WeRateDogs Presents: Best GoFundMe Campaign Practices
Creating a GoFundMe is quick and easy, but it takes a bit more time and effort to create a GoFundMe that is compelling, inspiring, and successful over the course of time. We want to make sure you’re set up for success and can raise as much money for your dog as possible. All successful fundraisers started exactly where you are — with an idea and hope.
Making a clickable campaign
Make your campaign as clickable as possible. Clickable means that someone would be compelled to click on your campaign when scrolling through their social media feeds. Getting eyes on your campaign is crucial to your success. The easiest ways to ensure your campaign is as clickable as possible?
- Title: Catchy, but relevant.
- Main Image: A picture of your dog. Everyone loves a good dog photo (and they’re all good dogs). If possible, choose a high resolution, horizontal image so that your photo is clear and fits properly without being cropped.
- Video: Consider making a 1-3 minute video with your dog to bring your cause to life with a little bit of simple storytelling. Upload your video to YouTube and then you can add it to your fundraising page.
- This is the most important part of any fundraiser. It’s what will ultimately lead someone to decide whether or not they will donate. Here are some tips for when you’re writing:
- Tell your dog’s entire story: Think of this as the who, what, where, when, and why of the fundraiser.
- Highlight specific dates when possible: Dates can help show urgency and can often encourage quick support.
- Clarity: Make sure it’s clear whether the dog has already had surgery/treatment, or is waiting on funds to schedule. Again, this can help inspire immediate action.
- Transparency: Include details and costs that you’ve received from the vet bills and estimates. This helps validate your ask and shows donors exactly what their funds are going to.
- Be genuine: Take the time to be genuine and convey emotion in your writing. People love dogs, let them love yours.
For additional help check out Writing Your Fundraiser Story: A Comprehensive Guide.
Connect with your closest supporters
To get the momentum going, be sure to share your campaign link with your closest networks—you really only need one donation to start. Focus on sending personal outreaches to your closest contacts by email, phone or text messages. Ask them to be the first people to contribute to the campaign to get you started. Once you get the first donation, others will feel more confident donating, and you can focus on sharing the campaign with a wider audience.
Use social media and email to send personal messages
It’s important to include a call to action in your social posts explaining why your campaign or cause is important to you, and asking viewers to donate & share. Make sure you always include your campaign link when sharing. Here are the basic places we recommend sharing your campaign:
- Email blast (mailing list)
- Direct call or text message to a targeted list of high likelihood supporters
- On your website/blog
Quality over quantity
We recommend that you focus on sharing your campaign twice a week, with a really thoughtful message. Remember to focus on the quality of your share over the quantity of shares—your goal should be to inspire support for your campaign and connect with your audience.
Don’t be concerned if you aren’t seeing much activity right off the bat. Once your personal contacts start sharing your campaign for you and making donations, there can be a ripple effect. Friends of friends will see your campaign and might donate as well. You might be surprised at the people who want to help.
Don’t be discouraged if a friend isn’t in a place to give themselves. Ask for their help in another way—to share your campaign as an unofficial ‘ambassador’. Sharing is the best way to increase your network and gain exposure, so asking for a share (or two) is a great way to keep everyone engaged. They can hang up posters, call a few friends, or share on social media. Encourage them to get creative.
Looking for more resources? Read 25 Fundraiser Sharing Tips to Increase Donations and Online Fundraising Without Social Media: 42 Ways to Share Offline.
Keep supporters invested by posting weekly updates. Share the update on social media. Wondering what to include in an update?
- Share important milestones like: “We just got our first donation” or “We’re halfway to our goal.”
- Let people know the status of the situation
- Publicly thank those who have donated or shared your GoFundMe
- Include photos or videos in your updates when possible
For more ideas read our blog post How to Write a Fundraiser Update.
Send thank yous
There is no better way to show your donors you care than to send a thank you note. You can send them through GoFundMe by email, or even through snail mail. Learn how to send thank you notes through GoFundMe and read our blog post How to Write a Donation Thank-You Letter: Templates for more help.
Keep on sharing
The truth is that sustained momentum on a campaign is a result of regular sharing. Remember that it’s not just about asking for donations – ask friends to share with 5 people they know, start a Facebook event, come up with a “sharing challenge,” or anything else you can dream up. The more creative, the better. You’ve got this.