Everyone has an idea that will change the world. All it takes is $100 or less to turn that into a reality explains Paul Haarman.
Take for example Ejrick Hayes; age 17, who recently raised $10,000 on gofundme.com to help build his non-profit organization “Hip Hop Hope”. He decided to start this organization after reading Michelle Obama’s book Becoming. He was inspired by her story and saw firsthand the challenges kids face growing up without parents or other family members involved in their lives. With this knowledge he wanted to create an outlet for children like him who didn’t have normal access to resources like sports equipment, field trips etc..
Ejrick started off by asking friends and family to donate old clothes, shoes and athletic equipment. He received so many donations that he was able to open up Hip Hop Hope’s first thrift store. It is located at 4863 W. 7th street in Los Angeles which is about a block away from where he lives. Ejrick continues to collect items for future sales by hosting donation drives on weekends with friends & family members. His next goal is to open up more thrift stores around the city of LA, this time focusing on kids aged 6-12 years of age.
So how can you get involved? If you are looking for some inspiration or want to help raise money for an idea you have, here are some actionable steps:
- Do your research. Look into similar organizations working in your area to see how they operate and the problems they face every day says Paul Haarman.
- Brainstorm with friends and family members (their insights are invaluable) for feedback on how you can make your idea more efficient.
- Create a plan of action, an excel spreadsheet or even a word document, to ensure that everything goes according to schedule. You want to be able to hit your deadlines.
- If needed, create a gofundme page and set up social media accounts (Twitter/Facebook). Make sure you post pictures and updates regularly so people know what’s going on! This will also help motivate people to donate! Don’t forget that $20 is better than $0.
- If you are accepted, take part in one of the many opportunities available to young entrepreneurs, like YEC (Young Entrepreneur Council) which helps give you access to mentors and future investors.
Most importantly, understand that it will take time before your idea becomes a success. Don’t let this discourage or stop you from pursuing your passion because remember “ideas are free but people aren’t” – Ejrick Hayes. I guarantee you that there are plenty of other organizations who need help with their ideas too! So head on over to www.gofundme.com, browse through the thousands of projects posted daily and find one that inspires you! Remember its all or nothing so shoot for the stars and aim for the moon!
(Q) How do I use gofundme?
(A) You can think of it as kick starter, except it’s free to post a project! Anyone can create a campaign whether you are looking for donations or funding. The site is primarily aimed at individuals who need money, but you can also set up fundraisers for charities/non-profit organizations!
(Q) How much does it cost?
(A) It’s completely free! However the person collecting the money (you), must have either a PayPal account or bank account linked to their profile. Also there is now an option for you to charge a small fee (3%) to those who donate. This helps keep the site running and ensures that you get your money says Paul Haarman.
(Q) I have a project that’s not listed what do I do?
(A) Just email firstname.lastname@example.org with a short description of the idea and they will review it! This is a great thing because it allows them to weed out any potential frauds or scams, making gofundme more secure for donors (especially those who give large amounts). Once they approve your project you can submit it for free! When you are ready make sure you click the green “launch” button on the main page.
Paul Haarman says I think this is a great way for people to get their ideas off the ground and if you do decide to use gofundme, I wish you the best of luck! Remember there are over 5000,000 users on gofundme so your project will definitely stand out. You can even set up multiple social media accounts and advertise it through them, just remember that “many hands make light work.”