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How to write a proposal for funding

People raising funds on GoFundMe share their personal stories in the campaign story (and we’ve written a guide on how to tell your campaign story). But GoFundMe is also used by groups and organizations; in those cases, the fundraiser description becomes more like a traditional fundraising proposal. With the expertise that comes from having helped people raise over $5 billion on our free platform, we can help your group or organization craft a proposal for fundraising that appeals to potential supporters.

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Tips for writing a persuasive crowdfunding proposal

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The story section of your crowdfunding campaign page (which serves as your proposal) needs to include key information that informs supporters and inspires them to donate. Through photos, video, and good storytelling, you can inspire trust and encourage people to take action. Here are some additional tips on writing a funding proposal for a nonprofit organization or other group:

  • Explain your project. Why are you raising money? Make sure the reader has a clear understanding of your needs, and how you’ll use any funds they donate. Cover the important details but don’t overcomplicate it.
  • Convey the importance of your cause. People want to see their donations as significant and important. How exactly does your cause make a difference? What change will you make in people’s lives? What specific steps will this money allow your organization to take?
  • Put a name to the face. Before making a donation, people need to empathize with your cause. Encourage empathy by including stories and photos of people (including yourself, if appropriate) who will be helped by their generosity. It can be easy for people to ignore a request for money, but harder to ignore a personal plea.
  • Introduce yourself. If you open your campaign up to the public, it’ll be seen by people who don’t know you. Be sure to explain who you are and why you’re dedicated to raising support for your cause. Use this introduction to build trust and convey your sincere commitment to the issue at hand.

Writing a grant proposal based on your campaign

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Along with your crowdfunding campaign, you may want to apply for a grant from a foundation devoted to supporting causes like yours. Should you earn a grant, you can ask that the money be disbursed directly as a donation to your crowdfunding campaign. Here are some tips for writing a compelling grant proposal:

  • Cover the basics. Use the description from your crowdfunding page as a starting place for your grant proposal. Cover the “who,” “what,” and (most importantly) “why” of your fundraiser or project. Include a synopsis of your work so far, an explanation of what makes your work unique, what you expect to accomplish with the funds, who you are, and your qualifications as well as those of your team members. Explain how your project plans to survive if it doesn’t receive the grant or after the allocated money has been used.
  • Be persuasive. Remember that your proposal must be convincing. It should provide a compelling, coherent argument for why your campaign should receive the grant.
  • Include financials. When you write your proposal, also include specific financial information, including a budget for the use of any money received. Attach all relevant financial documents and proof of your organization’s 501(c)(3) status.
  • Do your research. There are countless foundations out there with money to give. Look for foundations that share your values, and explore the types of grants typically given to support causes like yours. Before you take action, talk to people who work in fundraising and educate yourself online. Pay attention to grant requirements including which groups and projects may qualify for funding, proposal length and format, application deadlines, and disbursal dates.

How grants can benefit your crowdfunding campaign

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In combination with donations from your crowdfunding campaign, grants can keep your campaign energized, providing large infusions of funding that improve your overall cash flow and help you take bigger strides. Here are some of the ways your grant can help your fundraiser and your cause:

  • Inspire trustGrants provide potential donors with social proof—a reason to trust that their money will be used effectively. If you receive a grant, be sure to publicize it on your campaign page and on social media. A grant gives you instant legitimacy as a trustworthy campaign. When people see that a foundation deemed your fundraiser worthy of its money, it immediately boosts their confidence in making a donation.
  • Take advantage of donation matchingApply for a grant that offers donation matching. A grant that promises to match personal donations (usually up to a certain amount) can offer a powerful incentive for supporters to take immediate action. Donation matching not only provides a form of validation; it gives donors the satisfaction of knowing their donation was effectively doubled.

Securing your grant

Use these and other fundraising pro tips from GoFundMe to create change and serve the greater good. Our giving community is over 50 million strong and ready to cheer you on. As with any fundraiser on our platform, there is a 0% platform fee. So let’s move on up, together—start your free fundraiser now.

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