Crowdsourcing is a method of obtaining input, services, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, typically from an online community or the general public. It involves harnessing the collective intelligence, skills, or resources of a diverse group of individuals to achieve a specific goal or solve a problem.

Value for Homicide Victims’ Families:

  • Financial Support: Crowdsourcing can help homicide victims’ families raise funds for various needs, such as legal fees, private investigations, funeral expenses, or support for surviving family members. It eases the financial burden they may face during or after the investigation.
  • Awareness and Advocacy: Crowdsourcing platforms provide a means for families to share their stories, garner public support, and raise awareness about unsolved cases. This can lead to increased media attention and potential breakthroughs in investigations.
  • Access to Expertise: Crowdsourcing allows families to tap into a wide range of skills and expertise. They can connect with forensic experts, legal professionals, and investigators who may volunteer their services or provide valuable guidance.
  • Community Building: Crowdsourcing creates a sense of community and solidarity among families facing similar challenges. It offers emotional support, as individuals with shared experiences can connect and offer comfort to one another.
  • Data and Information: The collective wisdom of online communities can help families gather information, tips, and leads that law enforcement may have missed. The crowd can contribute to the pool of knowledge surrounding a case.
  • Pressure on Authorities: A well-supported crowdsourced campaign can exert public pressure on law enforcement agencies to reexamine or prioritize cold cases, potentially leading to increased efforts to solve them.
  • Closure and Justice: Ultimately, the value of crowdsourcing for homicide victims’ families lies in the potential to bring closure and justice to unsolved cases. With the collective effort of the crowd, these families have a better chance of finding answers and holding perpetrators accountable.

One way to leverage crowdsourcing is to use it for funding for specific case advocacy needs.  GoFundMe is one of the most popular online crowdsourcing resources.

Creating a fundraising petition on GoFundMe is a straightforward process that can help homicide victims’ families raise funds for various needs related to your case. Follow these simple steps to get started:

Step 1: Sign Up or Log In to GoFundMe

If you don’t already have a GoFundMe account, you’ll need to create one. If you have an existing account, log in.

Step 2: Start a New Fundraiser

After signing in, you’ll be directed to your dashboard. Look for the “Start a GoFundMe” button and click on it.

Step 3: Choose a Fundraising Category

GoFundMe offers various categories for fundraising. Select the one that best fits your cause. For homicide victims’ families, you might choose “Memorial & Tribute.”

Step 4: Provide Fundraiser Details

Now, you’ll need to provide the details of your fundraiser:

  • Campaign Title: Choose a clear and concise title that explains your cause, such as “Support for John’s Cold Case Investigation.”
  • Goal Amount: Set a reasonable fundraising goal. Be transparent about what the funds will be used for.
  • Tell Your Story: Explain your situation, the purpose of the fundraiser, and why you need support. Be open and honest.
  • Add a Photo or Video: Upload a relevant image or video to make your fundraiser more compelling.

Step 5: Personalize Your Fundraiser

You can further personalize your fundraiser by:

  • Adding More Media: Include additional photos or videos to illustrate your cause.
  • Creating a Fundraising Team: If you have others helping with the campaign, you can add team members.
  • Edit Fundraiser Settings: Set your campaign’s visibility, withdrawal information, and beneficiary information.

Step 6: Share Your Fundraiser

Spread the word about your fundraiser by sharing it with friends, family, and on social media. GoFundMe provides sharing tools to make this easy.

Step 7: Receive Donations

As people donate to your fundraiser, the funds will be collected in your GoFundMe account. You can track donations and donor information from your dashboard.

Step 8: Withdraw Funds

When you’re ready to access the funds, you can withdraw them to your bank account. GoFundMe provides a secure way to transfer the money.

Step 9: Keep Supporters Updated

Regularly update your supporters on the progress of your fundraiser. Use the GoFundMe platform to post updates and express your gratitude.

Step 10: Close the Fundraiser

Once your fundraising goal is met or your campaign reaches its intended purpose, consider closing the fundraiser to avoid further donations. You can always start a new one if additional support is needed.


  • Be transparent and specific about how the funds will be used.
  • Engage with supporters through updates and thank-you messages.
  • Share your fundraiser across social media platforms and ask friends and family to do the same.
  • Regularly monitor your fundraiser’s progress and adjust your goal if necessary.
  • Comply with GoFundMe’s terms and conditions.

Creating a GoFundMe fundraiser is an effective way to raise funds for the needs of homicide victims’ families while also raising awareness about their cases.