How to raise money for charity on your phone
Get people to give on the go.
We all have charitable causes we’d like to support, but raising money can seem much more daunting than simply donating whatever we can, individually. With the correct app, though, you can build a fundraising page right from your phone.
With a few key details, a description, and a photo, you can start helping in minutes. It’s as easy as sharing your chosen cause on social media and letting the app handle the heavy lifting of collecting and registering donations.
We’ve picked out five apps that make fundraising straightforward, and they’re free to download whether you’re using Android or iOS.
If you’re still using Facebook, know that you can use the site for more than just posting vacation photos and keeping in touch with your friends. You can put the mobile app to good use by raising money for a cause, and Facebook doesn’t keep any of the proceeds, either.
To get started, hit the menu button in the top right portion of the app’s main News Feed screen, then choose See More and Fundraisers. Tap Raise money and, when prompted, add any necessary details. You can specify a particular charity or cause (such as crisis relief or a memorial fund), and add a picture, a description, and a goal amount to your new fundraising page.
Once your campaign page has been created, you can post it to your Facebook profile (so other people see it in their feed), or invite specific friends to view the page. Note that fundraisers like this are public, so anyone on Facebook can stumble across them and, if they’re feeling generous, choose to donate.
One of the biggest names in the fundraising business, GoFundMe is slick and straightforward. There’s no fee to run charity and personal fundraisers, but the platform does take a 1.9-2.9% slice of donations to cover its costs.
In addition to getting a lot of exposure on GoFundMe’s network—more than 70 million people have donated on the platform since 2010—you’re guaranteed simple instructions and assistance every step of the way.
GoFundMe campaigns need a title, a goal, and a cause, and once that’s done, you can raise money for anything from your own sponsored event to a recognized charity drive. You can add images and descriptions for the campaign right from your phone, and you can share your new fundraiser via social media or email.
PayPal might be best known as a money transfer app, but it does offer an easy way to pool money. Contributors don’t have to have a PayPal account to donate—they can use a credit or debit card instead—but the giving process will be simpler if they do.
From the app’s front page, tap More, then Start a Money Pool, then Create a Pool. You’ll need to give the pool a name, and that’s it. There are options to set a goal amount and a closing date, but these aren’t required. You may also choose to add a description and a photo to give your new page some extra impact.
With that done, you’ll receive a link to the money pool you’ve created. Then, you can share it on social media, via email, or any other way you like. If you don’t need a lot of bells and whistles and just want to collect money quickly and easily, PayPal does the job.
You can use Indiegogo to raise money for anything from a phone case to a studio music album, but this is the platform to choose if you want to try to reach a large audience. Creating and running campaigns is free, but Indiegogo levies a 2.9% transaction fee, plus a flat $0.30, on all donations to your cause.
It’s important to note that you can’t actually set up a campaign from your phone. It’s quite an involved process, requiring the creation of different contribution levels, a pitch video, and more, so you’ll need to do it on Indiegogo’s website.
You can, however, manage your fundraising campaign from your phone, and that’s why Indiegogo is on our list. You’ll get notifications of donations and comments, and the app will let you respond to feedback and share your campaign on social media, too.
Part of the appeal of JustGiving is that it’s so easy to get started—you can have a campaign page up and running in minutes, right from your phone. Just open your profile page inside the app, then hit Start Fundraising to get going.
You can choose to nominate a known charity for your fundraiser or set up a cause of your own, such as a friend, or community, in need. The app will ask you to decide on a funding goal, and to outline various details of the campaign, including what you’re raising money for and why. After adding a photo, you can share the page on social media and by email.
JustGiving takes 5% of the money you raise to fund its own development, plus a 2.9% transaction fee for anyone donating via credit and debit cards. A helpful tip: if you’re crowdfunding for a personal cause, the platform will waive its 5% cut.