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The Pros and Cons of Crowdfunding

By: BRIEYA MIKALE on | Comments: 0
So you’re trying to raise some money? Maybe you’re trying to pay for those expensive medical bills or want to raise funds for a legal defense. Maybe you know of a family in your community who’s in need or there’s a group in your church going on a mission trip. No matter what the reason is, everyone can agree on one thing - raising money can be a hassle. So, what do you do? 

The great news is that there are so many people out there in the world, especially those within your inner circle, who have a heart to give! Thanks to the internet, there’s tons of platforms out there that allow these givers to donate to cases like yours and they specialize in crowdfunding to help you conveniently and efficiently raise money for your needs, wants, and goals. 

So, let's see if crowdfunding is right for you!

Pros:

1. It’s super easy to use!

Forget the hassle of trying to organize a bake sale or trivia night to raise money for your cause. Instead of wasting your time and money on creative fundraising endeavors or events, simply turn on your computer and set up your fundraising campaign from home. Crowdfunding makes raising money so convenient and effortless. In fact, the average time it takes to set up your campaign is less than 5 minutes! Crowdfunding campaigns are also easily shareable on social media and through email and text with just a few clicks.

2. Not a lot of financial risk

Not only are fundraising events and endeavors a hassle, oftentimes they can cost you the very money you’re trying to raise. Crowdfunding usually costs very little to raise money, so there’s less financial risk. Therefore, you can focus on raising and saving the money you make to put towards your cause instead of spending it on start-up costs. 

3. You gain access to a whole new community of people

Crowdfunding attracts and unites a large community of people who love to give and help others. The more you share and get the word out about your campaign, the more wonderful people you have the chance to connect with because of their support for your campaign!

Cons:

1. It takes time, planning, and effort to get the word out

Ask anyone who’s crowdfunded before - it takes work. It's a common misconception that once you create a campaign everyone and their cousin will give to your cause. That’s simply not true. You have to share your campaign with your friends, family, co-workers, church family, community, etc. to get the word out. It’s typically those close to you that will care to give to your campaign. As you share your campaign through social media, text, and email you’ll begin to see people you recognize giving to your cause. Asking those who have given to your campaign to share it with their friends and family will help spread your cause to others and give you a greater chance of getting outside donations. 

Additionally, while setting up a campaign doesn’t take very long to do, it does take a little extra time to do it well. You need to write a description for your campaign that tells your story, hooks the reader, inspires others to give to your cause, and tells them exactly how they can give (typically all between 300-500 words). It’s best to also provide regular updates to your donors so they know how your campaign journey is going. Again, crowdfunding takes time, even after you’ve created the campaign. 

2. Your campaign might not reach its goal 

On any given crowdfunding platform there are thousands of campaigns. Realistically, if those you’ve shared your campaign with already aren’t giving to your cause your campaign may not reach its end goal. Unfortunately, this is the case for around one third of people who start a crowdfunding campaign.

3. Your campaign might get taken down on certain platforms 

Many crowdfunding platforms take down campaigns because it “violated their terms of service” or they simply disagree with it’s message. All that effort down the drain, your voice silenced, and your cause crushed. There’s no telling if this will happen to your campaign, so make sure to choose one who won’t censor you! 

So now that we’ve presented the crowdfunding facts, it’s time to tell you about GiveSendGo!

1. GiveSendGo prays for its campaign users and encourages others to do the same! GiveSendGo has special Prayer Partners that call each and every GiveSendGo campaign owner to pray for them and their campaign. What other crowdfunding platform does that? Additionally, each GiveSendGo campaign features a “Pray Now” button which allows you to send a prayer message to any campaign owner on our site. Whether you’re donating to their cause or not, we always encourage you to pray for them and their needs! We also have a prayer wall where you can submit your prayer requests and praises, as well as pray for others prayer requests. 

2. GiveSendGo won’t censor your campaign. So long as your campaign isn’t illegal and/or you’re not raising money to do something harmful or illegal we won’t take down your campaign. Whether we personally agree, disagree, like, or dislike your campaign we believe everyone has a right to have their voice heard. So don’t worry, your campaign is safe with us!

3. GiveSendGo is FREE! GiveSendGo won’t charge you any money to start a fundraising campaign. Our third-party processor charges a small fee to those who donate to your campaign, but GiveSendGo’s platform itself is entirely FREE to use. 

