Online Fundraising

by Deane Brengle, Editor of the Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter

There is quite a buzz lately about online fundraising. Nonprofit groups are looking to add to their fundraising efforts by utilizing the internet.

Small nonprofit group fundraising really hasn't changed much in the last 25 - 30 years. And the strain on those fundraising resources has only intensified in this time of budget cuts and layoffs. Still, our children raise money by selling candy bars, raffle tickets, and holding car washes.

Safety is becoming a major concern for all fundraisers, too. "Door to door" selling isn't recommended by any one anymore and most groups have banned it. So there's fewer people to sell to and you have to raise more funds, a no win proposition. If anything, fundraising has become harder over the last 25 - 30 years.

Enter the "Internet Boom". The dot come era was supposed to revolutionize how we live our lives. Fortunes were made and lost on that wave of optimism. But regardless of the initial over blown hype, the internet can be an important tool for nonprofits to use for fundraising.

Some far sighted fundraising suppliers are offering online fundraisers. These can be in conjunction with a traditional fundraiser or as a stand alone fundraiser. For the most part when your nonprofit runs an online fundraiser for the online part there is:

  • no order taking
  • no deliveries
  • no collecting money

None of the hassles of traditional fundraising:

  • No sales rep to take their 10-15%
  • No shortage of programs to offer either

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The internet has changed small group fundraising forever by offering greater access and more variety of fundraising programs to small groups which no sales person would ever have called on. And it has made fundraising possible 24 hours a day 365 days a year with no regard geography. Friends and relatives from across American can order from the comfort of their own homes any time of day.

With online fundraising being so new many groups don't have much experience at choosing a fundraiser. Here is a short list of what to look for in an online fundraiser:

  • Offers your group a free web site.
  • Ease of use for your group's members and buyers.
  • Tracking of funds by group/sub group.
  • Online tools- email solicitation & thank you templates.
  • 800 # for those who don't have access to a computer at home or aren't comfortable ordering online.
  • % of return to the group.
Fundraising companies offering online fundraisers are springing up like mushrooms after a summer rain. Here are some hints at what to look for when you're choosing a company:

  • Offers both online and traditional fundraisers.
  • Low prices.
  • Long operating history.
  • Great customer service.

Online fundraising clearly can not be ignored when making a fundraising plan for your group. You can't depend on it for all your funding yet. But if you incorporate it into your fundraising mix it will provide new funds for your group that will increase every year. So why not get on board with online fundraising today?

Recommended Fundraising Supplier

I've taken the time to carefully review all the suppliers that provide online fundraising programs and I am recommending the MagFundraising program from Readers Digest.

With very little effort you can make 40% and get paid monthly all year long. All you have to do is send emails to friends and family and invite them to order or renew magazine subscriptions online from over 650 magazine titles offered at sale prices. This fundraiser is the wave of the future. A great way to harness the power of the internet for fundraising for your group and expand your fundraising mix without the fear of burning out your supporters. This program is totally free for your group and your members can qualify to win free prizes.

Find out more about the MagFundraising Program from Readers Digest.

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