Whether you are fundraising for a school or a community organization, using online fundraising tools will add a new dimension to your fundraisers. You can use the Internet to collect donations, sell popular products, or even hold an online auction.
Here are three simple reasons your group should be fundraising online: your members can reach their supporters across the US, you can easily keep track of your fundraising progress, and your circle of support is no longer confined to your local community.
- So where do you start? Here are our top recommendations for online fundraising.
1. Online Magazine Fundraising
With about 4 subscriptions per household in the US, magazines remain one of the top product fundraisers. With 700 magazines to choose from – including Sports Illustrated, Oprah, Newsweek, and Better Homes and Gardens – everyone can find something they want.
eFundraising lets you do a complete fundraiser online, with your group’s own online magazine store personalized with your photo, information about your group, and your goal.
2. Online Auctions
Most of us have ordered something on eBay at some point, or at least know someone who has. But did you know that you can put the power of online auctions to work for your organization? Online auctions can be run on their own or in combination with an event.
CMarket is a company specializing in online fundraising auctions. CMarket will help you plan, promote, and hold your online auction, with years of online auction fundraising experience to ensure your success. With CMarket’s customized services, one elementary school alone raised $99,981.
3. Online Donations
It’s easy to collect donations online, whether you have a website or not. Here are some of the top online donation tools:
GiveForward: This is a brand new site and is my favorite online donation site so far, because the focus is on building a community of people who want to give, and people who need funds, matching the interests of both. Any group or individual can set up a fundraising profile in a category such as Education, Entrepreneurship, Community, Non-Profits, or Friends & Family. Anyone who joins can browse different fundraising profiles and make donations as small as $1.
As for your fundraising profile, on GiveForward, you can add videos, photos, and more, to show who you are (or what your organization is all about) and why people should give to your cause. And all this is Free!
A similar site to check out is MicroGiving .
- FirstGiving: If you are raising money for a registered non-profit (check Guidestar to know if your organization is registered), you can set up a fundraising page on FirstGiving and add special FirstGiving badges to your Facebook, Myspace or blog pages.
- ChipIn: ChipIn allows any group or individual to set up an online fundraising page and get fundraising badges – a good option if you are raising money for an individual or other cause that can’t be found on Guidestar.
- Fundable: Similar to Chipin, anybody can create a fundraising page on Fundable for any cause or personal fundraiser. The difference with Fundable is that you set a goal, and if your goal is not reached, everyone gets their money back. All or nothing!
- Your Social Network: Fundraising through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools is an important element of your online fundraiser (and is some cases, IS the online fundraiser). Watch for upcoming articles exploring social media fundraising success stories.
4. Online Grants for Schools
A special mention has to go to one of our favorite projects, DonorsChoose.org. Teachers submit proposals for their classroom projects, explaining what they need to raise money for.
We love this site because anyone can support what they feel is a deserving school project, from desperately needed learning aids to simple things like a carpet so that students can be comfortable during group activities.
When supporters read your story, they can use the tools on DonorsChoose.org to set challenges and promote your idea to their contacts through tell-a-friend tools and blog badges.