Online Fundraising Guide
Online fundraising can be an excellent complement to other kinds of fundraising. The Internet is a resource which allows people to publish and access information quickly, and can enhance your fundraising campaign in many ways.
Finding fundraising products
If your fundraiser involves buying products wholesale and selling them on at a discount, the Internet is a good place to start looking for fundraising companies . The advantage of the Web over local phone directories is that your search is not restricted by geographical area, and you may be able to find a company a few states away that will give you a good deal.
Selling fundraising products
Having your own online fundraising site isn't as difficult as you might imagine. The Our School Funds scheme gives you a free website when you sign up, through which visitors can buy items from Target. You get a percentage of what visitors spend. See our page of high school fundraising ideas for more information.
Spreading the word
E-mail is a very efficient way of spreading the word about your fundraising project. Using e-mail saves on postage costs, but the real beauty of e-mail for fundraisers is its viral nature. Because people can forward a message to several friends at the touch of a few buttons, information can circulate very fast, and the message about your fundraising campaign will reach people you have never met within days. However, there is growing concern about e-mail hoaxes and spam, and being associated with either of these will harm your online fundraising effort. So stick to e-mailing people you know personally, people you are sure will be happy to receive your message. Your message should include:
- Who is raising money
- What you are raising money for
- Exactly how the recipient can help - give a choice of payment options, such as cheque payment and cash donations, and clearly explain how these donations can be made. If you need volunteers too, say so, as some people would prefer to give their time rather than money.
- Contact details - a telephone number, e-mail address or postal address.
- A request for the recipient to forward the e-mail to anybody who might want to help.
The message should be as short as possible. Keep the tone friendly but straightforward. A website can be a valuable resource in this kind of campaign, as interested recipients can see your site for more information, which means that you can cut down on the amount of information included in the e-mail.