How does the Raising Hope site work?

Steven’s Hope for Children (SHFC) makes it incredibly easy to raise money online for the things are important to the family of a seriously ill or injured child and the recovery of the sick child.  It only takes a few minutes to be able to customize your message on your personalized “Raising Hope” fundraising site to share with the people in your life.

With Raising Hope, the money you collect goes to Families at a critical time in their life. There are no deadlines or limits - each donation you receive is pooled in a restricted fund account, only to be used by families accepted into the Raising Hope Project.   Fundraising with the Raising Hope Project is easy. What a great way to impact the life of another person.  Plus, we are available to help you through the process.

Who is behind this site and why should I trust using it?

Raising Hope is a project developed by Steven’s Hope for Children, Inc.  Steven’s Hope is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit located in Upland, CA.  The organization was started in 2002 after the founders had a child that was born with a congenital heart defect and died 32 hours after birth. Since its humble beginnings, Steven’s Hope has helped thousands of kids through various programs providing temporary housing and necessary goods and services to support families. The goal is to help families in their time of need as much as we can and in every way possible.  To find out more about Steven’s Hope and how it started visit

How are donations made to the site?

Once on the Raising Hope website, simply clicks on the “Donate” button.  A preformatted screen will appear with several giving amounts and one custom amount.  Just select the amount and follows the prompts to complete the process.

Okay, here is the tricky part.  If the view is on a Family site for Mary Jones, a sick child, the donation will automatically be processed as “in honor of Mary Jones”. The money is then placed in the pool account and will be credited to Mary Jones.

If the viewer is on the Project site, and no specific child/family is selected, the donation would go to the general account of Raising Hope. These donations support the Project expenses as well as helping to fund the Raising Hope Fundraising Match.  

Is the site safe?

The Raising Hope campaign uses industry standard Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption technology.  Your donors' online payments safe and the money raised is in kept in a restricted bank account, where it stays until money is requested from an eligible family.  For those donors that prefer to write a check, we still accept those!

Does it cost anything to participate in fundraising?

So many sites say they are free to create and share their online fundraising campaign.  But, once the money starts to come in, the deductions start to appear.  There could be a processing fee of 4% to 7% and maybe a transaction fee anywhere from 25 cents or a percent of the transaction.  Oh, and then there is the credit card fees which could be as much as an additional 3% or more. So, on a simple $100 transaction, as much as $10 or more could be lost in fees!

There are no fees charged like those above to any of that to the Families, Donors or the Participants.  Raise $100 for Mary Jones and $100 goes into the fund pool with Mary’s name on it. It's free to create and share your online fundraising campaign, AND raise money. SHFC absorbs all the expense.

Do the Donors get charged to make a donation?

No! Remember, Steven’s Hope picks up all the expense of credit card fees, transaction fees, processing fees for all the Raising Hope fundraising sites.

Does a Donor’s donation have to be listed with their name?

No.  When entering the gift on the Raising Hope site, they simply click the box that allows them to give “anonymously”.  Steven’s Hope and the Participant Fundraiser will know who made the donation, but it won’t be out there for the world to see.  If that happens, please respect their wishes of anonymity and refrain from making any social media posts about their donation that uses their name.

Are donations able to me made from smart phones?

Yes, and you don’t even need to download a new app.  The Raising Hope Project website is called a “responsive” site. What that means it is totally functional on a smart phone even though it will look slightly different.  It’s a very easy way for your supporters to make a donation to the cause!

Can donations be made without being online?

Absolutely! There are links on the website that will let the donor download a donation form, complete it and mail it in with their donation.  And, if a Participant Fundraiser receives donations directly for their cause, they can use their Participant Center to enter in the information and attach it to their campaign.  When the money comes is received, we match it up to the Participant. Easy!

Can people give monthly or annually?

Yes. On the Raising Hope site, there is an option in the donation section that allows the donor to select a “one time” or “recurring” donation.  If a donor selects the “recurring” option, there will be screen prompts to help determine the frequency of donations, the length of donation and the amount of recurring donation.

Who can I raise money for?

Most people use Raising Hope to raise money for children and families they know personally.  Some may just search through the list of active Families and start raising funds for them. Others may like the idea of helping someone in need and they join as a participant and having those funds go the Raising Hope Project for the general good and to help sustain the program.

What kind of things do the Families get to use the money for?

The money can be used for the benefit of the sick child can be for:

  1. Food
  2. Transportation
  3. Clothing
  4. Insurance
  5. Housing
  6. Medical Expenses
  7. Goods and Services
  8. Activities

With that being said, we're always open to listen to what a family needs for their sick child’s well-being.

What things cannot be paid for with the money?

  1. Alcohol
  2. Tobacco products
  3. Illegal Drugs
  4. Activities not based on or including the sick child
  5. Purchase of items that negatively impact the recovery/rehabilitation of the sick child.

How do Families get their money?

