How to ask for help

How to ask for help when you need it and have no other way. First you have to swallow your pride! Now let's find out how you can get help.

Is Crowdfunding just for businesses?

Crowdfunding is the collective effort of individuals who bypass banks and pool their money to support the efforts of others.

Many start-ups and social projects use crowdfunding to part-fund their charitable activities, or to expand an existing business. Money can be in the form of donations, shares or interest based I.O.U’s (see each of these three sections below). Typically, the sums are small – as little as £5 – while the ‘crowd’ is large; for what defines such crowdsourced funding is the strongly ‘social’ aspect of investment. Donors and investors are also members and supporters who have an emotional or social tie to the project through bulletins and updates as well as interaction with each other online and off. As Phil Geraghty, Managing Director of Crowdfunder says “ It is the ability to create a sense of community and raise funds at the same time ”.

Crowdfunding can be for individuals who need help desperately

But crowdfunding isn't just for businesses and charities/non-profit organisations. Individuals can now use crowdfunding for any reason they may have.

So I thought I'd make a page explaining how it works, and if you ever need to use it you know how to set up your own crowdfunding project or page.

Crowdfunding has helped me with Bonnie's vets fees. Without crowdfunding on the truth is I would have had to have her put to sleep as I just don't have the money to pay for her tests and her medication. I can't work due to my health, and I struggle on a daily basis financially. I love Bonnie more than life itself, so I shoved my pride in my back pocket and asked her friends to help. It wasn't and isn't something I'm proud of having to do but it has and is saving her life, and for that I will be eternally grateful to all of you that have donated to help her.

Recently a friend on Twitter lost her beloved pet and was in a similar situation, she couldn't afford her pets cremation, so I suggested she try crowdfunding, and through people's generosity and kindness she had enough money to pay for the cremation and a memorial.

Crowdfunding can be very rewarding for those that are giving, a feeling that you are helping someone is very satisfying if you are in the position to do so.

It's hard to ask for help, you feel like you've failed in life and it knocks your pride but sometimes we all have to ask for help through circumstances beyond our control, and there are kind hearted genuine caring folk out there that are prepared to help you.

So now, let's talk about how you start crowdfunding.

Donation based crowdfunding

People invest simply because they believe in the cause. Rewards can be offered such as acknowledgements on an album cover, tickets to an event, regular news updates, free gifts and so on.

Returns are considered intangible. Donors have a social or personal motivation for putting their money in and expect nothing back, except perhaps to feel good about helping the project or person. And we all like to be a good samaritan at times.

Where do I start?

If you find yourself in a position where you have no spare money and you need help, but can't afford or don't want to take out a loan, or it's just not feasible to borrow money for whatever reason you need cash, the usual route is to Google 'Raising Funds'. You'll see lots of pages come up for sites where you can ask for help. is the one I use, as they don't take anything from the donations given, the only fees deducted from the donations are by Paypal. There are many others, both in the UK and US, and probably in whichever country you happen to live. It's always best to check in their terms and conditions, exactly how much they charge you for using their site. Their fees can vary greatly and a £10 donation can shrink considerably to as little as £5 and under after the website has taken their fees. So read everything before you sign up to any particular site. Of course you don't have to use a donation site, if you have a Paypal account you can just give people your Paypal email to donate, or if you have a website or blog, you can put a Paypal Donate button on it. I've just done that today. So people can choose if they want to give via or direct to my paypal account via the button. When they use the Paypal button on this blog, it gives people the opportunity to decide how much they want to give, and if they want to give regularly each month. So it's quite helpful.

Asking for help

Next once you've chosen your site and registered your account with them, you need to write a short article about why you need help. Put as much detail as possible in this article, otherwise people won't know how desperate you are and exactly why you need them to help you.

It doesn't have to be War and Peace, people don't want to read long articles to find out exactly what your asking for, but it does need to be long enough to give all the information you can give them.

Target amount?

This is like saying how long is a piece of string in some cases, take Bonnie for instance. Initially she was diagnosed with SARDS so had to see a specialist veterinary opthalmologist. My vet had no idea how much this would cost and gave me a rough idea of around £800. So I set my target for that amount. It turns out that was way off and the appointment was nowhere near that amount, but she then developed Cushings, and so the amount she's needed and still needs has no end total. She needs regular tests for her Cushings medication, as it's chemotherapy, too much can be fatal, and too little won't do anything. Plus she's needed special things for a blind dog, like her halo coats, her buggy etc. Her tests are very frequent and very expensive to make sure her drug dose is corrrect and if her symptoms have increased, its a fine balancing act. Her ACTH tests and urine tests are around £184 each time. Then her meds are expensive too, she needs them every month for the rest of her life. Her life expectancy is shortened to between 6mths and 3yrs. So you can see, that the £800 target wasn't sufficient. I had to change the amount and the closing date. All of which were possible on On some sites you can't adjust the total or the end date.

So it's really important to read through everything on the site before signing up.

Regular updates

It's very very important to post regular updates, so your friends and donatees know exactly what's going on and what's happening with their donations. Try to make your updates as interesting as possible and keep them up to date with everything. And make regular updates as often as you can, even if there's no news, it lets your friends know you haven't forgotten their kindness and things are still progressing.

Thanking people

It's also important to thank those kind hearted, thoughtful caring friends who have or are still helping you. They didn't have to help you. Life's hard enough for everyone but they spared a few pounds of their money to make sure you have some help with your current crisis or reason for asking for their help. That means so much. You can never thank anyone enough for helping, especially in cases like Bonnie. Everyone who has donated has literally saved her life. Without their help, she would now be OTRB and I would be a very very sad and unhappy person. I will be eternally grateful to all those that have and are helping her, they have put my faith back into the human race, and made me realise that there are a bunch of special souls out there and believe me they are special. So treat them accordingly.

Well that seems about all the advice I can give you about asking for financial help. It's not something people want to ask for, but in cases like Bonnie's there's no other way and I'm so glad I have as I've made so many friends who I will treasure forever.

Bonnie's Mum

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