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Using crowdfunding to raise money for the surrogacy process

We all know surrogacy is expensive, and sometimes you may need the help of family, friends or even take loans. One common way of raising money for the is to use the various crowdfunding platforms. Intended parents that choose this path need to realize that raising money this way is hard work.

So how its done? The parents publish as much information as possible on the landing page that explains why they need help, they upload photos, tell a bit about their process, their relationship as a couple (or about one’s personal story in the case of a single parent), and the possible donation options. Some simply ask for money in exchange for basic rewards/perks (like a thank you letter), and some offer various rewards based on the donation amount (i.e $150 - a cake delivered to your doorstep, $500 - two cakes delivered to your doorstep).

So far I’ve noticed that the more appealing the matching gifts are, the more motivated people are to donate. Some parents contact various local businesses or restaurants and make a mutually beneficial offer. Let’s take an ice cream shop for example. The shop will provide a gift of $100 for anyone who donates to the crowdfunding campaign. The parents purchase a bunch of vouchers in advance, at a somewhat discounted rate, and earn the delta between the donation and what they paid for the voucher. So it’s a win-win situation. The ice cream shop gets good publicity as a business that helps the campaign and maybe some exposure to new customers, the parents earn the difference, the people who donate earn ice cream vouchers and a good feeling for donating to a worthy cause.

If the parents have special skills or hobbies, I’ve seen this work nicely as well. For example, if the parent is a good cook and offers a home-cooked meal or homemade cake as a gift. If one is a graphic designer, builds websites, or a psychologist (and so forth!) can offer the services for the donation, and both parties benefit from the exchange.

Try to find suitable collaborations.

A friend or relative that gives some sort of service might prefer to donate something non-monetary (a music teacher will offer 3 free piano lessons) and you can offer it as a gift on the site. The friend may even gain a new long term client this way :-)

Remember that the various platforms (sites like giveback and others) offer different types of campaigns, some of which transfer it to you at the end of the campaign only if all the money has been raised, and some will transfer partial amounts, whatever you managed to raise. Some platforms charge a commission for running the campaign and others only charge money transfer commissions. Check everything before you choose the type of fundraising platform suits you best.

I have a friend who built his own website that tells his story and through which you can purchase gifts or donate directly, and that way he isn’t dependent on a third party or a platform, and he runs his fundraising campaign on his own.

Remember that the campaigns run really well at first (because family and close friends will want to help), but then it’ll plateau. This is when you’ll really have to work it and know how to share the link in as many online groups as possible without harassing people, to keep sharing it on social media, to be interviewed and tell your story to as many programs as possible, interviews and articles in the local press.

Set a reasonable and realistic sum in advance that you think you can attain. I’ve seen a lot of campaigns who have set a really high sum of $80,000 and even though they raised a lot (over $50,000!) the campaign wasn’t complete because it was so far from the target sum that they set in advance. Close friends and family members will also probably be able to donate to you directly and not through the platform, which charges a commission and takes a portion of the money you raise.

Happy fundraising! :-)

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