The Internet and social media offers lots of opportunities to pitch your fundraising ventures to a wider audience. Whether you want to promote your charity or do an entire fundraiser from the comfort of your computer chair, here’s how to get started.
Online Fundraising Ideas
So many people are online these days, you can run a fundraiser without ever leaving your desk. Online fundraisers require some creativity to get people motivated, but they are also extremely cost-effective, not to mention fun. Here are some ideas:
- Sponsored Event – Run a sponsored event online. Traditional ideas, such as a baked bean bath, benefit from an online twist like a live feed via webcam. Or, run an Internet-themed idea like getting people to pledge a certain amount for each follower on Twitter, or fan on Facebook.
- Just Giving – Start an online donation page on a site like Just Giving, which allows you to collect online donations from friends and family.
- Sell Online – Clean out your garage and fundraise at the same time by running a charity auction on eBay. Don’t forget to specify how much of the winning bid will go to charity.
Social Media Fundraising
Social media is a vital part of online fundraising. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube can greatly expand your audience. You can also use social media to keep people interested in a long-term fundraising project, like a charity run or sponsored event.
Starting and promoting a blog is a great way to keep your supporters informed. You can get a free blog on WordPress, and you’ll need to commit a few hours a week to keeping it updated. But once you have your blog entries, the rest of social media gets a bit easier, as you can just retweet or link to these entries on social networking sites.
How to Fundraise on Social Networking Sites
Everyone has their favourite social networking site, and fundraisers have used them all successfully to help spread their message.
- Twitter – The advantage of Twitter is that it’s short and sweet; people who may not be your friends on Facebook will still follow your Twitter messages. It also requires less of a time commitment to send out short messages to people, letting them know how your fundraising is going.
- Facebook – The world’s largest social media site, Facebook has lots of ways to help you reach your audience. Create a page for your fundraising project, or tell your friends about it on your personal profile. You can also get people to “Like” your blog entries, run Facebook ads targeted at people interested in charities, and network with other fundraisers. There are lots of opportunities!
- Other social networks – Upload photos of your fundraising to Flickr, post viral videos on YouTube, get friends to +1 your website on Google and get your charity to spread the word via their own social networks. Use whatever platform you’re most comfortable with to educate people on your fundraising efforts.
Getting Started with Online Fundraising
The most successful online fundraisers use a combination of creative fundraising ideas with lots of social media promotion. Whether you choose to live your life in front of a webcam (for charity, of course) or simply to tweet out your offline fundraising plans, the Internet can greatly expand your fundraising reach beyond your traditional circle of friends and family.
What’s not to “Like” about that?