Occasionally we can all end up without enough money on hand. Are you looking at your wages and wondering how to stretch them out to cover this month? When you’ve tried everything else only one thing remains and that’s to put your hands out and beg; essentially asking that someone somewhere in the world gives you some money. Today it is usually called with a fancy name – personal fundraising.
You can get free money all over the place, even the government can hand it out in certain circumstances. Internet begging is a way for you to get your hands on some free cash.
Don’t worry, it’s not as difficult at all thank to numerous fundraising websites. Cyber begging or fundraising might just be able to get you through your tough money times. Millions of people surf the web every day, some of them who are rich, and more lucky can spare a bit of change to help you through.
Most people feel ashamed when it comes to the point where they have to beg for money or ask strangers for help but let’s face it, sometimes it has to be done.
Cyber begging / fundraising
These days you don’t have to stand on a street corner with a cardboard sign to get a little extra money. You can do the equivalent on the internet! The world wide web represents a huge connected world where we can all stand up and be seen by others.
It also helps if you feel bad about begging in person. Certainly the odd person can be a bit rude if you go around asking for some money. The bottom line is rude comments are easier to deal with online through a computer monitor than shouted into your face. Also because specialised sites exist to enable those donating and those begging to come together you eliminate anyone who doesn’t like the idea.
The first thing you have to be aware of is that the internet is rife with scams and con artists. When you set out to make some free cash online beware of offers which are too good to be true. They may convince you to buy worthless money making “systems” or ask for “transaction fee” when you are asked to send them money before they donate to you.
Stick to well known sites with a good reputation and be aware that you’re not going to be making thousands an hour as the scam sites promise. Be realistic and you should be able to avoid getting ripped off.
There are also sites which require you to pay a fee in order to set up and start getting donations. This is very unfair because obviously the person using the site to beg for money can’t afford to part with even small amounts of cash. What if you set up on a few of these sites, paying a fee on each, and get no donations? You could end up worse off than before. For this reason sites which charge you to use them for cyber begging are not a feasible solution.
Let’s take a look at some genuine sites that exist to connect those wanting to give with those needing to receive!
Fundly is mainly for fund raising for causes rather than helping with personal difficulties. For example building shelters or raising money to take care of stray animals. This doesn’t mean however that you can’t set up a page and tell your story.
Don’t make a fraudulent campaign, Fundly requires updates that will expose you in the end. Also don’t mess with karma! We’re out here on the internet asking for people to give us money out of the goodness of their hearts, you don’t want to do anything to discourage that process.
Fundly.com has a well designed interface and a fairly high end website. It’s easy to see how people donating will feel safe and secure doing so and this is a big advantage of picking this particular platform to use when you are asking for money. There are provisions for Facebook feed support and there is also a mobile interface so people can donate to your site via their phones.
GoFundMe is a versatile platform that allows you to connect with people who could support you. Specify what your goal is and invite people to donate to help you. It helps to be specific on this site. Rather than saying “I’m trying to raise $500 because I’m broke” say something like “raising money for car insurance payment”. Let everyone know why you can’t make the payment and how much it will mean to you to get it paid and out of the way. This is a goal people can get behind and people will want to see you complete it.
This site has integrated links to social media such as face-book and Twitter. This will come in handy to get attention to your page and attract potential donors to your cause. A downside of this site is that donations cannot yet be made via Pay Pal which may put off more casual donors.
Use some common sense when you make your pages on these sites. Would you donate to you? If not, no-one else will! Make your pages and appeals personal and encouraging. There are no upfront fees on GoFundMe but they take a 5% fee from each donation you receive. WePay also takes 2.9% and $0.30 from each transaction that takes place on GoFundMe.
GoFundMe donors have a lot of interest in updates. This site in particular has people who want to keep coming back to your page and seeing some progress. Not just a measure of how much money you have raised. If you can work updates into the campaign more and more people will join. The reason for this is simple; everyone likes to feel like they are part of something. You never know, you might enjoy it too. Break your goal down into bite sized parts and post about each one. Let people see the impact their money is having on your life and what you achieved as a group.
BeggingMoney is straight to the point. You have no money and you’re begging people to give you some. This is very upfront and it may put off some people. If you link possible donors to a page on BeggingMoney they may have less of a good impression than seeing a page on Fundly or GoFundMe.
This site is also free to submit your request – as every reputable company should be. But that isn’t all. If you are serious about promotion of your donation request it may be the best choice. The reason is that they don’t charge fees from the donations! Also, there are premium packages starting at $6.99 to get better placement for your request. The best value in my opinion is the homepage listing for $25 as the homepage of every website is the #1 visited page.
For example well know campaign on GoFundMe raised $842,387 For Indiana Couple and because GoFundMe fee is 5% they cashed in $42,119.35 in fees.
This site is a balance; if you can attract people who are up for paying your cell phone bill and chipping into your grocery budget then so much the better. These things cost money!
List of Personal Crowdfunding Sites
Quite a few sites have Facebook links but these may not appeal to you. After all most people aren’t keen to let everyone in their life know the extent of their money troubles. it’s true also that cyber begging websites are setting you up to ask strangers for money and not as a platform to ask your friends to give you money.
If you don’t mind getting money from family and friends then great, for most people however it can cause awkwardness in their relationships. If you are someone who doesn’t want to ask people you know for money at this time then be aware that all the Facebook connectivity isn’t really relevant or helpful to you right now.
Create your page and tell your story, maybe someone will be generous to you today.
How To Promote Your Crowdfunding Campaign?
While the websites have thousands of visitors in order to success you will have to do some extra work. After all there are tens of thousands of people asking for money.
What can you do?
- go to Fiverr and search for “promote crowdfunding” – it cost $5 and based on how many 5* reviews they have, it must be worth it
- share it in relevant Facebook, Linkedn groups
- try to post in Craigslist discussion forums to promote your crowdfunding campaign
- try to find other relevant discussion forums
The bad news is that although you can get on a platform that allows you to receive free money from strangers you won’t be the only person on the site. There are thousands of people just like you who need some extra cash. Why should a donor pick you specifically?
Have a look at popular campaigns on the sites we have talked about. They have certain things in common. They usually have a face to the campaign. This makes the page personal. Putting up a picture of a brick wall and asking for money isn’t going to get you very far.
Make an effort with your appearance when you take photos for your campaign. You need to look approachable and like someone people want to help. A picture of you driving a flash car isn’t going to evoke much sympathy. Also, show people something about your life. If you have a kid or a pet or a partner get them in the photo with you. People are naturally distrustful online and being able to see a real person will make you a much more acceptable person to donate to.
Make your language pleasant and easy to understand. Remember donors could be from anywhere in the world. People need to understand simply what your page is about. Don’t use complex language or foul language. Don’t talk down to people or make the story you present a negative one.
Even if you have lost your job today and are furious about it a page page about how you hate your boss and your colleagues are all worthless isn’t going to appeal to many people’s sense of generosity. Put the situation across so people see you in the most sympathetic light. Sure the odd person makes a quirky page that gets some donations but these are the exceptions and not the rule.
If in doubt you can ask a friend to look at your page and tell you what they think. Remember the golden rule; if you wouldn’t donate to your cause then it’s unlikely anyone else will.
Don’t feel bad about cyber begging. These sites exist because thousands of people are hard up financially and thousands more people want to help them out. This is a very human process where those with a bit extra chip in for those with not enough.
Think how good the donors will feel. They give you their extra cash because they don’t need it and in return they get to know how they helped you and feel good about it. Maybe one day the tables will be turned and it will be you going onto the site with money to give away. Embrace the generosity of your fellow man!