Charity is at something of a crossroads. It’s come to the point where online donation practices are becoming more and more prevalent, as charities begin to realise the old school of employing people to raise funds on the street is being caught up by online methods.
The time has come for diversification, with online ways of giving needing a lot more attention – particularly for smaller charities.
Why Not on The Street?
To the surprise of many, people sometimes don’t respond well to being caught on the street and asked to give their bank details. In addition, calling door-to-door can be considered invasive for some.
The trend now is moving towards a voluntary practice that really invites people to take part – something street fundraising can’t deliver in the same way as online.
A study by Charity Watch stated that “street solicitation promotes uninformed giving” and referenced another survey that revealed 30% of donors consider this their least favourite method of giving. The bottom line is that it’s difficult to communicate the ethos of a charity in 5 minutes on the street as people go about their day-to-day activities – so it’s no wonder donors are hesitant to donate or don’t fully understand the cause they are giving to.
To be fair, raising funds on the street does work – after all if you don’t ask you don’t get. However, in this day and age there is a distinct need to diversify and start using effective online donation tools in conjunction with traditional fundraising activities.
Crowdfunding, for people who don’t know, is a way of pooling contributions from donors on the internet and putting them towards a shared goal or cause.
Sites like Indiegogo are making it very easy to start a cause, and fund it. Recently, there was an internet campaign to build a museum in honour of Nikola Tesla, bluntly titled “Operation Let’s Build A Goddamn Tesla Museum”. The operation raised $1,370,461 – exceeding the $850,000 goal.
This success illustrates that the use of crowdfunding is a great way to rejuvenate the way you take donations online – and can potentially generate serious income. Using crowdfunding platforms you simply create a project or cause and promote it, then hopefully reach your goal.
There is a sense of group participation with crowdfunding, something that is crucial to the modern methods of online fundraising.
This is something that single or regular donations offline don’t have – you’re inviting your audience to actively take part in your cause - so it’s an awesome way to freshen up fundraising activities.
It doesn’t have to be a cause directly – you can encourage participation from your audience in terms of events and activities.
PledgeIt is a great example of this. It invites people to challenge others to do things like run a marathon or even create a Harlem Shake video that generates over 3,000 views – after which the money pledged is donated to the charity.
This Harlem Shake pledge was completed in aid of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
This fresh way of fundraising is excellent because it brings people into your causes and invites them to play an active role!
Signing Up To Online Donation Tools
Another way of rejuvenating your donations is registering with and taking donations using tools like JustGiving and VirginMoneyGiving. These are massive communities that pull together charities and activity by donors on social media for a simple but effective online donation platform.
Being within these communities is a great way to increase your charity’s profile and keep up with fundraising news. It’s also a good way to find new and more up to date fundraising news. There are several more organisations including Bmycharity and PayPal that have similar capabilities.
These tools have their drawbacks however, for example there is a 5% transaction fee, however it is still an excellent way to rejuvenate your online donation practices and make them more effective.
What Other Online Donation Tools Are Out There?
Good question! There are so many, some of the biggest ones include;
· Google Checkout
· Google Grant
· EventBrite (great for selling tickets to events)
It’s very hard to determine which one is the best overall, as it will be dependent on the nature of your charity and what resources you can devote to the web. So shop around and choose based on your own needs, this way it’s much easier to make the right decision.
The value of the internet is almost undisputed, but what is the internet basically? It is essentially a method of communication. This should be reflected in the overall philosophy of your internet activities.
Online donations should be a by-product of communicating with your audience – so the freshest online donations come about through most effective communication.
But what do you say?
Well, you can communicate the following;
· Projects: like the Tesla Museum project
· Challenges: running marathons or anything else for charity
· News: latest developments, success stories or events
Communicate effectively with your audience and the donations will follow, which may be why fundraising on the street is becoming less effective.
Start Accepting Online Donations Today!
There are many ways to raise funds for charity, but if you don’t allow your supporters to make an online donation then you are severely limiting you and charity’s capabilities.
Start accepting online donations today to increase your revenue and keep your charity buoyant.