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

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| 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 want 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.

Since every new venture is easier with some solid advice, we’ve put our top fundraising tips together to get you started.

Which 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 don’t just offer free fundraising and a simple set-up process, they’ll also throw in some great extras. 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 not sure how to choose a platform for your personal donation website, have a look at our Why GoFundMe page to find out what else makes us stand out from the crowd.

Lay the foundation with a fantastic title for your donation page

The first step in knowing how to set up a donation page for yourself, a loved one or a charity is choosing a catchy title. Your fundraiser title should attract the attention of potential supporters on social media channels, in emails and in text messages. A memorable title that instantly 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 makes people want to donate

A fundraiser story that is both detailed and compelling will encourage people to support your cause. It’s perfectly normal to want to get your donation page off the ground as quickly as possible, but it’s important to take the time to create the most meaningful description possible.

Your fundraiser description length should be at least 400 words in length 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 benefitting from your fundraiser? Describe the beneficiary as honestly and completely as you can. Explain why this person, family or organisation 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 by? It’s important to tell your supporters when the funds are needed by so that they understand the urgency of your appeal.
  • Why do you or the beneficiary need help? Tell people why their contributions are critical. Take a cue from local radio stations who do a great job of answering the “why” in their fundraising appeals.
  • How can donors help? List specific expenses that you or the beneficiary need help in paying. These details help people understand exactly what impact their donations will have.

Add photos and videos to bring your donation page to life

Visual content can help tell your story in a powerful way. Adding photos and videos will liven up your donation page and make people want to find out more about your cause. Ensure that your main photo is high-quality – pixelated images may make your fundraiser look suspicious. Choose photos and videos that really convey your or your beneficiary’s personality.

Choose a fundraising goal that makes sense

When you’re deciding what your fundraising goal should be, it’s best to start small and increase it as necessary. Why is it best to start small? Reasonable fundraising goals may encourage people to give, while overly ambitious goals might make people feel like their donation won’t count for anything in the bigger scheme of things.

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

Share with your close circle of friends and family first

The first few days of a fundraiser can have a big impact on its longer term success. Before you start promoting your fundraiser left, right and centre, it’s best to share it with a few close friends and ask for their feedback. Since people are more likely to give if others have already donated, a launch strategy will ensure that you have a few solid donations before you share your fundraiser with everyone else over social media.

Start your fundraiser by sending personal fundraising letters to your closest friends and relatives. 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, see these resources:

  • The Top Ten Donation Request Tips for Beginner Fundraisers
  • Use these Fundraising Email Templates to Reach your Goal Faster

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 let people know about your cause. You can use Facebook, Twitter and 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:

  • Promoting your Fundraiser Online: Strategies that Actually Work
  • The Beginner’s Guide to Viral Fundraising
  • Online Fundraising without Social Media: 42 Ways to Share Offline

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 an engaged community that remains committed 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 wonderful 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 that you might still need their continued support. And if your fundraiser stalls, updates can help it build up 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 acknowledge and thank your special donors. Once you’ve mastered how to write a fundraising update, you can aim to post one about once a week.

Are you ready to get started? Create a donation page today

Now that you have the tools for successful fundraising 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 what’s most important to you.

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Written by 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.