Setting up a Facebook Fundraiser for the Hydrocephalus Association

Facebook has made fundraising for the Hydrocephalus Association as almost as easy as 1-2-3.  Below are the steps to set up your Facebook Fundraiser and some hints and tips to maximize your fundraising efforts!

  • Open your Facebook Page; at the top left, click on the dropdown box that says “Create”
  • Choose “Fundraiser”
  • It will ask “Who are you raising money for?” Answer: Non-profit Organization
    1. Type “hydrocephalus association” in the search bar at the top and search
    2. The Hydrocephalus Association logo will pop up – click it
  • Then you’ll see “Let’s Start with the Basics” – complete the requested information:
    1. Where are you raising money? Answer: United States
    2. How much do you want to raise?
      1. Although Facebook defaults to $200, let’s think about this for a minute. How many friends do you have on Facebook?  Let’s say you have 100 Facebook friends – you could ask all of them for $5 for a total of $500.  (However, let’s assume all of them won’t donate – if half of them do that would be $250)  Or, if you have a personal story about hydrocephalus which is compelling maybe you set a higher goal*  Tip: be careful not to make your goal too high – while you may think everyone you know will donate $100, it may be too ambitious.  Make the goal significant but achievable.
    3. When do you want your fundraiser to end? The Facebook default is 7 days, but let’s think about this, too.  That’s not much time if you have a challenging goal – why not give it a little extra time – say three weeks? Tip: Don’t make it longer than four weeks.  Usually after that amount of time people will no longer see it…it becomes background noise (so to speak.)
  • Next a box will pop up asking you for the name of your fundraiser. It can be as simple as Sandy’s Birthday Fundraiser or come up with a name you like.  For example: Sandy’s No More Brain Surgeries Fundraiser or  Gina’s Fundraiser for the Hydrocephalus Association’s Mission, or The Parker Family Hydrocephalus Warriors Fundraiser.
  • Next it will ask you why are you raising money? The Hydrocephalus Association has entered some standard text in there: Want to join me in supporting a good cause? I’m raising money for Hydrocephalus Association and your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps. Thank you for your support. I’ve included information about Hydrocephalus Association below.

The mission of the Hydrocephalus Association is to promote a cure for hydrocephalus and improve the lives of those affected by the condition.

We will accomplish this by collaborating with patients, caregivers, researchers and industry, raising awareness, and funding innovative, high-impact research to prevent, treat and ultimately cure hydrocephalus. 

While this standard text is fine, if you have a personal connection to hydrocephalus, HA and its mission that may work better.  For example:

Hydrocephalus is a condition where too much fluid accumulates in the brain, putting the brain under tremendous pressure.  Often the reason for this is unknown, as it was in my daughter, Jody’s, case.  She was born, 11 years ago with hydrocephalus.  Doctors implanted a medical device, called a shunt, into her brain when she was three weeks old.  The shunt drains the excess fluid from her brain but a shunt is not a cure.  Having a shunt often results in multiple brain surgeries to fix or replace the shunt.  To date, Jody has endured 4 brain surgeries related to her hydrocephalus. 

We are so grateful that Jody is a happy and healthy 11 year old. But we want to help find a cure and better treatment options for everyone with this life changing, life threatening condition.  Please support this important cause.  Consider donating $5 for each of Jody’s 4 brain surgeries or whatever you can manage.  Every dollar counts and is used to provide the resources for the Hydrocephalus Association to fulfill its mission: to find a cure for hydrocephalus and improve the lives of those impacted by the condition.

  • Next it will ask you to choose a cover photo or video. Make your cover photo or video count.  Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, your coverage image helps tell your story.  Make sure it’s relevant to your reason for raising money for the Hydrocephalus Association. Be creative and keep it fresh. Switching your cover image often helps efforts since images are one of the most shared and most liked newsfeed items. If you have a picture of your loved one with hydrocephalus this is the perfect place to put it.  If the person with hydrocephalus was diagnosed as an infant a photo of him or her at the time s/he was diagnosed would work very well.  Or make a quick video to post. (See photo examples below.)

It’s important to use visual content in your Facebook posts. You have to find a way to rise above the noise of everyone else’s updates, photos, and statuses. Creating eye-catching images and graphics within your appeals will help draw more people to your posts and consequently, to your donation page.

 

  • Click “Create” – and you’re done!

* Example: one person with hydrocephalus was celebrating her 35th birthday.  The doctors had told her parents when she was born she wouldn’t make it out of the hospital.  She decided to ask everyone to give $35 – one dollar for every year of life.  She didn’t think everyone would donate $35 but thought ten people might so she made her goal $350 then added some extra for those who might give a bit less.  Her final goal was: $475.

 

Other Facebook Fundraising Hints and Tips:

Don’t just set up your Facebook Fundraising page and forget it.  It needs to be updated – use your Facebook page to update messaging, report on your progress and, most importantly, to say thank you**! Feel free to use items posted by the Hydrocephalus Association on their Facebook page to update your messaging.

**Thank You Posts

Every once in awhile, you should highlight a donor to your Facebook Fundraiser – a “shout out” (Thanks to Bob Smith for his awesome donation to my Facebook Fundraiser for the Hydrocephalus Association!)

You have to ask for donations. Just setting up a fundraiser won’t collect donations. If you want to raise money by using Facebook fundraising, you have to ask for donations. Plain and simple. Don’t just post “Give us your money,” though.  You need a combination of:

  • Visual content (pictures or videos).
  • Links to your donation page or general website.
  • Information about what the donations are going toward.
  • Data about current progress and donations needed to reach your goal

Promote it. Now that you’ve set up your Facebook fundraiser promote it!  To everyone you know.  Facebook friends, definitely.  You may also want to copy and paste it into an email to send to people – make sure to include a link to your Facebook page so people can find it easily. Ask your Facebook friends to share your fundraiser with their friends!

One more note:  Don’t forget, while you’re raising money for the Hydrocephalus Association and its mission you’re also increasing awareness about the condition.  One of HA’s most difficult obstacles is the general public’s lack of knowledge about hydrocephalus and its seriousness.  That’s why telling your personal story (as mentioned above) is so important – by sharing your story you’re educating people about hydrocephalus.  You’ve told your story before?  That’s okay – tell it again.  Or tell someone else’s story – one of your friends with a connection to hydrocephalus (obtain their permission first!) Or use a new twist – for example, talk about how having a family member with hydrocephalus has impacted everyone in the family.  When planning the summer family vacation most people don’t research the closest medical center with a great neurosurgical unit! Or, as a college student, the child with hydrocephalus wasn’t allowed to take advantage of the semester abroad option…  Please remember, increasing awareness and raising money are not mutually exclusive.  By telling your story to raise money you’re also increasing awareness!

 

IMPORTANT NOTE TO WALK TO END HYDROCEPHALUS PARTICIPANTS:    

If you want to use Facebook to fundraise for your participation in the WALK to End Hydrocephalus you may.  BUT, in order for money raised on Facebook to be credited to you as a WALK participant, you must register for the WALK first.

  • Go to: www.hydroassoc.org
  • At the top of HA’s web page, select Get Involved
  • Select WALK Schedule
  • Select your local WALK, click More information and choose “Register”

When you complete your registration, please access your participant center to start your facebook fundraiser. This will link your facebook funds to your WALK goal. Easy as

1,2,3. Don’t forget to update your personal page with a photo and message that is meaningful to you.

But for money raised using Facebook to be credited to the WALK you must start by registering for the WALK!  If you start on Facebook HA will not be able to credit any funds collected on Facebook to your WALK participation!

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