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Help Me, Someone! Fast Fundraisers for Someone Who Needs Assistance

Updated on March 6, 2013

by Kathy Batesel

When a friend is in trouble, it's time to get serious about raising funds to provide help.
When a friend is in trouble, it's time to get serious about raising funds to provide help. | Source

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?

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Have you ever wanted to create a charity?

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Fundraising Laws

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!

Medical bills can devastate a person's credit rating. Fundraising for them can help them pay off expenses and preserve their credit rating.
Medical bills can devastate a person's credit rating. Fundraising for them can help them pay off expenses and preserve their credit rating. | Source

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:

School kids raised $13,000 to help their teacher recover from a devastating disease.

Mother collects donations to offer a reward for information about her son's death.

Donors have contributed $77,000 toward a $100,000 goal for the Rugerio family.

Share on Video - It Doesn't Have to be Fancy

How many times have you offered donations this year?

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Social Media Fund Raising Tips

Here are some tips you can use to ensure the greatest success with your fundraising efforts:

  1. 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
  2. Create social media accounts for your campaign on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and any other social media network where you participate as an individual.
  3. 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

Raffles are great fundraisers that can bring in a lot of $$ with just a little preparation. Choose items, and target people who want to win and help someone at the same time.
Raffles are great fundraisers that can bring in a lot of $$ with just a little preparation. Choose items, and target people who want to win and help someone at the same time. | Source

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.

Which of the items above would you most like to win in a raffle?

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Submit a Comment

  • jellygator profile image

    jellygator 2 years ago from USA

    Thanks for the added info, JustmeSuzanne!

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 2 years ago from Texas

    I've used GoFundMe to raise money for a horse rescue, and am currently using it to raise money for my broken wrist expenses. I think it's a good platform to get fast results, but you have to be careful to include their cut when you establish your goal amount. They keep about 10%, which may seem high but their platform is very good and does get your plea for help seen by a lot of people. They are also very prompt about delivering funds to your checking account, so all in all I have found them to be a very good fundraising tool.

    Great information presented well! Voted up and interesting!

  • jellygator profile image

    jellygator 5 years ago from USA

    Oh, wow! That is a serious burden. If you set up an online fundraiser, please post the link to it here, too!

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    jelly.....Wonderful hub with helpful ideas and facts. Timely as well, since I just very recently sent out A Helping Hands Virtual Fundraiser Benefit announcement, to assist a hubber-friend & her husband, who is fighting an aggressive cancer and just recently was forced to leave his job.

    This is a very heavy burden for any family to be faced with and this is also a time when we have the opportunity to help our fellow-man. Giving and sharing is a loving gesture of kindness and gives some comfort and hope to those suffering through difficulties......UP+++

  • jellygator profile image

    jellygator 5 years ago from USA

    Thanks, Starstream & Penelope. I'm so glad you had caring friends who took good care of you, Penelope! Friends like that can be hard to come by, but when they're during a crisis it can make such a huge difference, as you've shown!

  • starstream profile image

    Dreamer at heart 5 years ago from Northern California

    What a fine article which will surely be helpful as a reference for anyone wanting to raise funds for an emergency situation. It is full of helpful uncomplicated suggestions.

  • GoodLady profile image

    Penelope Hart 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

    I was the recipient of fundraising.

    I got a bad cancer. I needed money to live on, since I had to give up work( and everyone knew I'd find surviving without my earnings impossible). My sister organized that all family members paid some amount into a bank account (even very little), and my best friend, who is wealthy, just handed over the rest.

    I was able to afford my medical treatments, extra medicines, a comfortable place to live, a person who came to clean and who often did the shopping for me - and the best food that money could buy.

    They kept paying this money into my bank account for the entire year I was ill and a few months afterwards.

    When i was well enough, I was able to sell my nest egg, a small investment property - and pay them all back. But their kindness carried me through.

    Every day all I felt was gratitude and love and IT MADE ME WELL.

    Great hub. Voting etc.

  • jellygator profile image

    jellygator 5 years ago from USA

    Thank you all for reading! I hope none of you has a need for it, but it seems like something unexpected will always happen. If you use GiveForward, I hope you'll come back to update us on how it worked for you!

  • Natashalh profile image

    Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

    These are really good tips. I had to do some serious fundraising for my dog a few years ago when he got hit by a car, but I did it by selling off my childhood toys and Legos =(

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Very good ideas. I've been involved with fundraisers lots of times, and even wrote a hub on how to hold a silent auction. However, I've never tried to do any fundraising as an individual.

    You've provided very useful information, and I like your emphasis on making sure to keep it legal.

    Voted up, useful and interesting.

  • Just Ask Susan profile image

    Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Reading your hub made me think of a time years ago. We had a fire and lost everything. We were living in an apartment complex and all the neighbors gathered together and pitched in with cash donations, clothing, and furniture for my parents and myself. I'll never forgot how good this made me feel.

    Although I've never held a fundraiser I will keep all of your tips and advise in mind when I do help someone out.

  • Judi Bee profile image

    Judith Hancock 5 years ago from UK

    I was just looking into this kind of thing yesterday, due to something posted by a hubber, so this is very timely.

  • wilderness profile image

    Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

    Some great thoughts here. I've never held a fundraiser for anyone although I've known people that were in desperate need. I just didn't have any idea how to do that.

    Your hub could well help in the future. Thank you.

  • jellygator profile image

    jellygator 5 years ago from USA

    Thanks, Teaches! Hope you never have reason to be again, but I'd love to hear what you've done when fundraising. I never knew about give it forward and usually did a door-to-door canvas for friends' neighbors to offer help.

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

    I found this very interesting. I have been part of fundraisers for families and always discovered it to be so rewarding. Your tips and advice are very good and I hope people will consider taking on a project to help someone.