4. GiveSendGo has a Giver Army that’s dedicated to giving to campaigns every month. GiveSendGo’s Giver Army is made up of everyday people doing spectacular things! They dedicate their time and money to give to GiveSendGo campaigns every month. Additionally, they get to choose how much they give each month and who they give to. On top of that, our Giver Army receives a thank you package and a special invitation to our yearly GiveSendGo Fall Givers Party! You too can join our Giver Army and show off your cheerful giving!

Do the pros outweigh the cons for you? Does GiveSendGo sound like a great choice for you? Let us know what you think!

Happy crowdfunding!

Shine Brightly!
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Tips for Updating Your Backers

By: ALEX SHIPLEY on | Comments: 0

Whether it’s on social media, sending out an email, or directly on your GiveSendGo campaign page it’s important to update backers about the progress of your campaign. After all, they’ve made the decision to invest in you and your idea, you should invest in them too! 

Here are a few tips on how to update your backers throughout your campaigning process, as well as a few guidelines on how to write a great campaign update!

So, what are some reasons or occasions why you should, or would need to, update your backers?

1. Fundraising Progress or New Developments

So you’ve created your campaign and are now asking people to donate to a cause you care about. That’s great! You’ve completed the first step. Now that you’ve opened that dialogue with your backers and potential backers, it would seem a little insensitive to never speak to them again. From a potential backer’s viewpoint, this would look like you only cared about getting the money you needed and not about their support. You need to also show your investment, not only in your campaign’s mission, but in the people who are giving to you. 

This is why it’s important to share fundraising milestones and new developments in your campaign with your supporters. Let’s say you reached $1,000 raised or maybe you’ve reached the halfway point in your campaign. Let your supporters know you’re grateful for their help and share your milestones with them. 

Who knows, someone out there might see your campaign update and want to give to help you reach your final goal! Sharing updates isn’t always about communicating with your supporters, although that is important, it’s also about reaching people who may not even know your campaign exists. The more updates you give, the stronger the support you will have, which means you’ll most likely reach your goal faster! 

2. Thanking and Recognizing Your Backers

Show your gratitude and share it often! If you’re getting any support at all in your campaign, that’s more support than what you started out with. You should recognize those people for the impact they’re making on your life through their donations. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to reach your goal, so they deserve to see and hear how appreciative you are for their help. An update alone shows you care about keeping your backers in the loop, but adding an extra thank you tells them that you truly appreciate what they’ve done for you! 

3. Personal Stories
 
It’s important for people to see the heart and the drive behind your campaign’s mission. People love stories, especially ones they can empathize with. You’d be surprised how much people want to help other people. But, without sharing a need or the story behind your goal, they might just see you as just another campaign in a sea of hundreds of campaigns. Give them something to be passionate about, something that makes you stand out. Everyone’s story is unique, so don’t be afraid to be vulnerable when you tell it. Just make sure you’re being honest. Your story might speak to someone on a level you may not expect. It may also inspire someone to start their own campaign if they see you sharing your mission with the world. So, share your story!

4. Sharing Links Related to Your Campaign

Sharing your campaign with local news organizations is a great way to get more awareness about your goal and mission. If they decide to run with it, now you have an article or news story you can share on social media or even share through email/text. It’s a win-win! Be sure to also share this article or video link as an update on your GiveSendGo campaign page, so people can see an outside perspective on your campaign! Who knows, you might have dozens or hundreds of people outside of your circle interested in your campaign now simply because the news covered it! Those are people who may never have known about it otherwise! 

On a similar note, you can also share in an update to your backers the different social media platforms you use and regularly post to. This is another way for you to update your backers more frequently and to stay in touch with your supporters! It’s also a way of welcoming them into your life and story!

5. Share What You’re Using the Money For

So now people know about your story and your campaign goal, but what about the money? People are sometimes hesitant to give because they don’t know where the money they’re donating will actually be going and if it’s actually going to be used for what it’s intended for. Give them an update from time to time sharing the details of where or what your money is going to and how you plan to use it. 

If your campaign is to raise money for an organization you’re passionate about, share about them and how that money will be benefiting that specific cause. If it’s for you or a group to go on a mission trip, share specific details about what their money will cover such as flights, hotels, transportation, food etc. Or, if you plan to use the money to help build houses in a third world country, then share that in an update too. The more specific you can be, the more confident people will feel in their giving to your campaign. 

