How To Start A GoFundMe

Trying to raise money for a charity, education, or any other cause? Then this article is for you! Below is a complete guide on how to start a GoFundMe campaign.

1. Sign Up for a GoFundMe Account

The first step to start a GoFundMe campaign is to create an account on the platform. When signing up for a GoFundMe account as a new user, you’ll need to enter the following information:
  • Your full name — the name you type in here is the name that your fundraiser page will publicly display. If you don’t use your legal name (whether for personal or safety reasons), you can enter whatever name you go by here.
However, when you’re setting up withdrawals, make sure you use your legal name.
  • Your email address — you can use any email address you want as long as you have access to it because you’ll be receiving important messages on it.

2. Set Up the Fundraiser

Once you're done creating your GoFundMe account, the site will prompt you to set up your fundraiser. You'll need to answer a few questions to optimize your campaign, which include the following:
  • Who you're raising money for — here, you'll find a couple of options: choose "yourself or someone else" if the money will be transferred to a personal bank account or company's bank account. Alternatively, select "a nonprofit or charity" if you want the raised funds to be transferred directly to that charity's bank account.
  • Where you live — the location you should enter here is the country of the bank account to which the funds are sent. This determines the currency of the money raised.
  • What category you're fundraising for — selecting a category for your fundraiser helps other people and potential contributors to easily find your campaign. As such, be sure to choose the closest category to your circumstances.

3. Determine your Campaign Goal

The goal of your campaign is the sum of money you're hoping to raise. When you're determining how much this amount should be, don't forget to factor in the transaction fee for each donation.
This means you'll need to set the goal a bit higher than actually required to make up for the difference. Below are a few important things to note regarding your campaign goal on GoFundMe:
  1. You have the option of changing the goal amount whenever you want.
  2. You can receive the raised funds even if you don't reach your goal amount.
  3. Your campaign won't automatically stop upon reaching the goal amount.

4. Designate a Photo or a Video as a Cover

Generally speaking, campaigns that feature a personal picture or video have higher success chances than the ones that don't. Whether you're showcasing an individual, animal, or any other cause, keep the following points in mind when choosing what to upload on GoFundMe:
  • You must own the rights of sharing and posting the photo or video.
  • The photo you select has to be high quality and in PNG, JPEG, or BMP format. The recommended size is 720 x 405.
  • If you opt for a video, make sure Youtube is hosting it and that you set it to Public.

5. Share your Story

A crucial part of starting a successful GoFundMe campaign is telling people your story. To do this, you first need to come up with a title for the fundraiser, which must be 35 characters long or less.
Take this as an opportunity to get creative and stand out while staying on topic. Incorporating names or calls to action is a great way to make the title both specific and interesting.
For example, a fundraiser titled 'Help Emma Smile' will resonate with people more than a campaign titled 'Funds For The Dentist'.
As for the story itself, the best approach is to be very clear and descriptive. Open up to the people and don't forget to include some information about yourself, the cause you're trying to raise money for, and how the funds will help.
If your campaign is raising funds for another party, share details about how you know the beneficiary.

6. Launch the Campaign

After you're done writing your story, find the "Complete fundraiser" button and click it to launch your campaign. You can, instead, hit "Save" if you want to make adjustments.
Once your GoFundMe fundraiser is live, it can receive donations.

7. Bring in Donations

Although your campaign can receive donations right after launching, it's very unlikely that people will know it even exists unless you put the word out there. This is where sharing comes in.
To reach and attract as many contributors as possible, you should share your GoFundMe with as many communities and on as many platforms as you can. This is the best way to guarantee success.
A few of the most common ways to share your GoFundMe campaign include:
  • Social media — GoFundMe allows you to connect your campaign to multiple social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Messenger. It also lets you copy a link to the fundraiser so you can send it to people via messaging services.
  • Email — GoFundMe allows you to import a list of contacts and include them in an email chain for the campaign.
  • Face to face — using your custom link, you can share your GoFundMe on printouts and posters then hang them or hand them out when speaking to people in your community.
Since sharing can make or break your GoFundMe, consider adding team members to your campaign. This will help spread the word about your cause more effectively and help you better manage the fundraiser as team members can thank donors and post updates on your behalf.
Rest assured that team members won't be able to make critical changes to your GoFundMe such as editing the story or withdrawing raised money.