How to Start a Fundraiser and Raise Money for Charity

So, you’re thinking of starting a fundraiser to raise money for a cause you’re passionate about. Nice work! It’s one of the most mentally and spiritually rewarding things you can do, and is a great way to unite a community behind a common cause. However, if you’re new to fundraising, it can be confusing figuring out where to start and how to keep that momentum going strong throughout your campaign.

There are loads of things to consider before getting started. But, once you’ve got it all figured out, and you’ve got the makings of a solid plan, you’re ready to get out there and get people motivated to help your cause. Here, we’ll walk you through the essentials of fundraising, to make that journey to your target smooth, fulfilling, and ultimately a big success!

How to Start a Fundraiser In 5 Easy Steps

There are multiple ways to get a fundraiser going, but, if you ask yourself the following questions, we think the answers will really help your fundraiser take shape:

What’s your fundraising target?

Of course, when it comes to charity any amount is all to the good, and everyone wants to raise as much as possible. But what is achievable? How long should the fundraiser continue for? How many people do you believe will get involved? And don’t forget, it costs money to start a fundraiser, so any expenses must be considered too. 

If you’re raising money for something specific, like equipment for your child’s school or to refurbish a community hall, for example, you can find out how much these things cost in advance to inform that all-important fundraising target. However, if you’re simply raising money for a charity, set yourself a target that is challenging, but achievable. A goal you’ll be proud to reach!

What’s your story?

The most successful fundraisers have a story at their core with a universal feeling or message that everyone can relate to. If the reason you’re planning a fundraiser is deeply personal, you don’t need to bare your soul to the world. But to let people in to see your sincere reasons for supporting a charity or cause may inspire them to do the very same. 

The truth is, there are many causes and charities out there, and many people can only afford to donate to a certain few. The reason they will choose your fundraiser is empathy; how they connect with your journey to fundraising is a big part of that. So, if you’re using a crowdfunding or donation site (we’ll get to that later), consider how to write your story on your donation page. The more who read it and share, the more that are likely to donate.

How are you going to raise the money?

Here’s the most crucial question. What is your fundraiser going to look like? Are you planning to run a half marathon, host an event like a summer fête, create an email campaign or even attempt a world record? Whatever you decide, it’s likely to cost money to achieve so remember to factor this in when setting your fundraising target.

If you’ve got your heart set on a cause, but you’re waiting for that lightning bolt of an idea, we’ve got a list of 130 fundraising ideas to suit all kinds of charities, organisations, and places. Some, like sponsored dog walking or extreme challenges, you can go solo. Others, like bake sales and bingo nights, you may need some help from family and friends to get it all up and running. But, with more people onboard, word will spread even further!

No matter the idea you choose, don’t forget, with easyfundraising, you can add even more to the total pot just by shopping online. We’re partnered with thousands of retailers who will donate a small amount to your cause as a thank you for shopping with them. That means whatever supplies you need for your fundraiser, anything from running shoes from ASOS to baking ingredients from Tesco, you can expect a donation, so long as they’re partnered with us. Simply register your cause and begin your online shopping journey from our website to make sure you get that donation. Easy.

Will you use a crowdfunding website?

Crowdfunding websites like JustGiving, Donorbox and GoFundMe offer an efficiently easy and sharable way to get your fundraising message out there and make sure it’s heard. With a fundraising page on one of these websites, you can personalise your page, tell your story in an engaging way, show donors how close you are to your target with a goal meter, and give them a donation link they can easily share with their friends on social media. 

We think choosing a crowdfunding website as a platform to raise awareness and funds is a great way to go. However, we’d recommend picking one platform instead of setting up pages on several sites. That’s because it makes the total at the end easier to calculate, and it gives people inspired by your cause a single link they can easily share.

Promote your campaign

The best way to make your fundraising campaign successful is to make sure as many people know about it as possible. Start by telling your friends and family about your fundraising idea and get them to spread the word. Then, share your fundraising idea with the world across your social media accounts, along with a link to your page where everyone can donate. Don’t just share it once, either. Keep sharing your fundraiser at regular intervals, to keep it fresh in everyone’s mind

And if it’s a local cause, for example funding a computer room in a school or new equipment for a sports hall, share your fundraiser with local businesses and organisations. Create flyers and give them to shops and businesses, schools and community centres to display in windows and on bulletin boards. This is a great way to help word reach the local community.

Keep up the momentum

So, your fundraiser is well underway, the donations are rolling in, and you’re getting ever closer to raising the target amount for your all-important cause. The important thing now is, don’t coast! 

Keep sharing your fundraising efforts on social media, with friends and family, everywhere you can. It’s the final dash to the finish line, so it’s not the time to slow down! Also, remember to keep people who have already donated up to date with how your efforts have progressed in the time since. They’re clearly already interested and inspired by your story, so make sure they know it doesn’t end there. Your success in helping a worthy charity or cause may even be the thing that inspires them to start their own. How amazing would that be?

(Bonus) Don’t forget to thank your donors!

Many crowdfunding websites have an automatic email system that means you can send your donors a thank you as soon as their donation comes through. This is a pretty efficient system, saving loads of time manually writing out thank you emails each time a new donation is made. But for donors you know, like mates, family, colleagues and even particularly generous donors, a personal thank you note recognising the help they’ve given will make their day. It’s polite, and it’ll make them even more likely to share your fundraising campaign with the people they know. 

Those are our quick steps to starting up a fundraiser. Once you’ve thought about all those questions and formulated a plan to see the project through from start to finish, there’s no reason you shouldn’t smash that target and do great things! And remember, you’ll find a huge variety of causes to support and ideas to inspire your fundraiser right here at easyfundraising!