March 22, 2020 Finance & Funding en_US Many small businesses across the country are turning to GoFundMe as a way to stay open during tough times. This is a practical guide on how to get set up. How to start a GoFundMe for the Small Business Relief Initiative
Finance & Funding

How to start a GoFundMe for the Small Business Relief Initiative

By Myranda Mondry March 22, 2020

Half of small businesses say they can only operate for up to three months because of the coronavirus, says a new survey. Government assistance may not come soon enough for some.

That’s why Intuit and GoFundMe are launching the Small Business Relief Initiative. Together, the companies are pledging funds to support microgrants for small businesses that create a GoFundMe page through the joint initiative. Businesses can receive donations and get micro-grants from the Small Business Relief Fund even if they’re not Intuit QuickBooks customers. What’s more, Intuit is giving its 9,000-plus employees access to additional funds to support the small businesses they love.

Businesses can create a fundraiser for free, promote fundraisers with their communities, and share their results on social media using the hashtag #SmallBizRelief. Visit GoFundMe’s website to find inspiration for your GoFundMe or to donate to another small business owner’s fundraiser.

Ready to get funding? Follow these steps and best practices to launch a successful GoFundMe fundraiser.

How to start a GoFundMe

GoFundMe doesn’t have deadlines, goal limits, or requirements for backer rewards. Getting started is simple:

  1. Join the Small Business Relief Initiative.
  2. Select “Start a GoFundMe.”
  3. Create an account using your name and email address.
  4. Enter your goal and name your fundraiser.
  5. Select “Business & Entrepreneurs” from the dropdown menu.

Best practices for a successful fundraiser

Once you’ve created your fundraiser, it’s time to start crowdfunding. Follow these best practices to appeal to your backers and hit your goal.

Tell your story

Successful fundraising requires you to be open and transparent about your financial needs. Start with a heartfelt story. GoFundMe recommends telling your story in the same way you would tell it to a friend. The goal is to inspire empathy and compel readers to donate. Let your backers know why your business is important for the local community and why it’s important to you. Don’t forget to include details like why you need the funding and how you will use the funds.

Aim high

You’ll receive all the funds people donate even if you don’t hit your goal. So don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. At the same time, be realistic. If your financial needs grow or change during the fundraiser, you can always edit your goal.


Add frequent updates to your GoFundMe page to let your backers and supporters know how you’re doing. GoFundMe recommends posting photos or text updates at least once a week to share all your ups and downs. It’s important to bring your backers along for the ride. The more often you update, the higher your chances of success.

3 ways to raise awareness for your fundraiser

Backers can find you through the GoFundMe website organically. But with thousands of fundraisers running at any given time, it’s easy for your GoFundMe to get lost in the crowd. Find your backers to boost the success of your GoFundMe.

  1. Share on social media

GoFundMe makes it easy to share your fundraiser online. Just use the social media buttons on your GoFundMe page.

  • Post your GoFundMe to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other platform your backers might use. Make sure your post is public and ask your followers to share posts with their friends.
  • Reach even wider audiences by sharing your fundraiser on your city’s Facebook page, in Facebook and LinkedIn groups, and on Snapchat. GoFundMe recommends using a unique hashtag for your campaign as well as common hashtags to help more backers find you.
  • Engage in social communities like Reddit or Tumblr. It’s a great way to reach a new audience that might be looking for more ways to take action.

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of friends and family. Ask them to share your fundraiser far and wide. That personal connection may convince someone to fund you.

  1. Connect with your customers

At the end of the day, you need to reach your backers where they live. Consider sending an email or automated text message about your fundraising efforts. Get an embeddable widget that features your fundraiser on your homepage or blog. It’s easy: Just select the plus sign on your GoFundMe page. And put a note about your fundraiser on your business’s front door. Do whatever it takes to let your customers and supporters know you’re looking for help.

  1. Crowdfund together

Chances are you’re in the same boat as other local businesses in your community. Now is the time to come together. Support their crowdfunding efforts by sharing their fundraisers with your audience, and ask them to do the same for you. As business owners make big changes in response to the coronavirus, the world’s helpers are still looking for ways to lend a hand.


This content is for information purposes only and information provided should not be considered legal, accounting or tax advice, or a substitute for obtaining such advice specific to your business. Additional information and exceptions may apply. Applicable laws may vary by state or locality. No assurance is given that the information is comprehensive in its coverage or that it is suitable in dealing with a customer’s particular situation. Intuit Inc. does it have any responsibility for updating or revising any information presented herein. Accordingly, the information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research. Intuit Inc. cannot warrant that the material contained herein will continue to be accurate, nor that it is completely free of errors when published. Readers should verify statements before relying on them.

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Myranda is a content creator and researcher at Intuit. She graduated with an English and journalism degree from Boise State University and currently resides in Boise, Idaho. She’s passionate about dogs, music, and helping small businesses succeed. Read more