Easy, Affordable Online Fundraising Software
What exactly is online fundraising? Online fundraising is really the same thing as the all-familiar "fundraising"... but with a twist. The definition of "fundraising" (or fund raising) is "the process of soliciting and gathering contributions as money or other resources, by requesting donations from individuals, businesses, charitable foundations, or other agencies." So, with this definition in mind, online fundraising is the process of soliciting funds and gathering contributions by requesting donations ONLINE.
The best part about online fundraising is that it doesn't exclude any of the old tactics that traditional fundraising held dear. You'll still want to establish goals, find ways to clearly communicate your cause, promote your fundraising event, and reach out to family and friends to gain support – see fundraising tips for more guidance. Online fundraising doesn't mean you can't still make phone calls or walk to the neighbors house to request a donation... but online fundraising goes beyond the old fundraising strategies. The online fundraising software available today helps organizers streamline the fundraising process by implementing tools to help manage all the moving parts of a fundraising campaign, and these tools also make the process of collecting donations easier for participants.
Advantages of Online Fundraising
1. One-Stop Fundraising "Hub"
By implementing an online fundraising campaign, you create a central "hub" where all information can be shared and data can be stored. With an online fundraiser, organizations can create online fundraising sites which are customized websites with pictures, logos and statements that explain the cause for the fundraiser. With a fundraising event, all event details are hosted on the online fundraising site including: date, time, location with links to maps, etc. The website provides capabilities for processing all transactions including: participant registration, sponsor and volunteer sign-up, and the ability for donors to make secure, online payments. So basically, the online fundraising site is the "go-to" place to find out information, register to participate, make donations, and track the progress of your fundraiser. It not only makes hosting an online fundraising campaign easier for the organizers, but it also provides a place for participants, volunteers, sponsors and community members to engage.
When DoJiggy client, Mike Napolitano, invested in an online fundraiser to raise money for local schools, he found that the website turned out to be a great networking tool. It brought people together. Participants were able to upload photos and make a pitch for pledges while supporters could leave encouraging comments. Everyone went to the site to learn how to prepare for a physically challenging bike ride, to catch up on news and updates, and to read tips on how to solicit donations. The website was an easy place for media covering the event to learn about the concerns of the community and monitor progress. Plus, the website leant more credibility for potential supporters and participants. Read more about Mike's experience at Ride for a Reason: Biking to Make Oakland Schools Excellent
2. Donation Collection & Payment Processing
Online fundraising is a great way to simplify the donation collection process previously handled by check and cash donations, and documented by paper. An online fundraising software solution allows for secure online payment processing via credit card. After transactions are made, online software tools can track payments, manage recurring donations, and generate various financial reports.
- Note: Be sure to conduct some research when selecting an online software provider. Some vendors provide payment processing services, some vendors take a percentage of each transaction, and some vendors partner with other payment processing agencies to ensure safe and secure transactions.
3. Extending Your Reach
Another wonderful benefit of online fundraising is the ability to extend your reach beyond your community. Fundraising used to be about walking door-to-door and asking neighbors to make donations, and then making personal phone calls to family and friends. Perhaps bringing a pledge sheet to work or church were additional ways to obtain donations. With online fundraising, your network expands globally. You are now able to reach people across the world. Participants may send email donation request letters that include a link to their online fundraising site so people can easily make donations safely and securely. By asking people to forward your request to their network, you're reach has now grown exponentially. With the new social networking tools available, participants can also post links on their profile pages asking people to make donations to help support their cause.
So whether you host an annual fund drive are planning a fundraising walk-a-thon or a charity golf tournament, online fundraising can help you be more efficient in your planning efforts while raising more money for your cause! Check out DoJiggy's easy, affordable online fundraising software packages and blog, Online Fundraising Today, to help get started.Fundraising Resources