The Internet is sometimes portrayed in the media as being a tool for negative actions, like online bullying or data mining however, it has brought about a huge amount more in positivity. From unresolved mysteries finally meeting a conclusion, reuniting individuals that have been separated for tens of years to small businesses receiving the support to start or grow successfully.
It’s also a source of almost the entirety of human knowledge giving us the tools to learn skills, languages, new hobbies and connect with like-minded individuals from all across the world.
One of the greatest things the internet has contributed to is the ability to fundraise for good causes more than ever before, connecting people to others in need or communities that require support when they may otherwise not have the means. Not only giving individuals and non-profits the platform to fundraise, it can help teach newcomers to fundraise how to successfully start fundraising campaigns and how to reach a wider audience. Whether through online tutorials, fact sheets, researching past campaigns; the internet offers a whole wealth of resources to teach individuals. You can also keep up to date with current and upcoming campaigns or find bodies that offer to fund and add yourself to their mailing list, so you can be the first in the know regarding available and future backing.
What Online Fundraising Ideas and Tools Are Available?
While in the past, clipboards were the tools of groups looking for donations, the internet presents a number of crowdfunding sites where non-profit groups can advertise the needs of individuals or communities for people to donate to. Potential donators need to be careful when looking for these sites to ensure they are legit and accredited however some trusted crowdfunding websites include Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe and their acquired platform Crowdrise and there are plenty more available. Covering a huge range of causes, independent businesses and individual ideas.
Kickstarter is one of the longest-running crowdfunding websites, having successfully been the platform for a huge number of innovative ideas and causes from around the world and has experienced strong growth over the years with a huge number of backers using the platform.
Crowdrise is a charity and causes dedicated platform that launched back in 2010 and was purchased by popular individual donation platform GoFundMe in 2017. The platform works with non-profits to help provide fundraising for events like sponsored bike-rides, marathons, running or walking events, galas and dinners and create peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns.
Influencer Delivered Campaigns
A growing initiative in fundraising is the growth of influencer driven campaigns, where an individual or group of individuals offer online content in exchange for donations and contributions. YouTube and Twitch have seen a rapidly growing number of charity live streams; one of the most successful to date run by popular YouTubers the Yogcast who raised a staggering $5.2 million in December 2017. The total raised in the event, known as the Jingle Jam and running for the whole month of December, was double that of the previous year’s event. This is an excellent representation of how the initiative is growing and will continue to be a strong option for non-profits moving forward and looking for new, interesting ways to fundraiser.
A great aspect of Influencer Driven Campaigns is it can cost the non-profit or cause nothing or very little as content creators are often looking for ways to support good causes and local organisations with their content themselves and organise their own charity campaigns. While a great way to raise donations, it’s also a positive way to raise awareness for charities and causes that may lack the funding for grand scale online digital marketing or PPC services.
Social Media Campaigns
Social media campaigns can be a great way to reach a wider audience and raise awareness for causes and charity events. They can lead potential donators back to non-profit or cause-specific websites which can both inform the visitor further on the fundraising need and offer a charity donation platform which allows visitors to quickly and easily donate to the cause.
Social media can be a great way to share the progress of fundraising campaigns and show future donators where their contributions will be going to and how they will be used. It can also show the effect fundraising has on groups and individuals that required the support and backing. This is a great way to build trust with current and future donators and show them the good their donations do.
There have been several successful social media campaigns to date which saw a direct increase in the number of donations during and after the campaigns were carried out. For instance, Breast Cancer Now’s Wear It Pink day which saw the hashtag #Wearitpink shared across multiple social media platforms. Another great example is the campaign run by the World Wide Fund for Nature, their Earth Hour social media campaign saw their Earth Hour branded Facebook Frame used on over a million profiles on the platform.
Why Use Online Fundraising Tools?
With the internet in the front rooms, bedrooms and pockets of nations around the world, individuals can browse at their leisure, researching things that interest them and come across campaigns naturally. Compared to previous methods which could have included mailing, which cost a lot in materials or door-to-door collections, the use of online funding platforms has proved a largely more effective method of gathering contributions.
Campaigns can be set up in less time, requiring fewer materials and personnel which has helped keep costs down and leave more donations available to go towards the final cause. Reaching a wider audience is made much easier through social media and influencer-driven campaigns and through paid advertisement can even be targeted towards specific communities and individuals.
Most tools will offer some sort of analytics to track ongoing campaigns and allow campaign runners to see statistics like audience reach, types of sharing, where donations are coming from and the types of people donating. This information can be used to target future donators and show campaigners what worked with their campaign and what might not have been an effective means of attracting views and engagements.
In conclusion, the internet offers a fantastic opportunity for fundraising groups and non-profits to run interesting campaigns to grow awareness for their charities and causes and will continue to grow as a tool. Why not use a fundraising platform for your next charity drive? Or alternatively, approach an influencer about supporting your charity or good cause?