Setting a goal is the first step to creating a successful GoFundMe. When setting your goal, it’s important to make sure that your campaign goal covers your costs, is attainable, and allows each donor to feel that their donation is meaningful. Creating a SMART goal will help you maintain momentum throughout your GoFundMe, and get you closer to your target.
Create a detailed breakdown of all of your current and expected costs. The more specific you can get, the better.
Pro Tip: Be sure to include fees as part of the breakdown.
For example, when Ronnie was given the opportunity to study abroad in Vietnam, he created a GoFundMe to cover his expenses. Ronnie wrote out a detailed breakdown of his expenses and set his goal amount based on these estimated expenses. He was transparent with donors and included this breakdown in his GoFundMe story.
GoFundMe makes it easy to track your progress. Each time you receive a donation, the amount raised shown on your GoFundMe will be updated in real time to reflect how close you are to reaching your goal. It’s also crucial to help donors understand exactly how their donation impacts your project.
For example, Abby and Chad created a GoFundMe to cover the expenses for getting their book on the Natural History of Mount Shasta published. These Campaign Organizers went above and beyond in their GoFundMe story to outline and inform donors of all expected expenses for their project.
They even made a pie chart for donors to see exactly what their donation would go towards!
When setting your goal, keep your network of friends and family members in mind. To start, most of your donations will be from your friends, family members, and community, so be sure to take their finances into account.
Make a list of all friends and family members you plan to share the GoFundMe with, and how much you can expect them to donate. It’s ok if not all of your network can contribute financially - they can help you by sharing!
Then once you have that, try to create a goal that balances your expected costs and the financial contributions your network can make towards your GoFundMe.
Did you know... You can increase the goal at any time throughout the campaign. See: Does my campaign stop accepting donations once I hit my goal?
What if your expected costs greatly outweigh what your network can contribute? While you could surely put $1 million to good use, a goal of this size can overwhelm donors who may feel that their $5 donation won’t make a great impact.
If your goal is much higher than what you can expect from your personal network, consider focusing on a smaller part of your overall goal.
For example, if you’re launching a new business and anticipate costs will exceed $100k, you can focus on a smaller part of getting your business started, such as licensing fees or website costs. As time progresses and you expand your network, you can increase your goal amount and update your GoFundMe to cover your additional costs.
The most successful GoFundMes have a sense of urgency surrounding their goals.
The more urgent the need for funds, the more likely your network will feel the need to donate. Campaigns don’t have a deadline, however, you can create a sense of urgency by including a deadline in your GoFundMe story. You can also post frequent updates as a countdown to your deadline and challenge donors to contribute before then.
If your campaign doesn't have a hard deadline, you can set smaller goals along the way to your overall goal. For example, you could challenge your network to see if you can raise one-third of your goal in one week, and keep going from there. Or to get 100 shares on Facebook within the first week.
Communicating this sense of urgency will encourage your supporters to stay engaged while ensuring that you also keep your campaign's momentum going.