GoFundMe Guide

How to plan and execute a successful GoFundMe fundraiser for Camp A Cappella


No, but seriously. America is REALLY big on self-sufficiency. That’s changing, and community support is becoming a bigger thing, but still, getting people to give you money for nothing in return is way harder than, say:

  • mowing lawns
  • babysitting
  • getting a job (if you’re old enough)
  • negotiating additional chores around the house
  • selling old games or books
  • etc etc etc

So, if any of these are an option, DO THEM FIRST. Every person who can’t make the money up that way will thank you for giving them more of an opportunity, and you will feel amazing about the thing you did all by yourself!

2. Tell your story

All right. You’ve got to do this thing to make up the money you need to come to Camp. To do this effectively, you’re going to have to convince people that you’re worthy of them taking their hard-earned money out of their pocket and give it to you so you can have a fun week singing a cappella. In order to make this work, you have to tell your story.

Why do you want to go to Camp? What struggles have you had/do you have? What are your dreams? Who inspires you, who is helping you? What amazing things are you going to do to change the world with what you learn at Camp? Writing the answers to these questions into a compelling narrative will help people understand who you are, connect with you, and want to give to you. Find your hook, the thing that makes you different from other people, and capitalize on it. You’re like one of those puppies we save when we give to the ASPCA!

3. Share your costs

Be upfront about what Camp is going to cost you, including any travel costs. List them out and make sure to include a bit of a buffer in case things go wrong. Once people give to you, they expect you to use the money you get to go to Camp; don’t disappoint them by not raising enough and then not being able to go to camp.

How much should you put?  Well, start with the half of camp that you know you will have to raise yourself, or $350.  If you will need to fly, add in that cost, too.  If you know that you will not be able to go to camp without raising all of the money, then go ahead and include the full cost of camp in case you are not selected for one of the ½ tuition scholarships.  You get to keep whatever money you raise, even if you do not reach your goal.

4. Do YOUR part.

Make sure you share how YOU will be working to make money on your own. Show that this is just a part of your fundraising efforts, People like to help people who help themselves.

5. Provide compelling media

This is very important. In today’s world, we get people’s attention via rich media. Rich media is things other than text. So, when you create your GoFundMe campaign, or do any promotion, make sure you have one of these things included in everything you post:

  • Photos – pictures of you doing what you love or working to raise money on your own!
  • Video – Got video of you killing a solo or performing an awesome composition? Share it. Put it right there on your page tos how people just how serious you are about a cappella. Also, provide updates in video form! You’ve got a phone or a computer in your house; use that camera!!!
  • Audio – do you have demo tracks, or can you simply record yourself singing or beatboxing? DO IT! Share your talent with the world! Record audio thank-you’s for all of your donors!

Use one, or use all three. Show who you are by using rich media; it’ll make your campaign come alive.

6. Stay Engaged

Okay! So now you’ve launched your campaign. You’re all done, right? Just sit back and watch the money roll in! WRONG. Setting up your page was the easy part; getting the money to come in is the hard part. Here’s what you need to do (and put your salesman hat on, because you’re going to have to sell, sell, SELL!):

POST: Post your campaign. On Facebook. On Twitter. On Instagram. On your YouTube channel. Email it to your close friends and family. MESSAGE PEOPLE DIRECTLY. Post early and often, and with different stories, pleas, text, writing, etc. attached to it. Make your posts varied and often, and you’ll catch the widest range of supporters. Use a tool like Buffer (www.bufferapp.com) to schedule your posts so they can happen even when you’re at school or asleep!

SHARE: Sharing has two components

  • One, GET PEOPLE TO SHARE YOUR CAMPAIGN! Even if they can’t donate, their sharing it to their friends can gain you additional donations! So, ask nicely! Most people will take the moment to post your thing to their friends if you just reach out and ask.
  • Two, SHARE THE CAMPAIGNS OF OTHERS. A rising tide lifts all boats, as my grandmother used to say. Promote your fellow campers and they will promote you! People love it when they see you’re not just out for yourself, but you’re working to make camp a reality for everyone!

UPDATE: Now you’ve got their money, people want to know how you’re doing! Halfway there SHare an update. Big donation? Share an update. Able to lay for your plane ticket. Share an update. The more updates you share the more people feel connected to you and will give more, again, or tell their friends.

7. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude, gratitude!

SAY THANK YOU. Say it once. Say it twice. Say it with a song, a video, a tweet, a post, a shirt, a poster, whatever you want but show people how much their support of you means to both you and camp alike. Once again, this makes sure other campers have a positive experience, it helps you raise more money, and it promotes Camp as a positive, loving experience.