We all know life can sometimes throw us unforeseen curveballs–a medical emergency, unexpected death, a damaging storm. No matter what the situation may be, fundraising is always a great option to consider when you need help!
Fun fact: It’s not just for nonprofit organizations. Of course, fundraising for individuals is a little bit different, but the goal is ultimately the same—to raise as much money as you can for a specific cause.
What Do People Fundraise For?
We know what you’re thinking…that people typically only fundraise when bad things happen and they weren’t prepared financially. Wrong! In addition to the ‘bad things,’ people fundraise on an individual level for all kinds of reasons, such as:
- When people want to support a charity they’re passionate for
- A student’s college/school fund
- An upcoming big trip
- Wedding or honeymoon costs
The list goes on and on! There are always good reasons to fundraise. The best part is that sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can do.
5 Fundraising Ideas for Individuals
Once you know what you want to fundraise for, now it’s time to decide how you’re going to reach that goal. Some easy fundraiser ideas for individuals includes:
Arguably, crowdfunding is one of the most popular personal fundraising methods to take. It involves raising a lot of money through small, individual contributions. Why this works: donors love to put faces to names, and when you tell your personal story on your crowdfunding site, they feel like they’re getting to know both you and your cause.
#2: “In lieu of” fundraising
You’ve seen it on social media–”Instead of a birthday gift this year, I’d like you to donate to cause XYZ.” Some funerals do similar fundraising, asking loved ones to donate to a special cause instead of sending flowers. Why this works: it addresses the unique aspect of an individual’s character, while generating support for a worthy cause.
#3: Bake sale
Not your ordinary bake sale. Think of baking your favorite treats at home, then advertising them on social media. Is there anything better than having baked deliciousness delivered to your door? Why this works: well, because it’s fresh-baked sweet stuff. But also because it has that human factor. Instead of paying for impersonal, mass-produced desserts from a freezer case, it’s nice to receive a treat handmade with love.
An oldie but goodie, an organized car wash is a great way to fundraise for individual students. When there is a need for new uniforms, shoes, bags, etc, a car wash is a fun, inexpensive way to get funding. Why this works: aside from the practical aspect (i.e. you have to freshen up your ride sometime, anyway), a local car wash cranks up that community, neighborhood feeling.
#5: Game night
A game night is an easy way to quickly get the funding you need. Charge an entry fee, provide food and drinks, and lay out tons of different games. You don’t even need a big prize at the end. A fun night out is enough! Why this works: it’s great for families, who may not have the time or resources to invest in purchasing board games and playing at home.
5 Fundraising Tips for Individuals
You know what you’re fundraising for, you know the type of fundraiser you’re going to put on. Now, it’s time to plan and execute. Here are the top fundraising tips for individuals.
#1: Set Goals & Tell Your Story Well
One thing you don’t want to do when fundraising on a personal level is go in blind. When nonprofits fundraise, they don’t just jump right into everything. They lay out all the details and make a plan first.
We’re not saying that you need to spend hours outlining exactly what you’re planning to do and why. But, setting goals for your fundraiser and flushing out a heartfelt backstory sets the foundation for everything that you do.
Use these questions as a starting point when you’re just beginning to plan your fundraiser:
- Why am I fundraising?
- How much money do I want to raise?
- Where is the money going that I’m raising?
- Who has been directly impacted and how will these funds help them?
How to put together a killer backstory for your fundraiser
After you have a good grasp on the foundation of your fundraiser, you’ll want to spend some time telling the story—and telling it well. At the end of the day, this is what’s going to encourage people to donate!
The goal is to get your potential donors emotionally invested. Here are some best practices we’ve seen work wonders with fundraisers hosted on RallyUp:
Be as detailed as you can when describing the journey: No matter where or how you decide to run your fundraiser, you’re going to have to talk about the ‘why’ behind what you’re doing. Don’t spare a single detail.
Start from the very beginning and describe how you ended up where you are now. Make sure you tell them exactly where the funds being raised are going and how far even a small donation can go.
Tug on the heartstrings and appeal to the emotions: This is the golden ticket right here. Anyone can tell a story, right? But how you tell it makes all the difference. Make it personal.
Discuss how this cause has impacted you emotionally and how it’s personally made you feel. Let your personality shine through too! You definitely don’t want people to read your story and it sounds like something straight out of a textbook.
Be visual: Don’t forget the pictures! Or even videos. This is one of the fun parts about fundraising for individuals, showing your donors your reason for fundraising.
Make sure to use visuals that spark emotion, aren’t low resolution (blurry) and relate directly to your cause. You could even create a slideshow video of pictures with some music!
#2: Choose a Super Engaging Campaign
We’re sure that you’ve seen, and even contributed to, crowdfunding campaigns on sites like GoFundMe. These can definitely be effective, but there’s so much more you can do (and funds you can raise) with a more creative campaign!
Consider these simple, but highly-engaging, fundraising ideas to get your wheels spinning:
Fundraising for individuals doesn’t have to be limited to crowdfunding. Why not get your donors more excited to be involved with a fundraiser like virtual trivia? The premise is simple and costs nothing!
- Step 1: Choose a streaming platform (like Zoom) that will serve as the ‘location’ for the event.
- Step 2: Send a mass email or text to let participants know the time and date.
