The Philanthropists Guide to Crowdfunding on GoFundMe and Patreon

In this digital age, crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe and Patreon have revolutionized the way we fundraise, providing powerful tools to mobilize funds for charitable causes. Here’s an in-depth guide on how to utilize these platforms effectively.

Part 1: Understanding Crowdfunding for Charities

Crowdfunding is the practice of raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the internet. For charities, this opens up an expansive digital landscape of potential donors worldwide.

1.1 Why Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding allows charities to reach out to a broader audience, harness the power of social media, and leverage the impact of compelling storytelling. It provides a convenient platform for donors, and the transparency it offers can boost donor trust.

1.2 Choosing the Right Platform: GoFundMe vs Patreon

GoFundMe is excellent for one-time fundraising campaigns, such as disaster relief or funding a specific project. On the other hand, Patreon is designed for creators seeking recurring funding, making it ideal for charities needing consistent support for ongoing initiatives.

Part 2: Crowdfunding on GoFundMe

2.1 Setting Up Your GoFundMe Campaign

Create your GoFundMe account and start your campaign. Choose a name that clearly conveys your cause. Write a compelling story about your charity and what the funds will be used for. Be clear, be honest, and don’t forget to add images or videos to make it more appealing.

2.2 Promoting Your GoFundMe Campaign

Promote your campaign on social media, email newsletters, and any other platforms your charity uses. Encourage supporters to share your campaign with their networks. Remember, your reach is potentially global!

2.3 Managing Donations

GoFundMe allows donors to contribute via debit/credit card and PayPal. The platform charges a transaction fee, so factor this into your fundraising goal. Funds can be withdrawn at any time.

2.4 Updating Your Donors

Keep your donors engaged by posting updates on your campaign page. Share milestones reached, current challenges, and express gratitude for their support.

Part 3: Crowdfunding on Patreon

3.1 Setting Up Your Patreon Page

Create a Patreon page for your charity. Like GoFundMe, you’ll need a compelling description of your cause and your work. However, you’ll also need to set up a tier system for monthly donations, offering perks or rewards for each tier.

3.2 Promoting Your Patreon Page

Promotion strategies for Patreon are similar to GoFundMe, with one key difference – you are encouraging ongoing support. Highlight the perks of becoming a Patreon supporter in your promotional materials.

3.3 Managing Monthly Subscriptions

Patreon offers various payment options, including credit/debit cards and PayPal. Patreon charges a platform fee based on the creator’s plan and a standard payment processing fee.

3.4 Engaging with Your Patrons

Regular engagement is vital on Patreon since it’s a platform for ongoing support. Post updates, offer sneak peeks into upcoming projects, and deliver on your promised perks.

Part 4: Best Practices for Crowdfunding

4.1 Telling Your Story

The art of storytelling is central to successful crowdfunding. Share your journey, your successes, and your struggles. Show potential donors the real, human impact of their donations.

4.2 Transparency

Trust is crucial in crowdfunding. Be transparent about where the funds are going and how they’re being used. Regular updates can go a long way in maintaining donor trust.

4.3 Donor Recognition

Recognizing your donors makes them feel valued and appreciated. Shout-outs on social media, thank-you emails, or even a mention in your newsletter can go a long way.

4.4 Consistent Promotion

Regular, consistent promotion keeps your campaign at the forefront of potential donors’ minds. Share your campaign regularly on all your digital platforms.


Crowdfunding on platforms like GoFundMe and Patreon can be a powerful tool in your fundraising arsenal. With a compelling story, effective promotion, and regular engagement with donors, your charity can tap into a global network of potential supporters. Harness the power of crowdfunding, and take your charitable cause to new heights!

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