6. Image or Photos

Sharing a personal update through a photo or video is a great way to connect with your backers and potential backers on a more personal level. Sometimes this means just sharing a glimpse into your life and other times it means sharing an update specific to your campaign journey. 

For instance, let’s say you’re raising money to pay for medical expenses for a loved one. You might decide to share an update about the state of their health, or maybe they have a message they want to share with those who are supporting them and you need to relay that message. Especially in this case, if someone has donated to your campaign then they probably also care about you as a person, not just about helping you reach your monetary goal. A photo or video that updates your backers helps you engage with them on a deeper level than just through text. It’s also a really simple way to let your backers know how your campaign journey is going! 

How to Write a Great Update

Now that you have all of these tips on what to update your backers about, it’s a matter of how do you do it? Your update doesn’t have to be really long, but if you feel led to share a blog post or a longer message with your supporters that’s great too! It also doesn’t need to sound deep or really professional to get the information or message across. The important thing is that you be honest in your update, genuine, and that it be relevant to your campaign. Sometimes the shorter the update the better since most people don’t want to read pages of information, nor will that help communicate clearly what you need to share. Whatever you’re updating your backers about, simply write a few paragraphs (or maybe just a few sentences depending on the update). 

Then, be sure to thank them for their continued support and be sure to mention how they can keep supporting you. Make sure you’re providing updates at least once a week, even if the update is short and to the point. Depending on the nature of your update, there are a lot of templates online that give specific steps in how to write an update like this. But at the end of the day, remember, just be you! 

Shine Brightly!
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9 Tips to Help You Raise Funds for Missions

By: ALEX SHIPLEY on | Comments: 0
Going on a mission trip, whether it’s across the world or even just a few states away is a wonderful opportunity to help fill people’s practical needs, to share the hope of the gospel, and to make new friends and connections. However, sometimes the staggering amount of money it takes to go on a mission trip stops people from going altogether. GiveSendGo wants to offer anyone considering or dedicated to going on a mission trip some tips and suggestions for how to raise money for missions so you can shine brightly and really make a difference in this world!

Many of these tips and suggestions provide opportunities to get your church family and community involved in your fundraising endeavors as well! 

1. Create a GiveSendGo Campaign

We have a lot of families, groups, and individuals raising funds for their mission trips on GiveSendGo. In fact, it’s one of our most used categories! We encourage anyone looking to raise funds for their mission trip to use GiveSendGo as a tool to make your journey easier. 

Just like with any other campaign, it’s important to tell your story. Be sure to share your heart and why you (and/or) your group feels it’s important to go on this trip. People want to hear what kind of work you will be doing during your trip whether that’s building a house, serving in inner city missions, helping with disaster relief, etc. Missions could be a variety of things, so it’s important to communicate those details about what you will be doing, other ways aside from donating that people could be helping, what they could also be praying for, and why it’s important for you to go and help serve and/or evangelize in that area. 

Once you’ve shared your story, share your campaign as much as you can with your family, friends, social media community, church family, co-workers, and your local community. Share it on your social media sites, send the campaign url through email to relatives and co-workers, and text the campaign url to your closest friends and family. The best way to raise funds for your mission trip is to spread awareness and get as many people involved as you can, so don’t be shy with that share button. You can’t share it too much and you might even be surprised by the amount of people who want to help support you and your group in this calling.
 
2. “Pick a Number” Board or Envelope Fundraising

These two fundraising methods are roughly the same thing or are at least very similar. It can also be called a “Wall of Money”. Either way, the concept is that you make a board with various amounts or numbers ranging from 1-50, 1-100, 1-150, or whatever amount you feel is appropriate. Typically those amounts are written on envelopes or slips of paper and attached to panels on a cardboard display board.

Then, people can choose a number or amount and donate that amount. Once an amount has been given, you can cross that number out on the slip of paper or envelope but leave the number on the board, so you can keep track of what amounts are left. It will also lead more people to want to donate those other available amounts to complete your goal. This method also ensures everyone gets an opportunity to donate no matter what their budget is. The benefit of using envelopes is that people can place their cash or check straight into the envelope labeled with the amount they’re donating. 

