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6 Best Ways to Fundraise Online

It’s not always easy to get people gathered in one place to ask them to donate money. Organizing a gala or golf-day takes months of careful planning and quite a lot of sales savvy to be able to make it worthwhile. There is one way however, that you can reach a lot of donors, all at once, without them having to leave the house and that’s by taking your fundraising to the World Wide Web.

6 Sensational Online Fundraising Ideas

  1. Mobile Donations – Text-To-Give

Convenient, secure, and a great way to raise money, a ‘text-to-give’ campaign allows your donors to give to your nonprofit in seconds, and it is remarkably easy to organize and to set up. There are dozens of reputable ‘text-to-give’ software platforms and you can be set up, and receiving donations in just a few days.

  1. Online Auctions – SOLD!

An online auction is a novel way to reach all your donors without having to go to the expense of organizing a gala, or auction event. If you use one of the secure online auction platforms, you can run your auction by mobile or entirely online.

  1. Giving Kiosk – “I don’t carry cash”

A Giving Kiosk is always a fun way to raise money for a nonprofit at an event, but not everyone carries cash with them these days, and you’ll need to be able to accept credit and debit cards as well as online payments to make your fundraiser a success. With a fully integrated giving kiosk at your event, or even as a part of your website, you can accept donations from everyone. Giving Kiosk is one platform that will help you set up a stand at your function, EpicPay is another, but make sure you find one that is suited to your specific needs.

  1. Crowdfunding – Get Everyone Online!

There are hundreds of excellent crowdfunding sites where you will be able to set up a short web page which details what you are trying to raise money for, as well as your organization. People can donate to your cause and you can offer them ‘rewards’ for different levels of donation.

  1. Matching Gift – Get Businesses Giving

The best way to set up a matching gift campaign is online. First though, you’ll have to do some work in getting businesses involved and ensuring that they are committed to ‘matching’ the donations that you raise with an equal sum. Add some excitement to your fundraiser by putting a time limit on the event. All donations made during a single day will be matched by your business partner. You can also find several websites and platforms that offer this service and will help you set it up.

  1. Set Up a Shop

Use the power of the Internet to help raise money by selling items on an online shopping platform. They are easy to set-up, and even easier to maintain, and the collection of money is fully automated. Whether you’re selling branded t-shirts or other merchandise, you can easily raise additional funds for your nonprofit without having to send your volunteers out into the street, or having to set up stalls and stores in your community.

Top Fundraising Tips for Schools – Stick to the ABC’s

Fundraising for schools is a little different than raising money for a charity, although many of the principles are similar. Many of the fundraising activities rely not only on support from the student body, but also on the efforts and support of the parents. It is important to keep fundraising efforts simple, engaging, and easy to manage if you want to get the best returns.

The Best Fundraising Tips for Schools

One of the most essential fundraising tips for schools is to keep it simple. Don’t be fooled… Sometimes a simple idea, like a bake sale, for example, can end up being a LOT of work for parents and the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) for very little monetary return. Think outside of the box to find creative ideas that don’t involve a lot of time and effort and maximize the return.
It is also very important to have a few great fundraisers during the school year rather than a lot of smaller fundraisers. Having to ask parents, students, and friends to invest time and effort throughout the year can get draining and result in an overall lessening of both the impact of your fundraisers and the results.

Local Partner Programs Work Wonders

Partnering with a fundraising organization or corporate sponsor program is a wonderful way to raise funds without having to ask parents to invest additional time and money into school fundraisers. There are hundreds of education partner programs that allow people to raise money for their school or a nominated school. The concept is simple: join one of the large school rewards programs and a certain amount of money will be donated to your school with each purchase. The Amazon School Rewards Program, Office Depot, A+ School Rewards, are only a few out of hundreds. The best way is to partner with a local school rewards program which will help your local community give back to the school while shopping locally.

The Best Fundraising Tips for School? Keep It Simple!

The best way to raise funds is to raise awareness. Keep it simple, get everyone involved not just parents, include extended family and grandparents as well. Tap into the talents of parents and utilize their skills to help when you need them. Most importantly – be inclusive. The best way to raise money for your school is to make sure everyone can be included and contribute regardless of their personal circumstances. Make sure that each fundraising activity is directed towards a tangible important goal that will help improve the school for students.

Be Smart about How You Approach Your Donors

Once your organization is ready to approach a donor, it is important to communicate your objectives clearly. It is vital that you tell your donors as comprehensively as possible what you can offer them that other foundations can’t. A letter requesting $1 million for a nebulous promise to alleviate poverty won’t cut it. Donors can afford to be picky about where they invest their money, and they’re looking to build long and meaningful partnerships that will have a real impact.

While donors realize that lofty ideas may not come to fruition, the passion with which these ideas are communicated may win their hearts. With fundraising for charity, it is the combination between one’s intent to help and serve society, the passion to make a difference and a knowledgeable approach that resonates with donors. This requires a laser focus on being as enthusiastic and professional as possible.

Organizations seeking funds for worthwhile causes must convince their donors that they bring partnership, value and unique resources to the table. This requires a careful mix of tactical smarts and strategic know-how.

How Should an Organization Communicate with a Potential Donor?

