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Online Fundraising Ideas - New Ways To Fundraise Using The Internet PDF

Fundraising is a time-consuming and complex process that needs to be learned and refined in order to make your non-profit as successful as possible. You need to be able to develop the right campaign, find and solicit potential donors and make the donation process as easy as possible.

With more and more worthy charities competing for donations, it is becoming increasingly important to capitalize on the power of the Internet to get your message heard. Many organizations are finding new and creative ways to make their campaign a success using effective online tools, and here’s how you can too.

Why Go Online?

Online fundraising should be considered an essential component of your non-profit’s activities. Just like you need to set up an office to work from, you also need to have a presence in the online space. Going online allows you to reach out to new audiences and potential donors and provides an efficient way to introduce them to your issues, your campaigns and asking them for support.

Basic Online Tools

Get a Website

This may seem obvious, but it’s crucial that you dedicate the time and effort (and sometimes the funds) into developing a good website for your organisation. A website is one of the best tools you can have to engage and interact with new and existing donors, all in the one place. Choose a simple, attention-grabbing URL name and make sure your site is clearly set out and easy to use. Consider hiring an additional member of staff to manage all aspects of your online business if you have to because a good online presence can make a huge difference.

Don’t forget to include a "donate" button on your web site. Unless you have a technology-savvy staff member, you may want to contract a vendor to set one up for you, like Online donor relationship management services can be costly, but it can be money well spent to build a fully customized system that meets your exact needs.

Set up an E-mailing List

Mailing lists are a great way to keep up regular communication with donors and prospects. A monthly e-newsletter should feature information and news about the cause, your latest campaigns, event alerts and information on how people can get involved or donate. Some important points to remember – do not force your mail upon people (i.e. don’t buy access to email addresses), because the last thing you want your organisation to be associated with is SPAM. Instead, make it an option on your website, or a check box whenever someone makes a donation. Also, be sure to keep up good customer relations by responding to all email enquiries.

Social Networking Sites

Social networking is a priceless online tool for making connections with supporters or other like-minded organisations, raising awareness about your cause, increasing online visibility and re-directing traffic back to your website. Facebook, Twitter and Digg are the most popular online social networking sites where it's free to set up a profile and easy to use.

Advanced Online Fundraising Tools

Once you’ve got your website up and running, you’re ready to generate more attention and raise some serious funds. Here are some of the best online fundraising tools:

Charity Portals

You’ve got your organisation on the web, now get it listed on as many charity portals as possible. Charity portals are online directories of nonprofits that attract lots of traffic to their site and encourage visitors to make contributions to the groups listed. Getting listed is usually free, and the portal accepts secure credit card contributions on your behalf. Some charge a fee when you get a contribution, but this is minimal and should be budgeted as a part of your advertising costs. Here’s a quick list to get you started:

Online Charity Malls and Auction Sites

Many people do at least some of their shopping online these days, so why not encourage your members to donate while they shop?! Online Charity Malls operate as a central shopping directory where shoppers select charities to receive a percentage of every purchase. There is no extra fee and sites usually offer shopping services from a range of well-known stores and outlets.

  • cMarket - set up an online auction where donors can bid for a range of products
  • iGive - shoppers select their cause and then browse through a range of outlets including eBay, Barnes & Noble and Best Buy
  • Visit Our Mall - another site where you can set up your own page of customized outlets where people to shop and contribute to your cause at the same time
  • OneCause - just like iGive, but more specifically tailored for schools and smaller organisations

Giving Circles

Finally, consider going into an online partnership with other groups or schools similar to your own. By networking with other organisations, you can not only increase awareness of your cause, but create valuable donation and sponsorship connections. It’s as simple as organising a basic online linking strategy by placing logos or URLs on each other’s websites.

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