- Politics and Social Issues
Help Me, Someone! Fast Fundraisers for Someone Who Needs Assistance
by Kathy Batesel
For Someone Who Needs Financial Help
Unexpected accidents, chronic illnesses, death, and catastrophic events like a house fire can devastate entire families. When someone you know is facing these kinds of trials, it's natural to want to help in any way that you can, but where do you begin when you know twenty bucks in a greeting card just won't make a dent in the kinds of hardships they're facing?
Believe it or not, you can organize and execute a fundraiser to raise hundreds, even thousands, of dollars to help them out without spending more than an hour getting started.
Keep reading to learn how you can best help a friend or family member that needs it, as well as ideas for causes you want to invest more time on.
Have you ever raised funds for another person or family before?
Create Your Own Non-Profit Organization
Have you ever wanted to create a charity?
Before you begin a fundraising effort, be certain you're not violating any state laws. Every state has its own specific requirements and exemptions. For instance, in my state, Kansas, I would be allowed to raise funds by asking for cash donations to help my friend pay her medical bills, but I could not hold a poker tournament to raise funds for her. Similarly, I could not raise funds five different causes throughout the year if I don't represent a non-profit organization that qualifies as a charity. (See the book shown here if you're interested in starting a charitable organization or raising funds for a passionate cause where you haven't yet identified individuals who will benefit.)
It's unethical and almost certainly illegal to keep any portion of the funds you raise on someone else's behalf. Also, it's illegal to misrepresent what the funds will be used for. You can't say you're collecting for your sister's brain transplant and later decide that you can take a few hundred dollars of that money to buy lunch for the nursing staff that took care of her.
Read up on your state's fundraising laws and exemptions and/or contact an attorney before starting a fund raiser to be safe. Although the laws described for each state are believed to be a thorough and accurate guide, I cannot guarantee that it's a hundred percent thorough or accurate. It is certainly not meant to be taken as legal advice, and I'm not an attorney myself, so always consult a qualified legal expert before doing anything that could be illegal or if you have questions!
Easy Fundraisers for Inviduals
About all you need to raise funds for another individual are a bank account set up for the single purpose of holding the moneys you raise, an online social media network, and an account at GiveForward. You don't actually have to use GiveForward, but it makes it easy for people to donate, and gives you a means to accept credit card and other payments without complications. (You do pay 7% of the funds raised as a commission, which is hefty, but probably no worse than the cost of setting up equipment and accounts to take credit card payments. Plus, it makes it possible to collect much more than you would if you were only able to accept cash from your friends in person or by snail mail.)
Check out these success stories:
Share on Video - It Doesn't Have to be Fancy
How many times have you offered donations this year?
Social Media Fund Raising Tips
Here are some tips you can use to ensure the greatest success with your fundraising efforts:
- Evaluate your campaign's needs - how much will be needed, how the funds will be used, and how much time you have to collect them
- Create social media accounts for your campaign on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and any other social media network where you participate as an individual.
- Create a GiveForward page for your campaign.
- Provide a full description of what the money is needed for. Your request should identify relevant personal details that allows donors to understand why their donation is needed and gives them a reason to empathize with the person or family who will receive it.
- Avoid unnecessary details. Edit your descriptions to ensure that they are as complete as they need to be, but concise enough to keep donors' attentions.
- Include a compelling photo.
- If you can give readers a simple way to confirm a few details about your cause, it may remove resistance. Obituaries, news stories, or ways to connect with other members of the beneficiary's family are examples of things that lend credibility to your campaign.
Now that you've gotten these steps completed, start sharing your GiveForward page on all your social media. Ask your friends to share it twice a week, and to ask their friends to do the same. The more compelling your cause, the more donations you'll see.
Raise More with Raffles
Amazon Items for a $10 Raffle
Amazon Items for a $20/Ticket Raffle
Go the Extra Mile
If you have more time and passion for your cause, consider taking extra steps - either on your own or in partnership with an organization that can help.
- Place donation jars at grocery stores, banks, and fast food restaurants whenever management will allow you to. Plan on letting them know how long you'll have them up, how often you'll empty them, and above all, keep your word!
- Create a compelling letter with a photo that you can send or take to local business owners, too. (You'll get the best response from speaking to them directly.) Ask them for a specific contribution that your beneficiary will find helpful. You might ask for a certain amount of money. You might ask them to provide a deep discount on the family's prescription medications. You might inquire whether they can provide clothing or blankets if that's what is needed and what they sell to their own customers.
- Hold a car wash or bake sale. (Make sure you're not violating any laws, though. Laws and regulations over business licenses, food handling, and so on could derail your efforts.)
- Ask donors if they'd be willing to ask their employer to match their donation.
- As long as it doesn't violate your state or local laws, raffle an item like one of the ones shown here. Consider how many tickets you would have to sell to break even, and how many more are necessary to consider your raffle successful.
- Ask your church to take up a special collection for your recipient.