Your page is the most important part of your fundraiser.
All your crowdfunding efforts revolve around this one page so it’s worth the time to make it as heartfelt, personal and interesting as possible. People will base their decision about whether they should donate to your cause based on the strength of your page. If your page isn’t interesting, visually appealing, doesn’t tell a compelling story, or doesn’t seem legitimate, you can push donors away.
Before we get to the nitty gritty, here’s how to create your personal fundraiser from the Mightycause home page:
Go to www.mightycause.com and click “Fundraise” on the top left of the page to start creating your fundraiser:
Our Fundraiser Wizard will guide you through 5 simple steps to launch your personal fundraiser:
Step 1: Do you want to make a single fundraiser, or a team fundraiser? Team fundraisers are only for charitable causes, so select “Fundraiser.”
Step 2: How much money do you want to raise?
Step 3: What are you raising money for? (Choose “Personal cause.”)
Step 4: Who are you raising money for? Yourself, or someone else? Select the appropriate option.
Step 5: Create a user account. (PROTIP: Connect with Facebook!) If you are already logged in to a Mightycause account, you can simply continue, although we do recommend connecting your account to Facebook if you haven’t.
Once you’ve gone through this process, you’re ready to start building your page!
So, what can you do to make your page as awesome as possible?
Here’s a step-by-step, top-to-bottom guide to making the most out of your Mightycause page, using a fictional fundraiser I’ve set up for my cat Puddles’ (fictional) veterinary expenses as an example.
Items that have an asterisk next to them are required before you can publish your fundraiser.
Your page’s title*
When thinking of your title, consider this: Every time you share your page on Facebook or Twitter, your fundraiser’s title will be one of the first pieces of information your friends and followers see. They will make a decision about whether to click on the link to your fundraiser based on your title.
So having a good title for your fundraiser is important! You want people to click on your links, visit your page and make a donation. Without a good title, you’re starting your fundraising campaign at a huge disadvantage.
When you’re logged into Mightycause and on your page with the Management sidebar open, you can either click directly onto the title to change it, or click on Page Editor (the pencil icon) on your sidebar, then on Title:
Since the title of your page will be one of the first things people see when they’re deciding whether to follow a link on social media, your title should make it immediately clear for what you’re fundraising. For my fictional fundraiser for my cat, I chose this title:
This title works because it’s short and to the point: I am fundraising for my cat’s dental work.
You might be tempted to get cute with your title, and there’s nothing wrong with being creative, but the most effective title is one that accurately describes why you’re raising money.
You are required to choose at least one category before you publish your page, but did you know you can choose multiple categories?
Adding any additional categories that apply to your fundraiser can help boost your page’s visibility, as people can search for fundraisers by category on Mightycause. You can choose up to three categories for your fundraiser.
My fundraiser for Puddles fits into a few different categories, so I added them by clicking the Categories item under Page Editor on my sidebar:
When you click Categories, you’ll see a pop-up window to select a category, with the option to add additional categories. Click “Add another?” to choose another applicable category:
Since my fundraiser for Puddles is for a veterinary problem that needs immediate attention, I chose Medical and Emergencies for my additional categories.
Your cover photo is the “face” of your fundraiser. It needs to represent you and the reason you are fundraising on Mightycause. Like your title, it’s one of the first pieces of information people will see about your fundraiser. So, what makes for a great cover photo that will inspire people to donate to you?
You cover photo should be:
- Clear. Avoid using blurry or pixelated photos. The container for your cover photo is 770 x 570 pixels, so your photo needs to be at least that big. If you upload a smaller photo, it may become distorted within the container, which affects the overall quality of your page. If your photo is larger or has a different aspect ratio, keep in mind that you will have to crop it to fit in the container, so a photo with landscape orientation is best.
- Relevant to your fundraiser. Your cover photo needs to represent the reason you are actually fundraising. Your children may be adorable, but if you’re fundraising to fix the brakes on your truck a photo of your children is not relevant.
- Truthful. Don’t use stock photos or images you found on the internet for your fundraiser. This can make people distrust your fundraiser and worry that you’re not being honest with them. Stick to photos that actually belong to you.
- Personal. Stay away from memes or “inspirational” photos with text overlay. Not only do you need your photo to help tell your story, but photos help make you and your page feel legitimate. The best way to authenticate yourself is with personal photos.
Mightycause gives you several options for uploading a cover photo. First, make sure you’re on your page in Edit mode. Then hover your cursor over the image container:
As you can see, you have two different options for uploading a photo. (We’ll get to videos a little later.) You can either upload one directly from your computer or mobile device, or import one from your Facebook photos. (You’ll need to link your Facebook account to your Mightycause account in order to import photos from Facebook.)
For Puddles’ fundraiser, I chose a photo of him looking at the camera that I felt captured his laid-back personality.
