How to write your crowdfunding campaign story

Reading Time: 6 minutes

A key thread that connects all successful crowdfunding campaigns is a well-written, emotive, and informative story that connects with its audience

Before setting up your campaign, take a look at South African’s leading donations based crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy‘s advice for good story writing.

Practical considerations 

  • Keep your campaign message short (no longer than 200-500 words)
  • Use Paragraphs and comfortable spacing to separate your ideas.
  • Highlight important information by bolding, underlining, italicizing key phrases or words. 
  • Keep your tone friendly and conversational. 
  • Don’t forget to do a quick spelling and grammar check.

Add additional information to your campaign through hyperlinks.

  • Online media articles or blog posts relevant to your cause.
  • Additional photos or video content to support your campaign on YouTube, Facebook, Dropbox, Google Drive.
  • Link to a social media page or group that posts regular updates about your campaign.

Your campaign copy should answer the following questions:

Who are you fundraising for?

Tell us about the person you are raising funds for – what is their name, age, where are they from, what is their background, what are some of their achievements or struggles?

When Niqi During from Pietermaritzburg shared her battle with Cystic Fibrosis she was always to open to talking about her condition and her warm personality won the hearts of so many who followed her crowdfunding campaign.

In Niqi’s honour, Register as an organ donor here

Keep in mind that when you write your story, your campaign will reach, friends of friends on social media as well as the public-  at a glance, the person reading your campaign text should know exactly who you are raising funds for.

Tip: Donors typically support crowdfunding campaigns in their area – if you can, mention a local hospital, school or church you attend to make your campaign more localized.

What are you fundraising for and how will funds be used?

It’s important to articulate the extent of your various needs and how funds will be used to support the beneficiary of your crowdfunding campaign.

Depending on what you are fundraising for, try to find a clear, tangible way to communicate your needs:

For example, Porky’s People created a campaign to purchase 100 digital food vouchers to the value of R250, to feed vulnerable families in Pietermaritzburg affected by the lockdown.

You can also provide a brief breakdown of the costs involved in your campaign to provide transparency and a full picture of what your needs are.

Focus on the positive impact of donations 

Mention how funds raised will be used to support the beneficiary and the positive impact it will have on their life or their current situation.

According to the 2018 Trends in Global Giving Report, by Non-Profit Tech For Good, 91% of donors are motivated to donate to causes when they feel positive emotions such as hope and empathy and only 9% respond to negative emotions such as fear and sadness.

What lead you to crowdfund?

Develop your story by proving background information about your life and how your needs arose.

Why have you decided to crowdfund now?

What was the turning point in your journey to crowdfunding? 

What is your timeframe? 

If your campaign is time-sensitive, include that information in your campaign text to let donors know if you have a limited amount of time to the funds you need.

To save their children’s home from closure, Home of Hope, needed to raise funds to cover their operational costs for 3 months.

How will funds be administered?

Will funds raised by paid into your personal account or be paid directly to a relevant supplier such as a medical practitioner, school, church, non-profit organization?

Donors tend to support causes more generously if they are certain funds will be used for their intended purpose and paid directly to the relevant institutions.  

Take a look at these inspiring stories on BackaBuddy

  • Using her wonderful sense of humor, Mandy Lottering, a hairdresser from Pietermaritzburg, penned a personal message about her struggle with breast cancer and the treatment she needed.  

  • Zanele Hlatshwayo from Soweto, told a very powerful and personal story when raising funds for the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) in honor of her late father. Read more.

  • Leilani Kuter (46) from Roodepoort, pledged to walk 27km per day, for 27 days, covering a distance of 729km, 27 years after her rape ordeal. Funds raised were used to purchase rape kits and comfort packs for young women affected by sexual assault and gender-based violence in South Africa. Read more.

Find a friend to tell your story

In the crowdfunding community, we often say, your friend’s megaphone is louder. If you can get a dedicated friend to set up your campaign on your behalf, this is often more emotive to donors, will increase your visibility on social media and your campaign is more likely to reach its target.

Take a look at these inspiring stories on BackaBuddy, set up by a friend.

  • Michael Dickerson (42) from Limpopo, took on a 161km endurance race to raise funds for Daniël Otto (6), a boy suffering from Congenital Muscular Dystrophy (CMD). In his campaign text, Michael wrote how he was inspired by Daniël’s courage despite his many challenges. He also mentioned that he would be carrying a photo of Daniël in his pocket on the day of the race. Read more.


  • When Tannie Poppie Van As, an elderly lady from Laingsburg who runs a roadside ‘roosterbrood’ stand in the Western Cape was invited to Italy to show off her cooking skills, her personality instantly captured the hearts of donors both locally and abroad. Her campaign was set up by a close friend by the name of Stan Engelbrecht who sang her praises. Read more.

  • From living as a homeless man on the streets of Pretoria, Llewellyn Barnes (59) defeated all odds to participate amongst professional players in major golf tournament. With his crowdfunding campaign, set up by non-profit organization, Fearless Love, Llewellyn shared his life story and how golf got him through the most difficult days of his life. Read more.

  • When Amahle Zenzile (11) was unable to attend the South African Junior Chess Champions Closed in Johannesburg, her best friend and fellow competitor, Trinity Van Beeck (12) set up a crowdfunding campaign on her behalf.

In her story, Trinity wrote about their unique friendship and motivated why Amahle deserved the opportunity to show off her skills at the tournament. Read more.

More stories that inspired us:

  • Wave surfer and marine activist, Frank Solomon created a campaign to support two street surfers, Thabo and Mokete, who live on the streets of Johannesburg.
  • Monet van Deventer created a campaign to surprise petrol attendant Nkhosikho Mbele after he performed a kind deed to keep her safe.
  • Mother and daughter, Michelle and Kerryn Hugo created a campaign to build a home for their domestic worker, Antonia Mtambo.


Did you know? Campaigns with video content, tend to raise 4 times more funds and are 7 times more shareable on social media? Read more about creating a video to support your crowdfunding campaign here.

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