Picture any type of fundraising forum that the past few years has produced. Do you have it in your mind?
Well whatever, Go Fund Me, or Kickstarter you have in your head, I attempted to use it. And finding funding to initially kick off this project was about how you might imagine it.
I sat down with a friend and crafted a strategically unbothersome few paragraphs about my project and why I needed financial help. Then with my little spiel in hand, I hit the internet. And began my journey for a donor funded launch of my senior project.
I used Kickstarter, Go Fund Me, and Venmo in order to raise money.
These forums are convenient and easy to market via social media. They are especially good for marketing to other generations, like friends of your parents, to donate through Facebook.
That being said, I did not have the best experience using these types of fundraising services. My first attempt was with Kickstarter, who never fully completed my verification process. It has been about two months since signing up, and I am still unable to use it.
I had a lot of success with Go Fund Me, once plan a was ruled difficult and unusable. It is an easy set up process and the website itself works with you to help boost engagement with your fundraiser. They keep a record of donations and send you reminders when there is a lull in engagement (so that you might promote more intentionally.)
It was only when I went to withdraw money that I rendered Go Fund Me problematic.
There is no real issue only the annoyance of waiting for funds to be transferred – taking around 2 weeks. And then that pesky service fee they take from your donations. It was good for getting the job done, but not as efficient and kind as VENMO.
I could talk for days about Venmo! I am such a big fan! And for this purpose specifically, it was an extremely helpful tool. My friends were able to donate to me directly and I could transfer funds immediately to my bank account with a mild service fee of $0.25. These donations were actually what I have been running my project off of to this point.
So if I had to impart any advice from this experience. I would urge everyone to stick to a forum you know (Venmo) and give yourself plenty of time as to not find yourself in a pickle.