- Step 3: Choose your questions. It might also be beneficial to choose some that are geared toward the reason you’re fundraising.
- Step 4: Host trivia!
Get your trivia on
Virtual trivia is a great way to grab people’s attention. You can get creative with marketing promoting things like silly team names, details about the competition, and potential bragging rights, and let’s not forget… a super fun night!
Great news! Making money is even easier than hosting the event. Simply charge an entry fee for each participant.
Sell anything and everything
If trivia isn’t your jam, you could even consider selling items (think bake sales!) to raise money for your cause. Wondering what to sell? The possibilities are endless:
- Baked goods that you or someone you know can make yourself at a low cost
- Photography sessions from a local professional
- Baskets filled with items donated from local businesses
- Art or decor donated from a local artisan
The key with a sale fundraiser like this is selling items that were at a low cost or free to acquire so that the profit margin is higher.
When you’ve determined what you’re going to sell, pick a day to sell the items in person and/or offer them digitally for a longer period of time. RallyUp can also help here! You can easily set up your own little shop on our online fundraising platform that allows you to sell a variety of different items in whatever quantities and colors/sizes that you need. Not to mention, we offer different payment options for your donors.
Make pledges for good
In a nutshell, whatever metric your a-thon is based on, people can pledge a dollar amount that’s correlated to the performance of the participants. We’ll use Make-A-Wish Southern Florida’s pushup a-thon as an example!
Using RallyUp, they hosted a nation-wide fundraiser where people pledged on the amount of push-ups participants completed during the event. It went a little something like this:
- Participants promoted their participation in the fundraiser to encourage their friends/family to pledge
- Supporters pledged on how many push-ups they thought the participant could do in a specified amount of time (ie. $1 for every push-up or $20 for a total of 15 push-ups)
- On the day of the event, participants did as many push-ups as they could
- Those that pledged then donated the amount earned by the participant.
As you can see, fundraising for individuals can be a lot more engaging than just basic crowdfunding. Believe us when we say the more creative you get, the more potential there is for increased donations.
#3: Promote it Like No Other
One thing that you can’t put to the wayside when fundraising on an individual level is how you get the word out there. You want to get as many people involved as you can to up your chances of donations.
Just like a nonprofit would exhaust a handful of different avenues to market their fundraiser, so should you! Once your campaign is ready to go, start getting the word out ASAP using methods like these:
- Social media – 97% of marketers use social media as it’s one of the most creative and cost-effective ways to reach a lot of people. Post often to your Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc. telling people about your fundraiser. When you use a fundraising platform, like RallyUp, there’s easy social sharing options available to you too!
- Text messages – Shoot a quick text to everyone in your contacts informing them of your fundraiser! To make it easy, use your notes app to craft a genuine message and then copy/paste it in each individual message.
- Flyers – We know, old school right? But it still works! Use free graphic design tools, like Canva, to create an eye-catching flyer for your fundraiser. Then, ask local businesses, schools, churches, etc. to hang them up or have them at their front counter for people to take.
A few best practices for promoting your fundraiser
Fundraising for individuals involves more than just getting your audience to help spread the word, it’s enticing them to give. Here are some best practices to help reach those goals:
- Be 100% real and genuine in your messaging. Try to stay away from stale language that sounds textbook-like and or too desperate.
- Consistently promote your fundraiser. Posting on social media a couple times or texting your friends about it one time isn’t going to do the trick. Try to market often on a set cadence.
- Lean on your friends and family to help. Send everyone you know all the information they would need to help your fundraiser reach more people. When your friends tell their friends, and their friends tell their friends, you’ll increase the fundraising potential.
#4: Say Thank You After it’s Over
Once your fundraiser has ended, and you’ve hit your fundraising goal of course, there’s still one thing left to do–thank your donors! A simple thank you goes a long way.
This is also something that nonprofit organizations often do with their donors as well. Thanking your donors not only helps to build stronger relationships, but it shows your gratitude in the best way.
What are some different ways you can thank your supporters for their donations? Consider these tried and true methods nonprofits use:
- Give shout outs to your donors on social media for everyone to see (bonus points for a video!)
- Send a pretty, hand-written thank you card
- Visit them in-person with a big hug on deck
- Take time out of your day to give them a quick call
#5: Make Your Life Easier with a Fundraising Platform
We’ve already touched a little bit on how online fundraising platforms can pave the way for more creativity with your fundraisers. The other huge benefit to using innovative fundraising systems, like RallyUp, is that they cut out a large majority of the manual work.
In most cases, fundraising for individuals on an online platform involves a super quick and straightforward setup. When using RallyUp, it’s as simple as:
- Creating an account
- Choosing the charity you want to raise money for
- Choosing the type of fundraiser you want to run (trivia, a-thon, sale, crowdfunding, auction, etc.)
- Populating your fundraiser with the appropriate content (title, your story, pictures/videos, etc.)
- Sharing your fundraiser link on social media, via text or in an email to get people involved
That’s all there really is to it! No pen and paper necessary. You can even eliminate excessive planning. The best part is that it’s free to use.
While RallyUp doesn’t currently support fundraisers for personal causes, fundraising for individuals is still permitted (and encouraged!). All you have to do is choose the charity your heart has it out for and start raising funds.