The best part about this method is that you can use it more than just once and it can be incorporated into any event. If you’re already hosting a fundraising event (maybe using one of ideas listed below) use this money board as a fun way to have people donate to your trip. You could also set it up and leave it every Sunday at your church, so people can decide when it’s best for them to donate. 
  
3. Trivia Night 


Trivia nights are a huge hit and garner a lot of attendees! It’s also an event that people of every age can participate in. You can charge a set price per group or table, charge per person and put people together at random, or use both methods! The benefit of charging per table or group is that if people want to play with their friends or family they can all chip in the donation price. 

The best part about trivia nights is that you have free reign with the topics you’ll quiz people over! You can have a trivia night with various categories such as movies, nature or landmarks, the town you’re hosting in, history, etc. Or you can get more specific and make your trivia night all about one topic such as Star Wars and each trivia category has something to do with Star Wars. Another option is to theme the trivia night based on the location of your mission trip. Decorate the room like that country or place and then use one of the categories to quiz them over that location. The sky’s the limit, so just have fun and be really creative! 

Because trivia nights can be tailored to your needs, you can implement other fundraising methods or activities into the night. For instance, during intermission you can host a silent auction or play some mini games where people can donate a set amount to play. You can also set up the envelope money board mentioned earlier for people to place donations in as they’re walking around. 

4. Sell T-Shirts, Bracelets, and/or Stickers

Who doesn’t love a good t-shirt? They’re fun to collect and serve as a great reminder of fond memories.

Making and selling a creative t-shirt design is a great way to raise money for your mission trip. Not only do you get to create something unique and personal to you and your trip, but people will wear them more than once, which will only increase the awareness of your trip. A way to take advantage of this is to encourage your supporters to post a picture of themselves on social media with your t-shirt! If you have a hashtag you’re using to share about your trip, you can even use that on the t-shirt and encourage others to share that same hashtag when they post with your shirt.

The same goes for rubber bracelets! They’re also cheaper, so if someone can’t afford a t-shirt or knows they won’t wear it, they can just buy a bracelet. Also, designing a fun sticker for computers, cars, or even water bottles are becoming more and more popular. They’re really easy to create and buy in bulk! Even though they're just stickers, you can charge higher prices like $15 per sticker (or for a pack of stickers). People are really willing to donate if they know it’s going to support something or someone they care about.  

5. Offer a Service

Offering a service, whether it’s just you as an individual or as a whole group going on missions, is extremely effective. Almost everyone has some sort of project around their house or yard they need accomplished and many of those projects are ones that require helping hands. You can reach out as a group or individual to your community, or even to your church family, to see if there’s anyone who needs help with an inside or outside project they would be willing to pay you for to support your mission trip. You’re likely to rack up a lot of projects! 

A few projects you may be able to help out with could be babysitting, lawn mowing, raking leaves, cleaning houses, organizing, building, planting flowers, removing tree roots, cleaning gutters, painting, and many more. Whatever the project is, it’s a great way to not only serve your community, but it’s also giving others the opportunity to serve you through your service by donating for your work. 

6. LemonAid Stand

A lemonade stand (or a LemonAid stand if you want to be punny) is another fun way for a group or a few people to work together to raise money for a mission trip. Making homemade lemonade is easy and fairly affordable. It’s also something simple you can incorporate with other fundraising activities over the summer like a garage sale or auction. 

7. Parents Night Out

Host a parents night out at your church or among your friend group! For one night you can offer to watch kids for a set price, or whatever parents would normally pay a babysitter, while the parents go out and enjoy a kid-free night.

8. Ice Cream Social

Ice cream socials are a fun summer activity to raise money for your mission trip. You can typically buy several large buckets or tubs of various flavors of ice cream for a relatively cheap price. We also recommend you provide different toppings and maybe even some drizzles or sauces for people to choose from. Then, you can charge $5, or whatever you see fit, per cone or bowl and you’d be surprised how many people from the community you’ll attract (especially from families on a really hot day)!

We suggest you also talk to local stores or organizations to see if they would be willing to donate the ice cream to you in support of your trip. The worst they can say is no, so it doesn’t hurt to ask! 

9. Garage Sale 
 
This idea works the best in spring or summer. Invite your family, friends, church family, and community to donate items from their house they want to get rid of to your garage sale. Then, based on your schedule and deadline, you can sell items in your garage sale every weekend or even everyday for a week. Then, all the money raised from the garage sale can go directly towards your mission trip.
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