Once a Family’s fundraising campaign begins receiving online donations, they can easily request a withdrawal at any time. Each eligible Family is instructed on this process.  Once all necessary validations are done, money is sent to the Family to reimburse expenses incurred or are being incurred.  Be sure to keep fundraising when the Family is requesting money.  All the information on your fundraising site will stay current (what you raised, etc.).

How long does it take for a Family to get money?

Once all the necessary documentation for a disbursement request has been received, the Family should get their money in about a week.  Although paper checks are available, we recommend Families receive electronic checks.

Is there a time limit to raise money?

Good question!  The answer is No and Yes!

For General Donations, those can continually be in “Active” mode. These donations go to support the project and ultimately the Families.

For Families, it’s different. Each year the status of the seriously ill child is reviewed.  For a family to be eligible to get any services from SHFC, there are four requirements:

  • The child must be 18 years of age or less.
  • The child must be referred by a Doctor or Hospital Social Worker
  • The child must have a serious illness or injury
  • The family must have a financial need of the services.

Should the family not meet all of the requirements, they will no longer be allowed to raise funds through Raising Hope.  However, they can still submit for expense reimbursements through the time that the child turns 21 at which time the funds remaining in their account, if any will be transferred to the Raising Hope General Fund.

Do I need to use a real name?

Yes. Remember, people are going to be looking for your name if you are a Participant fundraiser or the name of the sick child that they will be helping.  You want to be as clear and transparent with what is online as possible. However, you may choose to hide your campaign from being listed on the Raising Hope Family Search List during the sign up procedure.

Helpful Hint for Families-Make your “Screen Name” the name of the sick child.  Use first and last name or the child's name and add "Family" like "Bobby Brady Family". Please don’t make a campaign name like “Healthy Heart for Heather” or “The Bobby Brady Fund”.

Why would anyone support my campaign?

People will support your campaign because of you and because people like to help. However, no one will help if they don’t know there is a need and they are never asked to help. You need to make sure people you know are informed about your campaign.  That would include all the people in your life: friends, family, coworkers, classmates, teammates, church groups, civic groups, and people you don’t even know.  Just start your campaign and send out a few emails to those closest to you. When they see how easy it is to donate, or even support the cause, they can forward your link on an email or a social media post. Then, those people recommend to their friends. More people may even sign up to be a Participant and create a page. Don’t give up after sending the first email or your first social media post.  Keep working it!

What if I don’t reach my Fundraising Goal?

That’s okay!  Remember, every little bit helps.  If you missed your goal but still raised a few bucks, that’s a few bucks more than was there when you started.  Just do your best to make that ripple of change!

Do I have to share this with friends and family?

Sharing your campaign is the key factor in what makes Raising Hope work.  Those closest to you will help support your cause and spread the word for you.  But, you need to ask.  For some, that is the single hardest thing to do on Raising Hope: asking for help. 

We get that.  But here is something to think about. Have you ever helped somebody willingly?  When you did, how did you feel?  Was there a sense of reward just be being there whether it was to open a door for a stranger, spending some time in a hospital with friend or helping someone moving?  Didn’t you feel a bit of JOY?  If you don’t ask someone to help you, you aren’t giving them the opportunity to feel JOY for helping you.

I don’t have a Facebook account, or I do but I don’t want to use it.  Is it mandatory?

Using social media like Facebook or Twitter is completely optional.  However, sharing what is going on with your cause can help your fundraising efforts.  You never know if something you post could get a lot of money donated.  If you don’t have an account or are uncomfortable using social media, maybe someone close to you will help do it for you.

Can I hide my fundraising campaign?

You don’t need to make everything public, but you don’t want to be hiding either.  If you’re a Family and people can’t easily find your name or read the compelling story of your journey, how would anyone be able to donate to your page?  You can choose to hide your campaign from being listed in the Public Search Directory, but if you send out an email with your campaign link, that link will lead back to your campaign.  It is virtually impossible to keep your campaign private and be successful in raising money.

Do I get notified if someone makes a donation?

In your Participant Center, you will have the option on several things, including if you want to be notified when someone makes a donation, or wants to join your Team, etc. You'll receive an email notification each time a donation is made to your SHFC campaign.

Can I collect donations from around the world?

Soon.  For now, we are only accepting donations from location in the United States. 

Are there any tax implications with my donation?

We cannot give specific tax advice as everyone’s situation is different, so speak to your tax professional. Generally speaking most peer to peer fundraising sites raise money from donations that would be considered “personal gifts” and not taxed as income to the recipient in the US. However, it doesn’t do much for the donor. Only donations made to a legally registered non-profit or charity may be considered eligible for donors to claim as a tax deduction.  Since donations made on Raising Hope go to Steven’s Hope for Children, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, donors will receive a receipt for their donation stating that the donation was a gift and nothing of value was exchanged for the donation. Again, every situation is different so please consult with your tax professional.