It’s not a professional quality photo — it’s just a casual shot I took using my cell phone. But it’s large enough to fill the space without being blurry or pixelated, and it’s relevant to my fundraiser and personal.
You can also link to a video. Mightycause does not host videos, so you will need to upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo first. Both YouTube and Vimeo offer free basic accounts. You can then link your video on your Mightycause page by clicking “Video Link” when hovering over the picture.
Please note that you should put the link to your video in this box, not the “Embed Code.”
The basic rules for what makes a good video are the same as the rules for photos: It should be clear, relevant, truthful and personal.
Both YouTube and Vimeo offer basic editing tools, so you can splice together multiple videos, add music and text, and let the video tell the story of why you’re fundraising on Razoo.
Another idea might be to film a personal appeal to donors using a webcam or cell phone. Just keep in mind that this is the “face” of your fundraiser so your video should represent you and inspire people to help you — so linking a funny cat video or your favorite music video will not do your page any favors.
This section is pretty self-explanatory: How much are you hoping to raise? But there’s more to it than that. Your goal should be:
- Attainable. If you have a huge social network or know lots of wealthy, generous people, raising $200,000 in one month might be attainable. But most of us can only dream about raising that much. So, keep in mind the size and means of your social network when setting your goal — dreaming big is fine, and you can certainly increase your goal if you’re having a lot of success, but we recommend starting with an achievable goal.
- Justifiable. Your goal should not be an arbitrary number you chose, it should reflect an actual expense or financial need. You should be able to break down for your donors just how you arrived at that number (using the Use of Funds feature, which we’ll discuss later). So, if you’re fundraising for car repairs and your estimate was $1,500, don’t set your goal at $3,000 unless you can explain why you need double the amount your repairs will cost.
To set your goal, click on the goal amount next to the image, or click “Goal” on your sidebar under the page editor:
Then type the amount you hope to raise into the window that pops up and click “Save”:
This is a short summary of your fundraiser that will appear beneath your goal. When you link to your fundraiser on Facebook, this summary will also show below your cover photo in the link preview.
You can edit it by selecting “Short Story” on the sidebar under page editor, or by clicking the area under your fundraising goal next to your image/video.
You have a limit of 100 characters, so you’ll want to keep it short and sweet: In one sentence, why are you fundraising?
You may be tempted to put a favorite quote or get creative here, but since your space is limited, it’s best to stick to the facts.
Every fundraiser must come to an end, and this is where you choose when yours will.
To set an end date for your fundraiser, either click “Duration” on your sidebar or click on the calendar in your fundraiser. A calendar will pop up that you can use to select your end date for your fundraiser:
Consider your goal and the size of your social network when setting your end date. If your fundraiser goal is $100,000, it’s not realistic for most of us to raise that amount in just one month so you’ll want to be sure to give yourself enough time to meet your goal.
If you don’t have a large social network, you may need extra time to build support for your fundraiser, so set your goal date a little further out.
However, you should be cautious of making your fundraiser too long — setting an end date three years from now means your fundraiser might stall out, and your donors won’t feel any urgency to donate if they have three years to contribute.
If you have a specific milestone you need to meet (for instance, paying a bill that is due), you can use that date as the end date for your campaign.
Creator Social Links
You can link to all of your social media accounts on your Mightycause page: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Periscope, your personal website or blog.
We recommend linking to any accounts you have because they help people verify your identity. Many people are understandably wary of giving money to people online and unfortunately there are fraudulent fundraisers out there, where people use false stories to elicit sympathy and take people’s money. Some fundraisers even steal people’s names and pictures from their social media accounts and use them to create fraudulent fundraisers. So linking to your social media account will help people feel confident that you are you and feel comfortable making a donation.
To add your social media accounts, click “Creator Social Links” on your sidebar under the page editor:
Then you can connect your accounts. (Don’t worry, we won’t steal your information or post anything on your behalf without your permission. We promise.)
Use of Funds
We know from years of fundraising that people are more likely to donate when they know precisely where their donation is going, and some people won’t even consider donating unless they have that information. This is understandable: We all work hard for our money, and when we open up our wallets to help out, we want to be sure our money is being spent wisely.
Because people can be skeptical of individuals raising money online, it’s especially important for personal fundraisers to be able to explain where donations are doing. That’s what the Use of Funds feature is for.
Use of Funds creates a pie chart on your page. To use this feature, either click on “Expense Breakdown” on your sidebar or click on the pie chart on your page.
The “pie” is your goal amount. The “slices” are the different expenses that add up to your goal amount.
So, for Puddles’ fundraiser, my goal was $2,000. The total cost of the (fictional) procedure based on an estimate provided by Puddles’ (fictional) veterinarian was $1,500. I looked at the different costs on the estimate, added an extra $500 for the possibility that he may need more than one tooth extracted, and entered them into the Use of Funds chart.
