentence, and each image, deepen interest in donating to your fundraiser?
- Does the flow of the narrative keep readers curious enough about what happens next that they’ll read your entire story, then want to lend support?
8. Read your story from a potential donor’s point of view
Take a few minutes to write down how you feel about your cause. What are the most accurate and heartfelt words you can use to describe the need for help? Then look at your fundraiser description—are those words that you wrote down clearly featured in your story? Look at your story from the perspective of potential donors to get a sense of how they would feel when they read your story.
9. Give your fundraiser a title that’s easy to remember
Since the title of your fundraiser is the first thing people see, it’s an extremely important element of your fundraiser. Whether you’re drawn to a humorous approach or a more straightforward one, the title should include the name of the main character of your story and highlight the major challenge that person is facing. For more help, read our tips for creating a fundraiser title.
Example: “Help _____ Knock Cancer Out!” or “Fund _____ ‘s Heart Surgery”
10. Get others to proofread your story
Read your story aloud to see how it sounds—to yourself and to others you trust.
Ask friends questions for feedback like:
- Does it sound like you’re telling the story to a friend?
- Are there any moments where it feels awkward or there isn’t enough information?
- Which parts inspire readers to care enough to make a donation?
- Would you personally be inspired to share this story?
When you’re happy with the results, look through your story a few more times, removing any errors.
11. Post frequent fundraising updates
As you post updates, you bring donors into an unfolding story. And when potential donors see this, it inspires them to become part of the story as it unfolds. Update your donors often. In your updates, share good news as well as hardships, and do so as often as you might fill in a close friend. See our blog post for tips on writing a fundraiser update.
Example: “With your help, we’ve reached _____ [25%, 50%, etc.] of our fundraising goal so far.”
12. Add compelling photos and videos
Not only do images and videos make your story more personal, but they also help other people share and tell your story. Include photos and videos in each update you post for donors. By adding these visual elements, your supporters will feel even more connected to your fundraiser.
Start writing your fundraiser story today
Now that you know how to write a GoFundMe story, remember to always be honest. Authenticity invites people to care enough to lend a hand. By telling your GoFundMe story with clarity and heart, you inspire compassion. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable when you share details. Help people understand how much their donations help. Are you ready to tell your story?