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Ask the Readers: What Makes for a Successful GoFundMe Campaign?

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Over the last few days I've been dealing with a number of major life changes. I'm really not ready to write about them today, but you'll be the first to know when I am.

Some part of the life changes are financially related. It's not something small like my expenses going up $200 a month. One of the changes would have a nearly $1500/mo. impact. The other one is even larger. It's kind of like the equivalent of Surprise Honey, I Just Added $60,000 to Our Debt. It's being thrust upon us (in my opinion unjust and unfairly) and not the result of our action or inaction.

So I'm looking at a website like Go Fund Me, which I've read a lot about. I usually just read the results, never what goes into making a successful campaign. I'm going to give some quick thoughts on that and then turn it over to the comment section.

My first thought is that the cause has to be one that people deem worthy. A young adult harassed by United Airlines seems to be worthy. Someone in "need" of Hamilton tickets posting a sad fish doesn't appear worthy. (Sad fish everywhere have my sympathy.)

I think the cause I have is worthy and compelling... at least if judging by the commenters on this website on some of my articles.

Other than that, I'm guessing that catch titles and good images are probably very important. I'm not sure if a sad fish is a good image. I think it's kind of creative personally. Thoughts?

What else would be in the recipe of a successful GoFundMe campaign? I'm sure that marketing the message is important. Unfortunately, I'm a terrible marketer of anything related to myself. (In what seem like something out of a Greek tragedy/mythology, I'm great at marketing other people.)

Posted on February 17, 2016.

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7 Responses to “Ask the Readers: What Makes for a Successful GoFundMe Campaign?”

  1. Patricia says:

    Lazy Man, you have been invariably helpful in very thoughtfully and clear-headedly combatting pyramid schemes. Whatever you end up naming your GoFundMe or fundraising site, I’d be happy to contribute. Thank you for your efforts.

  2. Angela says:

    What Patricia said! I too will gladly contribute what I can.

    I don’t follow GoFundMe regularly or anything. But I have contributed to two other campaigns there and in both cases, they were causes I deemed very worthy. The presentation makes less impact with me (probably because I’m not an easy sell in any case, and my professional training is specifically geared toward critical thinking and sorting fact from fiction). At least for me, it’s just about whether I deem something worthwhile and want to support it. Hope that helps!

  3. Geoff says:

    Hey Lazy,

    Sorry to hear about the troubles, and I would love to help you out in any way that I can. With that being said I have no how gofundme works and I have never participated in it, therefore I will lend you my EXPERT opinion.

    In raising capital for just causes there seems to be a pretty evident formula which involves, social media, YouTube, Local word of mouth, and of course a bit of press. I understand this is all incredibly vague and probably things you have thought of, so I will add to this by suggesting either A. you go for a very honest and direct approach that can capitalize on the viewer’s sense of sympathy. B. you can create a gimmicky challenge (ice bucket challenge) or something similar that gets viewers engaged, and rapidly involves others.

    Again, these are my “EXPERT” opinions (Clearly sarcastic), but hopefully you will find something that embraces a certain sense of yourself because that is the best way to convey the importance of the cause.

  4. robyn says:

    anything with animals or medical issues elicits sympathy. personally, i will never donate to anyone who makes more money than i do or has more assets. which is most of the world. i have contributed to friends who were on the verge of homelessness or faced extreme medical bills.

  5. I don’t generally do GoFunMe, so I can’t speak to much experience. I think Robyn’s right that animal/medical is one of the best ways to get attention.

    Remember that you have a lot of loyal readers, so I’m guessing that will help your campaign.

    I’m a pretty good editor, so if you want to run any pitch by me, you have my email. I’d be happy to help polish it up. I can’t promise it’d be optimized for crowdfunding, but anyway, the offer’s out there.

  6. kym says:

    In my experience there are 2 elements that make up a great go fund me campaign. The first is a solid story or reason for me to send money. If it’s a business idea it needs a great business plan and if it’s charity related it has to connect to my emotions. A video also helps to humanize an issue. The second element is having a large network to reach out to. To get your campaign going you will need influencers to tweet and share your campaign. The more eyeballs the better. This will require emailing blasts and some serious promotion via social media. Most of these campaigns start off slowly and then snowball with effort.

  7. […] to ask readers to help me so I can help you (cue Jerry Maguire). Suddenly my article last week,Ask the Readers: What Makes for a Successful GoFundMe Campaign?, makes a little more sense, […]

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