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How to write a fundraising story

Olivia L
Olivia L Staff
edited July 8 in Writing Tips

There’s multiple reasons people come to GoFundMe, but there are general writing tips anyone can benefit from, no matter what someone is raising money for.

We’ve found that donations usually come from the folks you know, so we recommend writing a story with them in mind. Make sure it’s descriptive and includes the following elements: 

  • A short introduction about who you are and what you’re raising money for 
  • Your relation to the beneficiary of the fundraiser (if it's not yourself) 
  • How the money raised will be spent (be as specific as possible). 
  • Why this cause means so much to you 
  • Pictures to break up the text

And, remember to...

  1. Start by creating a title that makes your cause clear. A simple, creative title can go a long way and compel people to go further and read your story.
  2. Be detailed, but don’t overdo it. Keep the timeline of events in order and make your point clear. Be sure to add why exactly you need donations. 
  3. Show emotion, and explain how some support would mean the world to you and those involved in your cause. Think of yourself as the reader and ask, “Why should someone care about this?” 
  4. Keep the paragraphs short and easy to understand. You might want to consider adding "bolded" headlines to each paragraph – something like "Our Story," or "How you can Help," because this ensures donors know exactly where to look if they're strapped for time but want to help.  Check out this fundraiser for some additional inspiration.

If you have trouble writing your story, you can ask the community for feedback in the Writing Tips discussion room. Even if you’re not a professional writer, you can give back by reading some of the other stories and sharing your perspective. 

What are your best tips for writing a fundraising story? What was a part you struggled with?



Comments

  • Cris G.
    Cris G. Staff

    Thanks for the post, Olivia!

    I think one of my favorite tips that people overlook is break it up. It's really easy to accidentally just have your story as one big paragraph, which can make it hard for people to read. From one of the articles you link:

    "Short paragraphs work wonders when trying to make a story easy to read and understand. If you’re not sure where to break up your story, consider pressing enter twice after every four or five sentences."

    For me, I tend to start thinking about that after about three sentences. Especially since so many people these days are reading from their phones, having short paragraphs can really help.

  • RonH
    RonH San Francisco Helper
    edited May 19

    These are great suggestions @Cris G. and @Olivia L ! I agree that breaking up your campaign page into sections can make it flow better and easier to read. In my first campaign I broke my writing into sections with relevant pictures in between sections. Pictures help draw people to read the whole campaign. As they always say...a picture is worth a thousand words. Check out one of my past campaigns to see what I mean: https://www.gofundme.com/f/PRIDEtoLGBTQYouth

  • Cris G.
    Cris G. Staff

    Love how you did the videos and the different sections. Also I'm noting how you actually had a new paragraph even more frequently, often every two sentences, and it flows so well and is really easy to read. Thanks for providing this example for the community!

  • @Rhunter23 I recommend checking out this discussion on how to write your fundraiser's story before moving on to sharing your fundraiser with others. If you have any specific questions, let us know and we'll be happy to help! Good luck!

  • Love the book recs, Nick! Do you have any key takeaways from them that really helped you?

  • Zooba1126
    Zooba1126 Member

    Hi RonH

    will you be able to help me please writing my donation letter please,

    thanks


    zainab

  • RonH
    RonH San Francisco Helper

    Hi. Thanks for reaching out. Here is a go fund me post that you may find very helpful in creating your campaign verbiage:

    Take a look at my past campaign to see how I wrote mine, including how I structured the campaign with a video and pics:

    Perhaps @oliviaL has some tips, too. Good luck!!

  • Mark_Genesis
    Mark_Genesis Member
    edited July 13

    I think it is not about a short vs longer story but rather if the pain can be related. People connect many times with each others when they share similar experience. I always refer to the parables:

    The Story of the Tax Collector

  • Hi,I'm a newbie,never did anything like this before.I tend to write from my heart.But did I pour too much of my heart out?I also have been SO isolated for the Covid years,I don't have family,I have one friend,So I put it on Twitter and Facebook so everyone could see.Over kill for a first timer??????H

    Help!

  • Jules
    Jules Staff

    Hey @Cytherea56. Putting your heart out there is part of the fundraising process, so I think you did a great job at sharing your vulnerability with your audience. However, there is still tweaks I recommend to make it easier for your readers to consume your story. Would you like some feedback on it?

    Once your story is where you like it, the next focus is spreading the word. Since most of the donations will come from people you know, or people your friends know, you may need to ask for your friend's help in promoting your page to their family.

  • How can I get my fundraiser out to share

  • I think I'm too close to the fund raiser to find words that compel people to donate. I'm writing with emotion and a little desperation and I think that is hurting my campaign. I'm over sharing in an effort to show readers that I'm not lazy or not resourceful. So, I need a word smith to fix the vibe if that's the issue. I've read the successful campaigns and I don't know how I can change my headline to effectively convey my needs. I'm raising my grandson, permanent placement is not final, lack of steady financial resources due to illness could compromise this. Husband got cancer and can no longer work and I'm the primary caregiver for both. Waiting on disability through the VA and SSA to be approved.

    That's the short story but that in no way compels any one to give. It doesn't show who we are as a family. It doesn't express the anguish in my heart from the thought of losing my husband or grandson. It doesn't tell about the 401k I cashed out or the family land I sold to keep us a float. So, here is the link - can you help me condense this?


    https://gofund.me/691fca64

  • Hi my name is Diana Coor i suffer from severe back issues and am currently trying to find a doctor to have surgery for my rare Angiomyxoma tumor. I have two tumors that I know of and one is attached to my bladder and unless i can get a doctor that knows about my tumor i could loose my bladder. I have shared on my face book several times also my twitter and Instagram, tick tock and snapchat. The problem is i have no friends to help get it out there. I am loosing out on time and dont know what to do. My only donation was from my son, he figured if he donated it would get it out there more. I need help how to get it out there to the public not just the few people on my social media accounts. thank you.

  • Hii oh everyone, I am having a very hard time with writing my GoFundMe because two of the main things that I’m supposed to add, which is my medical diagnosis, and the procedures I need funding for, I can’t add because part of my issue is that my pain has not been diagnosed, despite me going to many doctors. My other problem is that I am on methadone, for addiction treatment, and I’ve been clean and sober off of other drugs for 5 years, but I worry this is causing my community to maybe doubt what I’m saying. How can I be credible... and to the point... I’m really struggling https://gofund.me/4764fd9d

  • nrrphx
    nrrphx Member

    This was very helpful! If anyone has feedback for mine, please share. I greatly appreciate it! Thank you!


  • HI MY NAME IS PAUL AND I STARTED THIS GO FUND MY FOR MY WIFE IF SOMEONE COULD TAKE A LOOK AT MY GOFUNDME PAGE AND TELL ME WHAT I'M DOING WRONG I NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE AND I'M NOT SURE IF I'M DOING IT RIGHT ITS UNDER TAMMY MELONE BREAST CANCER

  • Hello my name is Heather I live in Cleveland Ohio I have a 7-year-old son who is diagnosed with William syndrome a genetic disorder which also affects his heart his learning his ability to move walk talk everything he was born with a left ectopic kidney I also have a 12-year-old daughter who special needs and has a lot of mental disorders we live in a home that I've been fighting for for 6 years the city will not help us my children have lead poisoning my son is 15.1 lead level my daughter is 4.00 lead level and my low level is 3.9 I have had several miscarriages in this home over the years and the doctor was generous enough to create a GoFundMe page for me and my family to get help to move what is the best way to get my story out there even though I don't have a Facebook I was also on channel 5 News

  • hi i neeed some help https://gofund.me/898ba368