How to Use the Internet for Fundraising
If you are trying to raise money for a good cause or something you personally need, then the internet is the best place to do it. Even if you want to raise money locally for a community based thing like a school, youth group, animal shelter or charity, you can reach far more of the people who will be interested in helping you when you put your cause on the web than if you stick to trying to spread the word through people you can see face to face alone.
Photo by Rocio Lara
Whatever your cause, here are some of the ways you can harness things like social media and crowdfunding to raise the money you so badly need to make a difference:
Sell More Merchandise By Having A Website
A lot of causes raise money by selling merchandise, like mugs, t-shirts and novelties. This works really well, and is especially popular with schools, youth clubs and children’s charities who can have things like IQ Cards, which are cards printed up that have been designed by the kids who the money will help, and can be sold as Christmas or other greetings cards.
Once you have some merchandise in mind, you can sell it locally at things like fundraising events, but you will shift far more units if you allow people to order online and have the stuff shipped to them. Taking the Christmas cards examples, many kids have family members who don’t live in the area but would love to send out Christmas cards their grandchild, niece, nephew or godchild had designed. On the web you can sell your merchandise to anybody who wants it, no matter where they are.
Run a Crowdfunding Campaign
If you want to raise funds for a specific thing, like a project your charity wants to do or a new piece of equipment for your school, a crowdfunding campaign can be a good way to reach your goals. There are lots of platforms to set up your campaign on and follow its progress, and this is a method that has helped lots of people raise money. Once your campaign is set up, however, you’ll need to put some work into spreading the word about it and encouraging people to donate. Make sure you are using things like Twitter and Facebook and strongly encouraging people you know to not only give, but also share your campaign online.
Make a Video
Some charity fundraising things online have gone really viral and raised a lot of money, like the ALS ice bucket challenge. If you can come up with a funny, interesting or innovative idea, make a video and put it on YouTube, then post it on social media and encourage people to share. Virality is not guaranteed of course, but when things like this capture the people’s imagination, they can perform amazingly well for fundraising!
The internet is absolutely brilliant for getting news about your cause out there, selling your merchandise and inspiring people to give, so for your next fundraising efforts, make sure you use it!