Online fundraising ideas

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Hand with money coming out of laptop screen
Many groups are finding new sources of donations online
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With the growth of the Internet, fundraisers are able to reach more donators than ever before. Online fundraising has become a popular method for many charities and organizations to promote their cause, raise funds and gather wider support than ever before. Here are some helpful online fundraising ideas.

Create a website

The first step is to choose your cause and create a website. Regardless of whether you choose to raise money for the local SPCA, your child's school or to support cancer research, your website will be the portal for all donations and is a critical step in online fundraising.

For those who do not know how to create a webpage, there are many sites devoted to helping individuals and businesses raise funds for important causes. These sites provide easy to follow steps that will allow even those who are computer illiterate to create a website.

For instance, directs users through a systematic webpage creation process and allows individuals to include secure credit card donation processing on their page. Money is then passed on directly to the nominated charity, saving fundraisers the time and work usually devoted to filling out forms, collecting money and issuing receipts. Another example of a site that provides this kind of service is

Note that some of these sites charge a small processing fee so be sure to read the fine print when signing on for help.

Make your website easy to find

Make sure to name your page appropriately. Donors should be able to find your page by using a major search engine, so the name you choose needs to provide a clear and concise explanation of who you are and what your purpose is.

Promote your cause

Once you have created your web page, turn your attention towards promotion. Send an email to your social network letting everyone know that you are up and running and ready to receive donations. Include a link to your page in the email for easy direction and keep a blog to update others on how the fundraising is progressing. It is important to keep in contact with the public to show your legitimacy and letting contributors know how their money is making a difference will encourage further donations. Additional marketing may be required to let others know of your cause. Consider posting ads on the radio, or local television station or the regional newspaper. Letting people know about your webpage is one of the most important online fundraising ideas – if people do not know you exist, they cannot donate to your cause.

How to collect the funds

The next step is to decide how donors will contribute. Automatic banking, as discussed above, is available and can include methods such as automatic transfer. Incorporating the use of payment options such as Paypal provides an easy and secure way to collect funds. Making it easy for your supporters to donate is essential as is ensuring your donors that the method of contribution is safe. Many people are still hesitant to perform financial transactions on the internet and your assurance of privacy and security is important. Consider providing personalized gift receipts to further encourage those reluctant to donate online.

What will you offer

The next consideration is to decide what method you are going to incorporate to raise funds. Are you going to sell a product for profit? Many online organizations provide items such as cookie dough, chocolates, scratch tickets and many others that you can purchase in bulk and then sell on your site. Are you going to tell a personal story that will encourage people to donate to your cause? Will you match dollar for dollar or is there a deadline involved? Incorporating a contribution level will provide a goal for contributors to strive for and is a great method to encourage donations. Perhaps you will hold special events and invite potential donors to incorporate a personal connection between your cause and those who will support it. Many of these are great online fundraising ideas and can help you raise a good deal of money for your cause or charity.

Saying thank you

One of the most important things to remember is to thank your supporters. While a formal thank you is required for gifts over $250.00, showing that you are grateful for all donations is important. Appreciating those who are supportive of your cause is one of the best ways to encourage further donations and support. Send a personally signed letter or postcard or place a telephone call to say thank you. Donators will be surprised and pleased at being acknowledged and appreciated.

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