Building your own Crowdfunding Website has a lot of advantages. I recently had the chance to build one for a person recovering from a car accident that raised over $5k to help with his medical bills.
Nicolas Gomez, was severely injured when walking to work and struck by a pickup truck on 8.16.13. As a result, he suffered near fatal injuries, was unconscious and hospitalized. I didn’t personally know Nick Gomez. But, He and I trained at the same MMA gym. One of my friends at the MMA gym asked if I could help with solutions to aid with his rising medical costs upward towards $200k. She was concerned, because Nick is self-employed and a single-parent with two kids in grade school.
The ultimate solution that came to me was to build a peer-to-peer crowdsource fundunding website platform.
But, What about Crowdfunding Websites?
At first, I did considered websites to help with medical costs such as, GoFundMe, FUNDRZR, etc. But, I didn’t like the high fees that these crowdfunding platforms charged. They charge monthly fees, transaction fees plus the payment gateway they use also charge fees on top it all. I felt like the websites were charging too high, and they were taking too much of a percentage from donations.
Just Build It Yourself
I decided to build a crowdfunding website platform on my own for Nick Gomez. This benefits I saw were:
- No transaction fees by platforms third party payment processing company
- Save on monthly account charges
- No transaction fees by the website
- Ultimately, more money from Donors actually got to helping Nick Gomez
A Personal Crowdfunding Website
Crowdfunding is a really new industry. In my initial phases of research, I couldn’t find examples of a personal crowdfunding website or crowdfunding websites for an individual. I knew nothing about how to go about the proper UI/UX design.
As an entrepreneur you learn to be resourceful. A graphic designer friend of mine from tech startup, Parking Panda said to me once,
“In order to learn design, take good design, copy it and make it better.”
So I went to websites like GoFundMe and studied the UI/UX design. I made note of things such as where they put their donation buttons and reversed engineered the thought process.
Landing Page: Third party crowdfunding websites don’t give members a landing page. But, the solution I took was to just go at it as a personal website. I used a full screen page and used a high resolution image with a martial arts theme since he loved BJJ. This is so that new visitors who didn’t know Nick could get an initial feel of who he is.
INTRO PAGE: The intro page is important, because it tells new site visitors what happened and in general who the donee is. I learned that it’s important to have the main photo of the donee be representative of their current condition. Then have a few photos showing how they were before the incident included on the page.
The Donation Page (Payment Gateway): This is the most important part of a crowdfunding website, because it’s where you tell potential donors why and how they can help. If done correctly this is followed up with the a call to action to donate. I used PayPal as the payment gateway. It’s quick and easy. The transaction fees are much lower and that’s the only thing you have to pay. The only bad thing about PayPal is the user experience. Donors will be taken outside of the website to PayPal’s payment interface during the transaction process.
U/I & U/X Design Notes
- Include up to five donation amounts with a custom amount option increases conversions.
- An optional message increases conversions b/c it gives potential donors the feeling that they are making impact.
- Donation buttons that are bright and large have been shown to increase conversions.
I completed the crowdfunding website for Nick Gomez in seven days.
In the end, What I built resulted in over $5k raised to help Nick. Not bad. Nick recovered shortly afterwards.
.It is said that one is required to be a jack of trades when building a company (finance, accounting, programming, design, marketing, etc.). The skills I’ve learned while building my agency, RONIN, have applied in the building of this platform. Also, lean startup concepts such as MVP, iterating, and gathering data also apply in all of this execution.
This was my first experience of utilizing my skills in technology, design, and technical marketing to help another person. I look to continue forward in this path of social impact.