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Helping People You Don’t Know

Helping People You Don’t Know: Things to Consider When Starting a Fundraiser

GiveForward Benefits - helping people you don't knowWhether you heard about them on the news or met them on the bus, sometimes we see people who need a hand but aren’t exactly part of our inner circle.

Here, on GiveForward, we have seen all sorts of fundraisers for people that the organizers didn’t necessarily know. From raising money for a homeless man to raising money for a local business, you don’t necessarily have to know the person or organization to raise money to help them.

If helping people, strangers, or communities is something that you’d like to do, check out these tips that will make the process smoother for everyone.


Helping People You Don’t Know Specficially: Individuals and Families


For a lot of families who experience a crisis or loss, the time afterwards is for peace and healing. Even if you’re helping someone in your community, sometimes having intimate issues shared with strangers, beyond their control, can add to the stress of the situation your intended beneficiary is already in. Before you make the page, reach out to the family and make sure that they’re okay with a fundraiser being created for them. Maybe take the time to discuss the privacy options that GiveForward offers and find out what they’re comfortable with. You could even offer to make them a Team Member so they feel more connected to your campaign.

The Funds

1. Accepting the money: We all know what a tender topic money can be. Helping people financially can get sticky when different people have different ideas about what is appropriate. This is another reason why it is extremely important to reach out to your intended beneficiary before you start the page, to make sure that they feel okay about receiving donations.

2. Getting the funds to the beneficiary: Helping people you are not personally acquainted with can also be tough when it comes time to get the money into their hands (sorry, no magic wand just yet). When you start a fundraiser on GiveForward, the Team Captain becomes the Funds Manager (the administrator to the WePay account) by default. This means that when WePay issues payment, it must be issued directly to that person, via ACH transfer or check. You can change the role of Funds Manager over to someone else and while remaining Team Captain, but the new Funds Manager must first be added as a Team Member. Check in with your intended recipient before you promote the fundraiser; it’s tough to have a successful fundraiser but nowhere to send the money.


This comes down to helping people in the way they want to be helped. Make sure your intended beneficiary has not already expressed their wishes for any offered donations. They may have set up their own fundraising page elsewhere, or asked for donations to be made to their favorite charity instead. This is something else you can discuss when you contact them beforehand.

Helping People Generally: Communities and Groups

Whenever disaster strikes (natural or unnatural), we all feel the itch to get up and start helping people who need it. Unfortunately, when it comes to the world of fundraising, gathering money for a group can get complicated. Consider who should receive the money you raise, and then take into account GiveForward’s capabilities. We are unable to send payment to any tax-exempt, non-profit, or 501(c)(3) organizations. Additionally, we cannot split payments or issue payments internationally. Some people choose to accept the funds personally and reallocate the money on their own, which is totally okay. However, briefly consider how it looks to a donor who may not know you, or your good intentions. Take some time in your description to explain why you’re receiving the funds personally and your plans for their donations.

As always, if you have any questions about starting a page, don’t be afraid to reach out to us!

Need help starting a fundraiser? Create a crowdfunding page on GiveForward, and we’ll take care of the rest!

GiveForward is the first place to turn when you or someone you love is facing a challenge. It’s the central rallying place for giving and receiving meaningful support. From sending a simple “Thinking of You” to raising money for out-of-pocket expenses, GiveForward empowers anyone to build a community and take action when it counts.

Whose world will you change?