When it comes to fundraising in today’s busy world, technology, and more specifically the Internet, is where it’s at. Organizations are turning to online resources in droves to raise funds and connect with members and consumers, and if your organization isn’t on the bandwagon, you might be missing out. Below are a few current trends in online fundraising that you should pay attention to:
Crowd-sourcing is the process of raising funds by asking for smaller contributions from many people in order to complete a project or provide a service. Notable sites on the web that facilitate this type of fundraising include Kickstarter and GoFundMe, and using these online resources, you may be able to also market your brand as even people who do not donate will learn about your company. Essentially, the process works like this: you come up with an idea for a product or service, create a fundraising page on a crowd-sourcing site, and then offer certain rewards to people based on how much they contribute. For example, if you want to raise funds to create a new type of tennis shoe, you could offer an autographed “thank you” card to people who donate $5, a pair of the sneakers when you produce them to people who contribute $100, and a VIP pass to the launch party when the sneakers are released to people who donate $500.
The use of social media in fundraising is critical. Because social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, allow people from all over the world to connect and share content, they are a wonderful resource for getting out your pitch to raise funds. A recent example of the power of social media in fundraising came this past summer with the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge”. This fundraising movement involved people dumping ice-cold water on their heads on video to share on social media. People who created videos donated to the ALS Foundation in the United States, and then they “challenged” their friends on social media to do the same. As a result, the ALS Foundation saw a large growth in donations.
Use Your Website
Another way to incorporate technology into your fundraising efforts is to use your website. By setting up a donation system on your organization’s site, visitors can donate directly with the push of a button. Many people use services such as PayPal to do this as donors can contribute directly from their bank accounts. You might also consider offering a subscription type service in order to raise funds. For example, you might have a member who has donated some type of content, such as a series of music compilations. Using a subscription service, donors could offer money to receive this content each month as you release it. Another idea would be to offer content based on how many donations you receive each month, thereby encouraging larger donations more often.