You’ll need to account for the total amount of your goal, but don’t worry! You don’t have to do any math, Mightycause does it for you.
At the top of the box you’ll see how much of your goal you’ve accounted for. You need to make sure the full amount is accounted for — and if you can only explain why you need $1,500 of your $3,000 goal, well, you may need to reevaluate whether your goal amount is appropriate. However, if you included “emergency money” or extra funds in your goal, it’s okay to put that in your Use of Funds chart! You just need to be honest and transparent about it.
This is the most important part of your page on Mightycause
This is where you tell your story: Who you are and why you need help. This is where you sell yourself and inspire people to donate to your cause. Having a well-written, compelling and heartfelt story is vital to running a successful fundraising campaign.
So, how do you make sure your story is good enough to help you reach your goals? A good story is:
- Personal. You are the most important component in your personal fundraising campaign. Donors are making an investment in you rather than a company or an organization, so you need to make people feel like they know you (even if they are only acquaintances or complete strangers). So it’s essential that your story comes from you and represents you accurately. A good story should have personal details and be written in your own voice.
- Easy-to-read. People have short attention spans, so a good story should be easy for the average person to read and understand. A giant wall of text is unattractive, difficult to read and unlikely to hold anyone’s attention. But, a story told in paragraphs with photos to help illustrate the story, important points in bold, and maybe some bullet points with essential information, is much more likely to be read all the way through.
- Well-written. You aren’t being graded on your grammar, but a good story is written in complete sentences, has no or minimal typos and misspellings, and reads like you put some time and effort into it. No one’s perfect, so using a word processor like Microsoft Word or Google Docs can help you spot grammatical or spelling errors, and it can also be helpful to have a friend or family member read your story to ensure that it makes sense.
- Honest. You may feel that the saddest story gets the most donations on Mightycause. That’s not true: Pages that are attractive, complete, well-promoted and have compelling stories get the most donations. So there’s no need to fib or exaggerate for the sake of getting donations. Your story should be honest and transparent and an accurate representation of your situation. In fact, people are less likely to donate to your fundraiser if your story feels “off” or less-than-honest, so it’s in your best interest to be truthful and transparent.
Get more tips about writing your story in our post Storytelling for Online Fundraisers.
Updates appear right above your description on your page. When you send an update, an email will be sent to each of your donors, so this feature is most effective when you’ve been fundraising for awhile and have a few donors.
If you’re an Instagram user, you can link your feed right to your Mightycause page. Linking your Instagram account will show the last four images you posted on the right side of your page, right under your donations.
Even if your Instagram feed isn’t directly relevant to your fundraiser, it’s a fun way to personalize your page and it helps authenticate your identity.
But wait! There’s more in your page’s Settings:
At the bottom of your sidebar, there’s a link to your page’s Settings.
There are even more options for customization here that will help you get the most out of your Mightycause page:
Facebook Posting: If you’ve connected your Facebook account to your Mightycause page, you can make promoting your page easier by setting up automated posts about your fundraiser. You have the choice of either weekly or daily posts.
Custom URL: When you create your page, your page will automatically be given a URL. It’s a boring series of letters and numbers. But you can jazz things up and make your page more memorable, customized, and shareable by giving it a Custom URL. Keep it short and obviously make sure it’s relevant to your page.
Checkout Customization: Mightycause works hard to make sure donating money to your fundraiser is quick and easy, and you can add or remove features from the donation process depending on your preferences.
You can collect addresses from your donors, in case you wanted to do something cool like sending a handwritten note to thank them for supporting you.
You can also use custom donation suggestions, to set different amounts and specify what that amount can specifically go towards for your cause.
Donation Widget: Do you have a blog or a personal website? If so, you can copy and paste this code into your website’s source code to enable people to make donations to your Mightycause page right from your website.
Organizer Tips: You can give donors the option of leaving a tip for you. If you’re fundraising for someone else, such as a family member or friend, enabling Personal Tips will give donors the option of leaving you some extra cash for the effort you’re putting into fundraising.
For more information on Organizer Tips, check out this article.
You can also track your donations in the Donations section.
This will tell you who donated how much on what date. You don’t need to do anything with this section, but it’s important to know where it is as you’ll want to see who is donating to you as your fundraiser takes off (and if you follow the advice in this article, it will).
Mightycause has worked hard to provide features that enhance your page and make it easier for you to get donations and reach your goal. We encourage you to utilize as many of these features as possible when creating your page — a lot of thought went into each one, and we promise they’ll make your page stronger.
If you have any questions about the features on your Mightycause page or would like help making it as amazing at it can possibly be, contact one of our Crowdfunding Support Specialists:
Linda Gerhardt, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mightycause Support, email@example.com