Raising money on the internet is the latest and greatest thing, and it’s not going to go away. Numerous ways exist to raise money online, each of which is a little or a lot bit different.
Here’s a breakdown of the major types of internet fundraising :
E-mail solicitation – E-mail solicitation follows a similar structure to direct mail fundraising, and it is probably the most successful type of online fundraising that exists. You build (or purchase) a list of people who know about (or should know about) your organization, and you e-mail them with a request for money.
Monthly giving – Monthly giving programs can be accomplished through a number of different channels – email, donate button, social media – but these programs focus on getting people to sign up to give every month automatically. The benefits of this model are enormous, because it gives you the opportunity to multiply any single gift by 12 and keep it going into the future.
Website donate button – If you have a website, you can have a donate button. People who are looking at your website can be encouraged to click the button.
Website pop-ups – You can create a pop-up ad on your website that asks people to donate. This is more advanced than the donate button, and can backfire if you set it up in a way that is really annoying. Annoyed people don’t donate, so you’ll want to test this one out extensively to make sure that it’s working the way you want it to.
Text-to-give – Send the right text message from your phone to the right number, and a donation will be made to an organization and added to your phone bill. This method has been used with great success by major national organizations, but does not necessarily work for small organizations. It’s expensive, the donation amounts are small, and people have short attention spans.
Social Media – Asking for donations through social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter is a growing trend, but it does not generally perform as well as e-mail or website fundraising. You need a compelling story or call to action that inspires people to not only give but share with their friends. So far, the best way to use social media is through crowd-funding.
Crowd Funding – Crowd funding is supported by web companies like GoFundMe.com, Kickstarter.com, and Indiegogo.com. You set up a ‘campaign’ that explains your need, and then share it through various social media platforms. The more people share it, the more donations you get. This is probably the primary way people use social media to raise funds.
Memberships – Selling memberships is not necessarily a web-based method of raising money, but there are lots of web tools that can help selling and managing memberships to your organization. The key to selling memberships is to have an attractive package of benefits that people will use on a regular basis.