How much of a difference can one person make? It’s a question many of us ask ourselves, especially if you’re a professional fundraiser.
We think the answer is: a whole lot. And to show you why, we’re highlighting how some the most powerful campaigns on GoFundMe generated their tear-jerking, awe-inspiring results . These campaign organisers aren’t charity professionals, but they can remind us all how to best galvanise an online community to make remarkable things happen for an important cause.
An InnoWalk for Christopher Hardman
Taking steps and being able to kick a football are abilities most of us take for granted, but these small acts had been out of reach for 12-year-old Christopher Hardman, who suffers from a neuromuscular condition—that is, until a wildly successful campaign organised by his mum Natalie raised over £28,000 from more than 350 donors in just five months.
Natalie learned about a life-changing piece of technology called an ‘InnoWalk,’ which would allow Christopher to re-engage his muscles and improve his overall health. The InnoWalk was well beyond what the Hardmans could afford, so they started the campaign in hopes of offsetting the costs.
We could see from the outset that the campaign was going to fly – of the first five donations, three were of over £100 and the average contribution amount of the first 20 donations was almost £65. Often, when the average value of donations in the early stages of a campaign is very high, new donors are encouraged to give more – so this huge generosity from people inspired by Christopher’s story was great news for Natalie. At the end of her campaign, the average donation amount was a staggering £82.
Just a few months later, thanks to the overwhelming generosity of donors from across the UK, Christopher has his InnoWalk:
To her save husband’s life from a rare form of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, Kate has started not one but two incredibly successful campaigns. First, she organised a #Shake4Mike stem cell donor drive that resulted in a transplant. Things seemed to be going well—and she and Mike went from engaged to married—but in April of this year Mike’s leukaemia returned and was spreading.
That’s when Kate started her second campaign, #Donate4Mike. A combination of the heartfelt video plea on her page, the sense of urgency of her appeal and the use of a hashtag to encourage social media shares – all of which make campaigns more likely to reach their full potential – worked to boost the campaign’s profile and encourage donations from people across the UK.
In particular, we’ve seen that sharing a campaign on Facebook can really help to boost the number of donations and the #Donate4Mike campaign page was shared over 23,000 times on Facebook.
In just over a week, she was able to raise the £400,000 needed for a new treatment only available in the U.S. The campaign was such a success that it became the largest ever GoFundMe campaign ever in the United Kingdom at the time. To date, #Donate4Mike has raised an incredible £453,319 in three months, from over 22,800 individual donors.
What’s more, just recently Kate shared some hopeful news:
“Prior to starting the therapy Mike’s bone marrow was almost completely made up of leukaemia cells. 28 days later there were none.”
The Acts of Kindness Collective
Last year, Justin and Eoin were descending Everest Base Camp when a 7.9 earthquake struck Nepal. They witnessed terrible death and destruction. Many in their place would have tried to escape as soon as possible, but these two stayed and decided they had to help. They created The Acts of Kindness Collective to raise funds for the people who needed it the most after the devastating quakes.
Although the sense of urgency in the immediate wake of the earthquake would have been a strong driver for people to donate, Justin and Eoin wanted to ensure their campaign has longevity. With longer-running campaigns, regular updates and sharing developments on how the money is being used is key for donors to realise the genuine positive impact of their funds. This, in turn, encourages more people to continue donating.
The Acts of Kindness Collective has harnessed this power by posting regular updates to inspire the public. To date, they’ve raised more than £80,000, and you can see their latest update in this video:
We think these campaign organisers have made a huge impact, and we see so many others like them every day, making a difference in their communities because they chose to take action.
Is there a campaign that inspires you? Let us know: email@example.com
Rob Solomon is GoFundMe’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. GoFundMe.com is the world’s most popular fundraising website for personal causes and life events and has raised £1.5 billion since launch.
Get free email updates
Keep up to date with fundraising news, ideas and inspiration with a weekly or daily email. [Privacy]