Christmas is always a special time of year for my family, but probably not for the reasons you would expect. Sure, we get together and celebrate with all our usual traditions. However, the holidays are also a time to reflect on and share our blessings with others. So, every year my family chooses a charitable cause that holds special meaning for us and finds some way to support them. It is a good reminder of what the Christmas spirit is all about as well as the importance of giving back to the community. The birth of crowdfunding sites has opened up new possibilities and ways to help. If you are looking for ways you can contribute, here’s how to set up crowdfunding for charity.
What is Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is a simple concept that has helped people raise millions of dollars for different causes. Instead of trying to get a single large donation, it takes a more grassroots approach of asking for smaller donations from a large group of people.
The platforms provide a secure online portal where you can make monetary contributions. Several charities, social justice causes, startups, and individuals seeking assistance through hardships utilize crowdfunding to raise money. If you are looking for a way to give back, you can donate to existing non-profits or charitable organizations that support national and international relief efforts. Or, you can find an individual cause to directly help people you know.
How Do You Set Up Crowdfunding for Charity?
Although it is easy to fill out the required fields and launch your crowdfunding cause, it takes more to lead a successful campaign. You must implement a good strategy and get ready to put in a good amount of work to see results. You can’t just set it and forget it, then expect the donations to come rolling in.
When you take the role of organizer, you will need to set the goals for the crowdfunding campaign, share important details of the cause you are raising money for, and find a way to reach the maximum amount of people possible. One of the easiest methods of gaining support is to post links, pictures, and updates through your social media. The more platforms you use, the more people you can reach.
However, one thing you must remember is to pay attention to the fine print. There are rules and fees associated with each platform. And, they all operate differently. Some will charge a small percentage to use their platform and also regulate how and when the funds are disbursed. Make sure to read them carefully so they aren’t any surprises later on.
What Are the Best Crowdfunding Platforms to Use for Charity?
So, the big question is how do you choose which site is best when you are crowdfunding for charity? There are dozens of platforms to choose from, and more popping up every day. However, every crowdfunding site is not created equal.
The top crowdfunding sites provide easy setup and maintenance, but they will charge you for it. Platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter are among the largest and most popular because they are user-friendly. In only a few minutes, you can have it completed and ready to start spreading the word. And, organizers can quickly access the funds when they are ready to use them. But, they require a 5% fee to use their services. While GoFundMe has no platform fee, it charges transaction fees for debit and credit cards.
Sites like Mightycause are much better suited for nonprofits and charitable causes. They have some of the lowest fees, charging only 1.2% for processing fees. And although they don’t require you to meet specific goals, they will give you access to free tools to help achieve them.
The Best Crowdfunding Platform for Our Christmas Cause
This year, my family decided to think a little bigger. We are rallying support for a group of people who are often overlooked. Although society considers them adults, 20% of children who “age out” of foster care become instantly homeless. As they formally enter adulthood, they lose access to every form of support they had as minors.
To put it lightly, these kids are often unprepared and ill-equipped to take care of themselves as adults. They face greater obstacles and have a higher risk of dropping out, unemployment, teen pregnancy, abuse, and imprisonment. So, youth centers, such as the Flite Center, provide support to local teens as they transition into adulthood. In addition to providing basic living necessities, they also offer career counseling, resource navigation, and assistance to find housing and education.
Unfortunately, these centers are severely underfunded and are always in need of support. Therefore, my friend, her community, and now all our social media contacts are banding together to put together gift baskets with Christmas stockings stuffed full of toiletries, gift cards, warm clothing, and other necessities to make their lives a little easier. To help us with this task, we chose SignUpGenius.
The Crowdfunding Platform
Although any one of the crowdfunding platforms can help you achieve your goals, it is important to find the one the best suits your needs. The primary benefit of this crowdfunding platform for charity is that it allows you to itemize your list and assign slots for volunteers to sign up. It gives more flexibility to those who are contributing and makes it easier for the organizer to meet the donation goals.
Instead of just sending money, the platform’s design allows you to choose what you want to contribute. After creating a list of items to include, we provided the link to purchase them in bulk. There are also options to purchase gift cards or pay for an entire basket. For those who find it difficult to make monetary contributions, there is also a request for handwritten Christmas cards that can be included with the baskets.
However, SignUpGenius has another huge advantage: the cost. While they do charge a set monthly fee, they will not require a percentage of the money you raise. The lowest package starts at $8.99 a month, but they do offer a free trial for their premium plans.
In addition to the financial savings, their site will also help us save a ton of time and energy in preparation. Now, we can focus our efforts on community outreach and informing everyone of how they can help. This Christmas, we want people to understand that family isn’t always the people that you are related to. Everyone in your community is part of your family. And as a community, we can support each other and make it even stronger.
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Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.