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Fundraising is a useful tool to support any cause, be it personal or professional. There are online options for small businesses, nonprofits, or even individuals with a cause. Creating your own fundraiser is all about finding the right fit, which is at times a lengthy process. It’s important to know all of your options.

Determine your goal

Are you raising funds as an individual or on behalf of an entity? This can help determine the amount you would like to raise and the process in which to do so. Things to take into account include who will be your donor demographic and which fundraising platform or approach to use.

Online Options

The best platform option depends on your goal and for whom you are raising the funds. Online fundraising platforms are a great option because it enables rapid sharing of a cause relatively quickly. By using social media, it’s easy to promote something within your circle, who can then spread the word by passing the message on to their connections. This is how many grassroots campaigns gain footing. The best websites for personal causes and nonprofits are Facebook, Patreon, and GoFundMe. For small businesses and projects, you can choose sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter. Other websites worth mentioning include Experiment and Edco. Experiment gives you the chance to fund scientific research, and Edco is great for those seeking to raise funds for schools and other educational purposes. One caveat is that online fundraising platforms sometimes charge a fee for each donation or transaction.

Offline Options

In addition to the internet, there are also in-person options to spread the word and access funding. For both personal causes and nonprofit fundraising, you can host events like bake sales or promote your cause via customized apparel. Another popular draw is to host a fun, themed event to encourage your local community to donate. For more funding options, you can also browse the Small Business Administration for ideas.

Find Donors

You can start by asking the people you know, both in-person and online. For small businesses, you can pitch your ideas to other businesses, venture capitalists, and angel investors, and your local community.

Creating a successful fundraiser depends on properly identifying your cause, goals, and promotional efforts. Tell your story honestly, and appeal to the proper audience.