How to Raise Money for a Family in Need Through Crowdfunding

Mom, dad, and their two young kids pose on the grass
Jenna Davis
|6 min read

Financial Assistance

When a family you know is struggling, it’s natural to want to lend a hand. Maybe the family needs help as they deal with an illness or death, or perhaps a parent is struggling with unemployment. If you aren’t exactly sure how to raise money for a family in need, crowdfunding empowers you to make a difference in a low-pressure way.

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How to help a family in need: Eight thoughtful tips

With the below tips, you can learn how to create a fundraiser for a family in need that will meet your fundraising goals.

1. Speak to the family directly

Reach out to the family you’d like to help and ask how they’re coping with their situation. If they talk about particular challenges, respectfully ask about how financial support could help ease their burden.

Ask if the family is comfortable with you crowdfunding on their behalf. You’ll need to tell potential donors why their contributions are vital to this family, so it’s a good idea to have a conversation with the family to understand exactly how they’ll use the funds. Then you’ll be able to explain how and why the support will make a difference when it comes time to write your fundraiser story. Take a cue from public radio stations, which do a great job of answering the “why” in their fundraising drives. Why is this fundraiser needed? What could happen if people don’t contribute?

Here are a few examples of family fundraisers by others:

For additional tips, read our blog post about how to help a neighbor with community fundraising.

2. Give your fundraiser a title that inspires action

The title of your fundraiser is your first chance to introduce people to the family you’re helping.

Include the last name of the family in the title to make it unique. Also, consider including the word “family” and a modifier word that helps explain the situation or type of help needed. For example, “Help the Ford Family Fight Cancer.”

Try creating a title that’s simple, draws interest, and inspires people to take action. Find more tips in our post Six Smart Ways to Write a Powerful Fundraiser Title.

3. Write a compelling fundraiser story

Your fundraiser story is your opportunity to introduce the family to potential donors and explain how their financial contributions would make a difference. Some tips to keep in mind:

  • Explain your relationship to the family so there’s no confusion among donors about why you’re managing the fundraiser.
  • It may not always be clear to others how to help a family in crisis. Aside from monetary donations, are there other ways people can contribute? List those too.
  • Provide a breakdown of how donations will be used. People will be more likely to donate when they understand how the funds will help.
  • Your fundraiser description length influences donations, so be sure to write more than 400 words.
  • Don’t forget to ask the family for feedback on your story before sharing it.

For more about writing a fundraiser story, see our post Writing Your Fundraiser Story: A Comprehensive Guide.

4. Add photos and/or videos

Everyone loves a good story—and every good story needs captivating images and videos to be complete. Photos and videos that make an emotional impact help donors connect with a family and its needs and offer more clarity on their situation.

For more tips on adding visual content to your fundraiser read our blog post Why the Right Images for Your Fundraiser Are the Key to Success and Why Videos Are Powerful Tools for Fundraising.

5. Reach out to close friends and family first

The first few days are critical and can greatly influence how successful your fundraiser will be in the long run. First, share your fundraiser with a few close friends and ask for their feedback. Since people are more likely to donate to a fundraiser if they see others have already donated, it’s a good idea to secure a few solid donations before blasting the fundraiser over social media.

Another way to bring in donations right off the bat is to send personal fundraising letters to those closest to the family. If you need some help coming up with the right words, take advantage of fundraising email templates.

6. Create a sharing plan

Sharing your fundraiser again and again is a huge part of any fundraising plan. Once you’ve gained some initial momentum, you’ll want to share your fundraiser with everyone you know.

Spread the word on any social media platform where you’re active, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

  • Regularly post messages that invite others to donate to the family.
  • Always include your fundraiser link, and ask people to share it with their contacts as well.
  • If any Facebook friends donated, “tag” them in a thank-you post to publicly show your gratitude.

To learn more about the best ways to share your cause, read our post about how to use social media for fundraising. To get more information on how to use specific social media platforms, read our posts about how Facebook fundraising can boost donations and how to fundraise on Twitter.

7. Throw a fundraising event

When it comes to fundraising without social media, a fundraising event is a fantastic way to spread awareness for your cause.  From potlucks to car washes, there are countless fundraising event ideas to rally the community together for the family in need.

8. Invite local media coverage

It’s no surprise that if you can get local media to cover your fundraiser, it can make a massive difference in your fundraising success. Even though they may not be connected to the family, a surprising number of people in your community will know the family and may want to help if they see them in the media. A news outlet might feature your fundraiser—perhaps including it in a broader story about how the family is coping with daily life, or coverage of local community issues.

Start helping families in need today

All it takes to touch someone’s life is for one individual to step up and take action. Thankfully, making a difference doesn’t require hours of work or elaborate plans. You can create a fundraiser on GoFundMe within minutes and begin raising money right away. Our free fundraising platform means that the family you’re helping can keep even more of their donations, and you can even send the money directly to them. Sign up today to get started.

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Jenna Davis

About Jenna Davis

I have a passion for storytelling and love creating a variety of content for a wide range of audiences. Once, I frolicked on the beach with about 30 miniature horses. I bring it up every chance I get.

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