Can you crowdfund your living expenses? Well, the short answer is yes. From vets bills to washing machines, there are ways for you to crowdfund living expenses when things go wrong. Here at MoneyMagpie, we know how quickly life can change so we wanted to share with you how to crowdfund for those unexpected moments.
What is crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is a way in which individuals and companies can raise funds for business ventures, medical expenses, or general living expenses. Funding comes through a large number of small donations from multiple people all contributing to the target amount. Crowdfunding usually takes place over a short period of time usually a few months and often uses social media to bring attention to the cause. Using social networks allows the fundraiser to share progress with their supporters throughout the duration of the fundraising. It also allows for the fundraiser to be shared with other people who may not know the beneficiary leading to a greater reach of the project.
What can you crowdfund for?
At MoneyMagpie, we’ve previously covered how to crowdfund for your medical expenses. So now we want to teach you how to crowdfund for personal expenses. Personal expenses can be anything from mortgage payments, replacement of broken white goods (fridges, washing machines etc), vets bills and more. Here at MoneyMagpie, we know that life can come at you fast, leaving you out of pocket when something goes wrong. This is why crowdfunding could be a good option for you. Not only can you raise a large amount of money over a short period of time, but it may be easier than asking family members and friends in person for help with living costs.
In the UK currently, around 18% of residents are living in poverty before housing costs are deducted, 22% of the population live in poverty after housing costs are deducted. It is easy to see why people may need extra help when it comes to personal finance especially if they’re living on the borderline of poverty.
Who to use?
When it comes to deciding where to crowdfund there is a myriad of sites out there to choose from and it is worth doing your research before you decide which to fundraise on.
We’ve collected a few of our recommendations for you to look through.
GoFundMe is one of the most well know funding sites. Launched in 2010, it has fast become one of the largest online funding platforms with over 120 million donations placed on the site. The site has a user-friendly interface, it allows users to send thank you notes, withdraw funds and more from the dashboard.
Unlike some sites, GoFundMe doesn’t charge a platform fee but it does have a processing fee of 2.9% + 25p, they also allow you to fundraise for as long as you want as there are no time limits or deadlines.
Since it was founded in 2000, JustGiving has helped to raise over £5 Billion for causes across the world with over 152 million donations. Over 95% of British postcodes have donated or raised money through JustGiving so it is clear to see why it is such a popular site. Much like GoFundMe, JustGiving doesn’t charge a platform fee and charges the same processing fee of 2.9% + 25p per donation.
How to have a successful Crowdfunder?
So, you’ve decided to crowdfund for life expenses – how do you do it effectively in a way with a large impact?
Perfect your page:
When you set up your crowdfunding page, make sure you fill in everything. You’ll have the chance to set a fundraising summary – keep this short and sweet as this is what’s visible when shared on social media. For example, if you’re raising money for your dog’s emergency surgery try “We’re raising money to help pay for vets bills”.
Set a target, this gives you an amount to aim for – as well as allowing potential donors to see how far away you are.
Add photos – most sites allow you to have a cover photo, adding a picture of your ill dog might make people more inclined to donate as they can see how much they matter to you.
Share your story – tell potential donors how their money will help you and your family. What would you want to know before you donated to someone? Maybe the impact it will have on their life, how the money will be spent, explain why you need the extra support. By explaining these things people will have a better understanding of why you need support.
Promote your campaign:
Social media is your friend when it comes to increasing your reach for the campaign. JustGiving says that your first Facebook share is worth £100 in donations so if you can you should utilise it. On Facebook, you can even create a dedicated page for your fundraiser which will allow you to share updates and connect with more people. Using Twitter will allow you to share your fundraiser with your followers, they may then retweet your fundraiser to their own followers and so on increasing the reach of your fundraiser.
Keep people updated:
By regularly updating your fundraising page, people will feel more involved with your journey and may prompt people to donate more than once. Share photos and videos on your page to show how much of a difference contributors’ money will make to your life situation.
Have a party:
Whether you throw a launch party or an end of campaign party, it’s a great way to thank donors or get potential donors on your side. It doesn’t have to be a big event; you could just invite them around for a cup of tea and a chat. You can share with them how much of a positive impact their donation has had on your life and thank them for their generosity.
Not something I’d feel comfortable doing though.