An online fundraiser allows those attempting to raise money for a specific cause to reach a wider audience, increasing their overall chances of success. It also significantly reduces the need to go door-to-door to elicit funds, making it a safer choice, especially for children. Running a successful online fundraiser requires choosing the right type, following the laws that govern such activities, and promoting the fundraiser through both online and offline sources.
There are several different ways to run an online fundraiser. Two of the most common methods are directly asking for monetary donations and selling goods or services while using the profits to support the cause. Other types include raffling off prizes or auctioning off items to the highest bidder. Determining the best type of fundraiser to use depends on the organization’s resources and goals. All methods aside from directly asking for donations requires a budget to procure the items or a company to sponsor the goods.
Both national and local laws play a role in decisions about how to run an online fundraiser; these laws can vary significantly by location and jurisdiction. Online fundraisers must follow both national laws as well as laws specific to the organization’s region. The best way to determine which laws apply is to contact an attorney for a consultation. Those who choose to use raffles will need to be especially careful, as if the raffle doesn’t meet strict guidelines, it can be considered gambling.
Once an organization decides on the type of online fundraiser it would like to hold, it will need to begin promoting that fundraiser. Online promotion is one of the easiest methods because so many people are connected to each other through social media networking. Organizations should consider creating a social media page or website specifically relating to the fundraiser, and share that link through their networks. Contacting owners of high-traffic weblogs, (blogs) and asking them to write about the cause can also help garner great interest.
Although the majority of the work for an online fundraiser will be performed on the Internet, offline promotion is still important. Flyers targeted towards a particular audience, newspaper ads, and even word-of-mouth promotion are all good tools. Organizations just need to be sure to ask permission before posting information about their fundraiser on private bulletin boards.
Creating a successful online fundraiser requires meticulous organization skills. The entire team can work together to promote the fundraiser, but it is usually best to designate one or two people to be in charge of monitoring the money that it raises. A backup person should be kept up to date on progress in case something happens to the person in charge and to ensure that funds are being handled properly in the event that questions arise in the future.