Online fundraising can be a powerful way to raise the money you need for personal emergencies, medical bills, education, adoption costs, funerals and memorials, pet expenses, and so much more.

But the key component in a successful online fundraising campaign is you. Online fundraising puts the success of your fundraiser in your own hands: You’re in charge of telling your story, rallying the people in your life to support your cause and reaching your goals.

Are you up to the task?

Before starting your online fundraiser, you should ask yourself the following questions:

Do I have the time?

Online fundraisers work on momentum.

Just as your car can’t reach a speed of 100 miles per hour as soon as you put your foot on the gas pedal, your personal fundraiser won’t reach its goal as soon as it’s published.

Once you publish your personal fundraising page you will need to devote time to sharing your campaign on social media, asking your family and friends to support you, interacting with people on your page, thanking those who donate to you and telling your story.

Mightycause has tools that will help you spread the word about your campaign, but to be successful and reach your fundraising goal, you will need time to reach out to people and ask for their support.

Consider the time you have available to devote to your online fundraiser…

If your time or health is compromised, you may want to ask a trusted friend or family member to help you run your personal fundraising campaign or start one on your behalf.

Do I have the social network?

Your biggest supporters in a crowdfunding campaign are the people in your life. Friends, family, coworkers, friends on social media and people in your community are your donor base. To get your campaign rolling, you will need to appeal to people you already know for support.

Some personal fundraisers do eventually gain the support of strangers, but these fundraisers are exceptions and not the rule. As much as we wish there was a large community of anonymous benefactors just waiting to donate to personal fundraisers, there is not.

Social media is a must for online fundraisers!

Before starting a personal fundraising campaign, we encourage you to consider how you will spread the word about your campaign and appeal to supporters.

Do you have social media accounts that you use on a regular basis? Are most of your friends and family members online, too? Are you comfortable posting publicly that you are looking for financial help for a personal reason? If the answer is no, you may want to consider ways to raise the money you need in a less public way, or ask for help from someone you know who has a bigger online presence.

Do I have a clear purpose?

When people donate their hard-earned money to support a cause, they want to know precisely where their money will go and how it will be spent.

Personal fundraisers often have many needs. After all, you’re on Mightycause and thinking about starting a personal fundraiser because you need money, right? But before starting your fundraiser, think about what you need money for and get specific about why you’re asking for donations.

Without a clear purpose, a fundraiser is unlikely to reach its goal. For instance, if you need money for your family, what specifically do you need it for? Diapers, school supplies, groceries, day care expenses?

You can raise money for all of those things, but you need to be able to break it down for your supporters in order to win their donation.

Do I have a compelling story to tell?

Your personal story is the driving force behind your personal fundraising campaign.

To reach your goal, you will need to tell your story in a way that inspires people to want to help you. Everyone has things they need or want to spend their money on.

Can you make a strong case that they should spend money to help you?

People use personal fundraising for a wide variety of reasons. Some stories are sad, some stories are inspirational, and some stories are light-hearted and even humorous. You can fundraise for any reason and be successful as long as you can tell your story in a way that makes people want to help you. (Just ask the guy who raised over $55,000 to make potato salad.)

While the story you tell needs to be honest and true, consider whether you can find a way to tell your story to make your personal fundraiser stand out and inspire people to donate to your cause.

Do I have a bank account I can link to my fundraiser?

Mightycause has partnered with Stripe to process donations made to personal fundraisers. We chose Stripe because of its high standard of security and because it will allow people to make donations to your fundraiser without ever leaving your page.

In order to set up your account with Stripe, you will need to have a bank account and have access to your routing and account numbers. In other words, if you do not have a U.S. bank account, unfortunately you will not be able to collect donations on Razoo.

(If you need help setting up your Stripe account, we’ve got a walkthrough that can help you out!)

Do I have content to fill out my fundraising page?

There are several fields you will need to fill out before you can publish your personal fundraising page on Mightycause: You will need to come up with a title for your fundraiser, set an end date, set up an account with Stripe, write a short summary of your fundraiser, write your story, and add an image or video to your page. Images and videos are especially important to a personal fundraising campaign, as they help you tell your story and make your page feel personal.

Before you start your personal fundraiser, consider what content you already have available and what content you will need. Do you have a picture of yourself that you can post on your page? If not, a selfie will do, and a nice photo that ties into your campaign is even better.

Amanda raised ver $1,200 on Mightycause for Carter’s medical care. Carter suffers from a rare genetic disorder; a simple snapshot of Carter helped donors connect to his story.

You may want to consider recording a video appeal to add to your fundraiser. It doesn’t need to be a Hollywood production — a video taken on a smartphone or with a webcam introducing yourself and explaining why you’re fundraising on Mightycause can go a long way in making your fundraising page look great.

A powerful and well-made video helped Nelson raise over $5,000 on Mightycause to help his sister-in-law Judy, who was suffering from a brain tumor.

Once you’ve asked yourself all of these questions and have determined that crowdfunding is the best way for you to raise the money you need, get your personal fundraiser started on Mightycause today!