Last month, Rhod wrote a piece on fundraising within the aged care sector. Part 1 focused mainly on the organic, blood-sweat-tears approach to successful fundraising. Here in Part 2, I’ll be focusing on how to make the most of a range of online tools available.
The main message and overall moral of Part 1’s story is that people are more likely to donate – even in times of recession, if there’s a storytelling element. This key element also applies to healthy online fundraising practice.
Rhod’s key steps to a creating a successful fundraising campaign were:
- telling a story
- celebrating outcomes
- setting targets
- the joy in giving
- setting expectations from day one, and;
- establishing trust.
With the rapid and continued rise of internet usage (even among our ageing population), the rise of social media and the smartphone phenomenon, web based social fundraising should a major focus for NFPs and NGOs.
In 2011, Pro Bono Australia conducted a social media survey that revealed of the 71% of charities in Australia using social media, only 34% of them are using it to raise funds.
I find this figure of 34% to be surprisingly low considering that, for many community organisations, fundraising is a key source of income. Not-for-profits and community organisations greatly depend on donations and assistance from sponsors, government grants, donors and volunteers. To achieve fundraising goals, visibility and promotion are paramount. And if there are two things that social media accomplishes every microsecond of every minute, it is complete visibility in the promotion of one’s cause. It’s almost as if social media was invented with fundraising in mind!
Let’s look at some great new uses of social media for fundraising.
1. Payment gateways.
There are a number of Twitter and Facebook tools out there designed to enable you to do this more effectively, and tools which will help you receive payment.
Donate via Facebook >>
With the masses embracing smartphones, it has become even easier for the general public to make ‘e-donations’. Regarded as a highly efficient form of ‘micro philanthropy’, this method enables large groups of people to donate at the touch of a button; keeping overheads to a minimum.
2. Crowd Funding.
There’s also a growing number of crowd funding platforms available to everyone. Here’s Wiki’s definition of crowd funding:
“Crowd funding alternately, Crowdfunding (sometimes called crowd financing, equity crowdfunding, crowd sourced capital, or street performer protocol) describes the collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money and other resources together, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organisations. Crowd funding occurs for any variety of purposes, from disaster relief to citizen journalism to artists seeking support from fans, to political campaigns, to funding a startup company, movie or small business or creating free software.”
Some inspiring crowd funding platforms >>
- www.spacehive.com >> Spacehive is the world’s first funding platform for neighbourhood improvement projects. They claim they can help source funding for a new park or playground as easily as buying a book online.
Here’s a link to a discussion on Radio 4 (UK) discussing Spacehive.
What’s great about Spacehive’s form of support is that the public engages with the project; investing not just money but a genuine interest in what’s happening in the microcosms of their own neighbourhoods and communities.
- www.crowdrise.com >> Crowdrise was named a “Top 25 Best Global Philanthropist” by Barron’s and is about giving back, raising tons of money for charity and having heaps of fun while doing it. They do this by blending online fundraising, crowdsourcing, social networking, contests and “other nice stuff”.
- www.givenow.com.au >> An Australian based cloud sourcing platform designed to inspire and transform the way we donate money in Australia. They provide a range of free resources and innovative giving tools — a commission-free website listing thousands of good causes and creative ways to give, a personalised donations tracking service, and a free giving newsletter.
The connections between people and organisations are ever expanding online. You can reach a much broader audience more instantly via social networks than shaking a tin at the traffic lights. The probability of people hearing and being interested in helping your cause, the more people that are actually aware of what you’re doing, the more people are likely to get involved or add their input.
These days, using the recession to explain why your fundraising campaign flopped is not an excuse. We’ve only scratched the surface here. There are many and varied ways to leverage the power of social media to raise funds for your not-for-profit or government organisation. The question is which method to use?
Crowd funding is a relatively new concept. It has been such a hit that in the coming year or so we’ll see a huge fundraising shift as platforms and alternatives become more accessible to more of us via the interwebs and our mobiles. The funding is out there, begging to be in your pocket – you just need to use social media to let enough people know that you’re looking for it.
Talk to us about fundraising strategies. We can help your organisation establish a sustained flow of support from philanthropic, business and community groups, on and offline.