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How to Raise Money for a Funeral or Reward Fund using Crowdfunding

September 25, 2017 - Michelle Metje

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When we started Corey’s Network, Inc., one of the first things I did was research which crowd-funding (internet supported) program would take the least amount of fees from the victims. What we found (and prefer to use) is a crowd-funding program called YouCaring.com.

YouCaring.com does not take any of the donations intended for the victim. HOWEVER, they do ask the donor if they would also like to donate to YouCaring.com.  This is a voluntary donation, by clicking on the blue link provided at checkout and manually changing the amount to “$0” the person making the donation will only be charged the donation.  This means that their program will not benefit from the murder of an innocent victim! (see images 1,2, and 3)

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

 

See the YouCaring.com fee schedule at the end of this document for specific fee information or go to https://www.youcaring.com/c/free-fundraising

This is important!! Other crowdfunding sources will benefit from the death of your loved one! That is not your aim when trying to fund a respectable service. Nor do any of your donors intend their money be used to finance a company!

Along with the research I did on a reliable crowdfunding resource, I also researched how to maximize the amount of money you receive on an internet charity campaign. Here are some of the things you want to make sure your webpage has:

  1. A personalized address. On YouCaring.com, you can create your own page such as “JohnSmith@youcaring.com”. When someone enters your address into their browser, they should be able to directly access your charity.
  2. You will want to attach it to a PayPal account. Any PayPal account will do.  However, if you want to save a bit more on fees, please note that CoreysNetwork@gmail.com has a PayPal account, and since we pay no taxes, our fees are less than any individual would pay.  There are benefits to both ways.  If you have the account set up in your name, yes you will pay some fees to PayPal for processing credit cards and checks… but you will have immediate access to the funds.  If you go through our PayPal, you will have fewer fees, but you will need to request the fees from us if you need them before the end of the period of giving.  If you are interested in Corey’s Network managing this for you, please let us know and we will discuss our procedures for assuring you get all the money you collect (minus PayPal fees).
  3. When writing a bio for the fundraiser, ask yourself the following questions:
    1. What was your loved one’s best personality trait?
    2. What skills did they have (singing, instruments, basketball, telling jokes, etc.)?
    3. Where did they go to school? College? Trade School?
    4. What place did they hold in your family? (Husband, wife, daughter, aunt, uncle, brother, etc.)
    5. What profession were they in, want to be in or just starting in?
    6. What will you miss the most about him/her?
  • Remember in writing this, you want to make your loved one stand out and to personalize them as much as possible. It is important to always keep in mind that if the case is unsolved, the person that knows who committed the crime can very well be reading this!!
  1. Post 5 pictures of your loved ones:
    1. Please no cigarettes, beer bottles, pictures of drug paraphernalia, gang signs or weapons.
    2. You are trying to show your loved one not as a victim, but as an active member of your family!
    3. Showing pictures of your loved one with their mom, dad, cousin etc. is great. However, showing pictures of their mom, dad, cousin, etc. by themselves is not recommended.  You are not raising money for them.  You are raising money for the deceased.
    4. Pictures can be taken of photos around the house with your cell phone, and then transferred electronically to the crowdfunding page. They can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, or on your phone can also be used.  Five pictures should be the MINIMUM! Research shows this will increase the amount of donations you receive.
  2. If you can find one video that is appropriate (please refer to 4 for a list of inappropriate visual items) and has appropriate music and speech in the video (no cussing, etc.) or if you can create a slide show of pictures in a video format and use appropriate music in the background, this should also be attached to the crowdfunding site. Research shows this motivates donors to give more also.
  3. Once you are sure you have met these guidelines, if you need someone to look at the site and make any improvements, someone from Corey’s Network would be happy to help you! Please just call us at 816.834.9161.

When everything is complete, (only for YouCaring.com accounts), forward the link to Corey’s Network, Inc. on Facebook and we will advertise it on our FB, Twitter, and personal pages.  Additionally, we can link it to the Coreysnetwork.org page for easy access by the press.

For a reward fund, you would also follow the same guidelines.  However, in the description, you would want to state that “this crime needs to be solved because ______________.” Some examples:

  1. Get the criminal off the street so no one else gets hurt
  2. The victim deserves justice
  3. Their little brothers and sisters are being affected by this
  4. Their mother/father needs to see justice served

Some helpful hints for reward funds:

  1. Please note that in the Kansas City Metropolitan area, we have 2 programs that offer rewards without needing a request by the family. The first is Crime Stoppers ($2,000 is offered) and the second is Ad Hoc Group Against Crime ($1,000 is offered).  So, when you are attempting to raise funds for a reward, keep in mind that whatever you raise will be compounded by these two organizations.
  2. For every $500 you raise and bring to Crime Stoppers (816-474-TIPS), they will create a press release. This will go to all press sources available in our area, and you will be asked to speak on the news about your loved one.
    • This is important to note: It is better to be on the news 10 times for $500 each time than 1 time for $5,000.
    • The more your loved one is in the news, the more likelihood their case will be solved.
  3. Restaurants will sometimes donate 10-20% of a night’s proceeds toward a cause. Visit a restaurant you frequent and ask the manager if they are willing to do this for you.

 

Michelle Metje

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