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How to Set up a Donation Page and Raise Money for What Matters

Jenna Davis
|7 min read

Fundraising Strategy

If you’ve decided to dive into the world of crowdfunding, you might be wondering how to create a donation page that will inspire others to give. Maybe you’re looking to get help with bills. Or you might be raising funds to help hurricane victims recover. Whatever your cause, it’s crucial to set up a donation page that is compelling and tells your unique story.

Because every new venture is easier with some solid guidance, we’ve rounded up our best fundraising tips to get you started.

What crowdfunding platform is best for your donation page?

With the rising popularity of crowdfunding, there are dozens of fundraising websites to choose from. So how do you know which platform is right for you and your cause?

Top crowdfunding sites will not only offer free fundraising and a simple set up process, but they’ll also offer other bells and whistles. A user-friendly mobile app, 24/7 customer support, and a blog packed with fundraising tips are all features to look for.

If you’re still unsure about how to choose a platform for your personal donation website, take a look at our Why GoFundMe page to find out what else sets us apart from the rest.

Set the stage with a stellar donation page title

The first step in knowing how to set up a donation page for yourself, a loved, or a charity is choosing a catchy title. Your fundraiser title should capture the attention of potential supporters on social media channels, in emails, and in text messages. A memorable title that immediately conveys what you’re raising funds for will encourage people to click your link and read your story. For more ideas about how to choose the best title for your page, see our blog post Tips for Creating a Fundraiser Title That Will Drive Donations.

Write a story that inspires people to give

A fundraiser story that is both detailed and compelling will encourage people to support your cause. It’s natural to want to get your donation page up and running as quickly as possible, but it’s important to take some time to craft the most meaningful description possible.

Your fundraiser description length should be no fewer than 400 words, and it should cover the who, what, when, why, and how of your situation. Here are the most important questions your story should answer:

  • Who is benefiting from your fundraiser? Describe the beneficiary as honestly and completely as you can, and explain why this person, family, or organization is so deserving of financial help. If the fundraiser is for yourself, don’t be afraid to open up and explain why support from others would make a big difference in your life.
  • What is the main obstacle? Tell potential donors what problems you or the beneficiary are facing.
  • When do you need the funds? It’s important to tell your supporters when the funds are needed by so they understand the urgency.
  • Why do you or the beneficiary need help? Tell people why their contributions are critical. Take a cue from public radio stations, which do a great job of answering the “why” in their fundraising drives.
  • How can donors help? List specific expenses that you or the beneficiary need help paying. These details help people understand exactly what impact their donations will have.

Add photos and videos to brighten your donation page

Visual content can help tell your story in a powerful way. Adding photos and videos will spruce up your donation page and entice people to find out more about your cause. You’ll want to make sure your main photo is high quality, since pixelated images may cause your fundraiser to look suspicious. Be sure to choose photos and videos that really convey your personality or your beneficiary’s personality.

Choose a fundraising goal that makes sense

When deciding what your fundraising goal should be, it’s best to start small and increase it as necessary. Why is starting small a better strategy? Reasonable fundraising goals may encourage people to give, while hefty goals might make people feel like their donation won’t count for much.

Remember that you can increase your fundraising goal at any time. You can also keep all of the donations you receive, even if you don’t meet your fundraising goal.

Share with your inner circle first

The first few days of a fundraiser can greatly influence its success in the long run. Before you widely promote your fundraiser, it’s best to share it with a few close friends and ask for their feedback. Since people are more likely to give if other people have already donated, a rollout strategy will ensure you have a few solid donations before you share your fundraiser with everyone over social media.

Start your fundraiser by sending personal fundraising letters to your closest friends and family members. This will help bring in a few initial donations even before you share your fundraiser link on social media.

For more ideas about how to ask for donations, check out these other resources:

Fine tune your sharing plan

Sharing is perhaps one of the most important aspects of running a fundraiser. Sharing your donation page far and wide helps raise awareness for your cause and encourages your network of friends and family to support you.

Using social media to promote your fundraiser is one of the easiest and most effective methods to get the word out about your cause. You can use Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram to spread awareness in a low-pressure way. Another way to encourage people to share your cause is to create a fundraiser hashtag. A hashtag makes it easy for people to find your social media posts and interact with them.

Of course, you can also share your fundraiser via email, text message, and phone calls. For more fundraiser sharing tips, take a look at these blog posts:

Show gratitude to your supporters

When you’re busy setting up and running a donation page, it’s sometimes easy to forget to thank your donors. But showing gratitude is important. After all, without the generosity of donors, your fundraiser wouldn’t be possible.

Thanking your donors is also key to building a passionate community that remains engaged and dedicated to your cause. Sometimes it can even inspire repeat donations and help with donor retention.

Write a thank you letter to each donor, or try sending handwritten notes or individual emails if you have time. Human kindness is a beautiful thing, especially when it’s repaid with more human kindness. Try these 20 affordable ways to say thank you to donors.

Don’t forget to post fundraiser updates

Updates are a simple way to keep your donors in the loop while also letting them know you may still need their continued support. And if your fundraiser stalls, updates can help it gain momentum again.

An update can be as simple as a photograph with a line of text, or a few paragraphs explaining any recent developments with your fundraiser or financial goals. You can also use updates to shower special donors with recognition and thanks. Once you’ve mastered how to write a fundraising update, you can aim to post one about once a week.

Ready to go? Create a donation page today

Now that you have the tools for fundraising success at your fingertips and you know how to set up a GoFundMe, all that’s left to do is create your donation page. Start your fundraiser today and begin raising money for whatever is most important to you.

Start a free fundraiser

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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