3 Essentials to a Great Surprise Birthday Fund

Josh and I have extensive experience when it comes to gift giving. Though we don’t always have the same taste, we do always agree on one thing: giving feels good. And nothing is quite as fun as giving someone a complete surprise! Surprise birthday funds have been popular on Plumfund. Since birthdays come only once a year, it is a wonderful idea to create a surprise Plumfund for a family member or loved one. You can give a big ticket item, a trip, or even donate to the birthday boy or girl’s favorite charitable organization. To make sure your surprise is a success, here are the three essentials:

Plan Ahead

If you plan to present the guy or gal with their Plumfund campaign on their birthday, make sure that you give yourself enough time to execute the campaign. We recommend at least six weeks in advance in most cases. Are you funding for a new bike, guitar or maybe even a trip? Whatever your surprise gift is, describe it clearly for contributors.

Shhh… Don’t Leave Any Clues

This is probably the most important step because your Plumfund is all about the surprise! Be very strategic about how you share your campaign. We’ve got plenty of different sharing tools to ensure the birthday friend doesn’t accidently find out. It’s also a good idea to constantly remind others that it’s a surprise. Checkout how Zoe did it for Tim’s 36th birthday:

*An example of a birthday fund campaign*

Capture the Moment

It’s finally the surprisee’s big day! Whichever way you plan to finally give them with their gift, capture the moment on camera. Get creative and make it as fun as possible for everyone. For example, if you’re inviting all of your supporters out to a party, ask partygoers to take photos or video of the surprise and ask them to post to Instagram with #birthdayplumfund or setup a dropbox for them to upload to. The footage of the surprise moment from different angles and points of view is a wonderful memory keepsake!

5 Tips for a Successful Charity Fund

We created Plumfund so anyone could fundraise for just about anything: retirement, birthday, medical related expenses, hardships, and more. However, one of the categories that we’ve seen people really embrace is raising money for something they believe in, such as a charity or cause. Committing to a cause you care most about is truly one of the most rewarding endeavors in life, and we are honored to help. Here are five simple tips to help you succeed in raising money for charity.

Speak from the Heart

If you’re coming from a place that is genuine, people are more likely to listen, follow along and support. Be sure to tell your entire story of how this cause or charity has affected you personally and why you’ve taken the initiative to raise money on its behalf. Whether it’s a personal journey, the story of a loved one or simply a cause that you’ve spoken out about over the years – every little detail is important. When you are truly passionate about a fundraising campaign, people will be thrilled to sign on and support it.

Crowdfunding a Charitable Cause

Tangible Goal

Over the years, we’ve found that fundraising works best with small, reachable goals. Of course everyone wants to raise millions for their charity, but we recommend listing a goal that’s both reasonable and can also make a difference. Don’t forget to explain in your campaign exactly what the amount of money will go to benefit – maybe a new recreational center, updated equipment, funding for research? Whatever it is, be upfront and narrow costs down so that your supporters don’t feel left out of the loop. You can even create a wish list of specific items for folks to contribute to.

Some Action Gains Attraction
Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge and how popular and successful it was raising money for ALS? We’re not saying challenge everyone to go skydiving or donate to your campaign – but a little action could help. If there’s a way to incorporate “movement” to your movement, it will help your fundraising efforts. Whether you pledge to jump into a freezing cold lake, run a marathon or eat 10 jalapeños, adding an actionable component to your campaign is not only fun for your supporters but also adds to your commitment.

Use Tools Built for Success

Setting up your fund for a charity or cause is a great first step! But what you do next really makes or breaks your campaign. First and foremost, use our social media sharing tools to spread the word to your entire network. Plumfund also allows you to email contacts and print flyers. The more people you reach, whether online of off, the more chances you have at gaining support for your campaign.

Ways to Give Thanks for a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
Ways to Give Thanks for a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

A Little Goes a Long Way

Little actions throughout your campaign can make a big difference and help you in the long run of reaching your goal. This includes updating your supporters on your progress, sharing information on how the funds are making an impact, and letting contributors know they are an important part of reaching your crowd gifting TM. You can even mail traditional thank-you notes, or create a personal reflection video to show all your supporters. These thoughtful acts on your end go a long way and convey gratitude to supporters.

Crowd Gifting 101 – Tips to Crowdfunding Success

Our goal at Plumfund has always been to make giving feel good – it’s actually one of the main reasons why Josh and I created Plumfund. This mantra is also instilled in the way Plumfund operates – it is totally free to fundraisers and donors and there are no transaction fees for organizers or contributors, and no setup fees. We believe that online giving should be as natural and tasteful as possible and our vision is to help everyone give and receive freely, which is why we provide our services without fees.

Sign UpIf you’re new to Plumfund don’t feel overwhelmed, or nervous. Whether you’re celebrating a friend or loved one, or raising money for something you believe in, the fact that you’ve taken this step is really great, and we applaud you for it. In fact, we’ve picked up some helpful tips over our 10 years of gift giving experience, and since we’re always here to help in whatever way we can, we hope that they can help you just as much.

The More, the Better

Our tools make it so easy to start a campaign but it’s important that people know what your campaign is all about. This means being honest and open about your goals and intentions for your fundraiser. You’d be surprised how much you can make your profile pop just by being yourself and highlighting what cause your campaign will be benefiting. Giving really does feel good and people are always more inclined to support you if they can see that your intentions are genuine – so when it comes to your description, don’t be afraid to hold anything back.

Express Your Gratitude

Your supporters are able to write comments on your page so always remember to show that their support means something to you. If you’re able to, consider sending thank you cards or a personal letter. You can even use your social media to spotlight supporters and thank them.

Social Media Thank You Shout Outs

Spread the Word

The most important aspect to your campaign is to share it: no one will be able to help you if they aren’t aware of your campaign. Our sharing tools make it really easy to spread the word – your own customized link, e-mail, social networking posts, and even the option to create a printable flyer. The more you share your campaign, the greater chance you have for supporters. If you’re crowd gifting for someone as a surprise, be sure to strategically keep track of how you’re going to promote so that you don’t give yourself out. A huge key to reaching your funding goals is to keep your campaign fresh in people’s minds. Don’t be afraid to share information, milestones and links to your campaign daily to keep up the momentum and provide people reminders!

Keep Going

Maybe you set your campaign for a couple months or maybe you discovered that it might take a little longer to raise your goal than the time originally set. Whatever the case may be, always stay positive and if you have to extend your goal time frame, that’s okay. If there’s one thing we’ve really learned and love about crowd gifting it’s that it is the gift that keeps on giving. Maybe you’ve inspired a supporter to create a campaign for a cause that is important to them or maybe one of your supporters shared your link to an audience that you might have never been able to reach before. Continue staying positive and extend the time if need be – and don’t ever be discouraged if you fall into a stagger or don’t raise your goal in the original time because your commitment to start the campaign should make you more proud than anything.