When a donor receives a request for funds, he/she will seek to verify the credibility of the organization that submitted the request. To this end, it is essential to provide easy access to third party information about the organization and publish the name of the charitable trust, its date of establishment, it’s credentials, and the names and positions of the management team members. This is the most effective way to build credibility with donors. Relay all this basic information in a paragraph. A quick history of your organization’s achievements will move mountains with donors, but too much information will put mountains in front of you. In addition, it is a well-known fact that charitable foundations prefer offering grants to registered charities. The reason for this is simple: registered charities are known to aid charitable causes.

Be Open and Provide Solid Information

You may find that your organization requires donor money to purchase IT equipment. However, you may want to communicate that in a way that extols the virtues of your organization and why that equipment is necessary for your charitable work. Your donors need to be aware of why you need funds for a certain venue, office space, equipment, vehicles, and the like. Sometimes, it is a good idea to provide evidence of how these ‘assets’ will assist your organization. These could either be qualitative or quantitative.

When it comes to your particular approach to resolving social, environmental, educational or other issues, explain your unique added value: how are you different? In other words, in what way can you make a difference to the issues that plague society? All of this should be communicated in a clear, credible, and concise manner.

Why Are You the Best Person for the Job?

It may not seem obvious at first, but every time you approach a donor you are selling yourself. You need to convince the donor that your charitable organization is the best one for the job at hand. Your approach, insights, passion, and determination to solve pressing problems must resonate at the highest level. Even if yours is a new charitable organization, you should detail the experience of your team members and their ability to get things done. Throughout it all, be sure to be as meticulous as possible when it comes to costs. Donors don’t like to throw money away; they want to know that their hard-earned dollars are being put to good use. Be prepared to show as much as needed to make your case.

Viral Fundraising – The Ice Bucket Challenge, One Year On

A viral campaign that had hundreds of thousands of people drenching themselves in icy water for a good cause… How many people actually understood the deeper significance of this activity, and the cause which they were supporting? Even celebrities and politicians got in on the act; the official ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Youtube channel received millions of views, and the cause, helping amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS — also known as motor neuron disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease) became the summer sensation of 2014.

One Year On – ALS Research and Funding

While the campaign certainly raised awareness, was it successful as a fundraising initiative? Forbes magazine reported that over $100 million was raised for research into ALS, and the ALS Association reports that $99 million was earmarked for research into the disease and a possible cure.

The money raised by the ALS Association during the summer of 2014 was nearly 3,500% more than the amount raised the previous year, and one year on it appears that teams of medical researchers and scientists are making significant strides in the study of the disease.

Earlier this month, researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, published a study about the importance of research into a protein called TDP-43 and its role in the development of ALS. The continuing research into ALS would not have been possible without funding from the ALS Association, as well as a number of individual foundations including the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, the Johns Hopkins University Neuropathology Pelda Fund, and the Johns Hopkins Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

The Success of the Ice Bucket Challenge – A Lesson for Fundraisers

Why was the ice Bucket Challenge so successful? Firstly, it was fun. It allowed people to fully ‘immerse’ themselves in the fundraising process and allowed for ‘social proof’ and social sharing – both of which are a significant part of communication and lifestyle today. The Ice Bucket Challenge was one of the first campaigns that went truly viral, and it encouraged people to get involved, rather than passively ‘share’ content. The public became the curators of their own content and the fundraising challenge went from a passive program to a proactive performance and a feeling that even just by participating and spreading the word, an individual was able to help change the world.

Crowdfunding—More than Money

Crowdfunding, the art of raising money by seeking smaller donations from a large pool of people, primarily through the internet, has changed the face not only of the non-profit world, but even of individuals and businesses. Such a large net of donors can result in millions of dollars being raised in record time.

Crowdfunding Has Joined the Arsenal of Weapons in the War on Ebola

By the end of 2014, more than $3M from donors in 68 countries had been raised through GlobalGiving.org for Ebola relief. Crowdfunding offers everyone interested in a particular cause the opportunity to make a donation and become a part of the movement. For example, an impoverished community in Mozambique made a $200 donation in November, which for them was equivalent to wages for two months.

GlobalGiving is crowdfunding on behalf of 29 non-profit organizations that are involved in Ebola prevention and relief. Donations have come from more than 3,800 individuals around the world. Private foundations have also joined the effort, supporting the globalgiving.org charity organizations. The Sall Family Foundation and Paul G. Allen Foundation each donated $100,000, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation contributed $400,000 and the Leona M and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust gave $2.2 million.

Crowdfunding Builds Institutional Capacity

The GlobalGiving platform does not stop with fundraising. The organization seeks also to strengthen the capacity of local groups and on-the-ground individuals engaged in the daily fight against Ebola. Utilizing the crowdfunding model, GlobalGiving is building networks, helping organizations connect to information and securing access to the latest technologies. An example is GlobalGiving’s outreach to a South Africa technology company resulting in the creation and distribution of an Ebola Care app which helps workers in the field to track, coordinate and manage patient care, follow-up, education, and also to compile data on survivors.

GlobalGiving co-founder says that the power of crowdfunding is not in engaging a large group of people to donate money, rather it is in the crowd itself that can be harnessed to bring to life ideas by pooling diverse resources, experience and intelligence to fight a common cause.