Raising money for a non-profit organization

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This week, we won’t talk about social media but we’ll discuss a subject that really matters to me. And the subject is: how can you help a non-profit.

If you wonder how you can raise more money to help your favorite charity, you should read the article below.

The author goes into great details on how you can raise funds for a non-profit via crowdfunding. He explains how crowdfunding sites work, how to choose the best platform for your project and he gives very useful tips on how to create a successful campaign.


Fundraising for non-profit and charities

Of all the innovative advances in online fundraising over the past decade, one of the most impressive has to be the rise of crowd-funding websites.

Some of these sites, like Fundraise.com, CauseVox, DoJiggy’s Pledge software and Fundly were set up specifically to help non-profits raise money to support their causes.  Others, like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, aren’t non-profit specific but have been used by charities to raise money to support their mission.  Today, let’s talk about crowd-funding websites for non-profits: what they are, and how your organization can use them to raise more money quickly and efficiently.

What Crowd-Funding Sites Are

While features differ from site to site, at their most basic crowd-funding sites are websites that allow your non-profit to set up an online fundraising campaign based around a fundraising page, and accept money directly from that page using the website’s own credit card processor.

Many of these sites will also allow individuals to set up fundraising pages on behalf of charities they want to support, and others will allow your non-profit to set up a master page for your campaign and then allow your supporters to set up tangential pages that they can use to get their friends and colleagues to donate a portion of the goal of your master campaign.

Some of the sites (like Kickstarter) are geared more towards producing tangible products, and thus are best used by charities like arts organizations working to fund a play or art exhibition.  Others (like CauseVox) are specifically for non-profits and thus can be used to support a wide-range of organizations.

Crowd-funding sites work best for funding specific projects or campaigns, and do not work well for general fundraising or things like annual giving.  Some of the above listed sites work well for raising money through events, as do event-specific websites such as EventBrite.

What Crowd-Funding Sites Are Not

Many non-profits that find out about crowd-funding websites get very excited and make the mistake of thinking that these sites are magical cures for all of their revenue woes.  Crowd-funding sites can be a huge help, but they are not a fundraising panacea.

For example, one of the great things about these websites is that once you get some traction on your campaign, other people from around the world may decide to donate solely based on the strength of your project.  That being said, don’t expect to slap up a fundraising campaign, go away for three weeks, then come back to find that you’ve raise $1 million.  It doesn’t work that way.  You’ll need to get the word our first, get some traction from your own supporters, and then you may get some unexpected help.

The best way to see what crowd-funding sites are all about is to go visit a few of the sites listed above, poke around and kick the tires.  Check out projects that are currently listed, and see what types of projects are getting funded, and which aren’t.  Doing so will give you a good insight into whether or not your fundraising campaign has a good chance of being funded through that site.

Which Crowd-Funding Site will Work For You?

If you’re interested in using a crowd-funding site for your next fundraising campaign, be sure to shop around.  Each site offers different features, costs, and benefits.  Here are some of the key things to watch out for:

  1. Look and Feel

What do the fundraising pages look like?  Are they appealing?  Will they be appealing to your donors?  How easily can you present your project given each site’s constraints and customs?  (For example, at KickStarter, a video is required for fundraising success.  At Fundraise.com, you’ll want compelling pictures, but won’t need a video).

  1. Ease of Use

How easy is it to set up a fundraising page?  Do you need to know HTML or have other technical skills to make your page look great?

  1. Payment Processing

What payment methods can donors use to make donations to your organization?  Do they take all major credit cards?  How about e-checks?  How long does it  take for donations made on the site to reach your organization’s bank account?

  1. Fees

What is the total cost of using this fundraising platform?  Is there a monthly fee? Set-up fees?  Credit card processing fees?  Fees for sending you a check or a statement?

  1. Marketing and Social Networking Capabilities

What tools does the site provide to help you spread the word about your fundraiser?  How easily is it to link and promote your fundraising page on social networking sites?  Can your supporters set up their own pages to support your cause, and have the money funneled back to you and apply to your overall fundraising goals?

  1. Traction

Does this site have traction?  (In other words, are people using this site to make donations, and are non-profits successfully raising money through this platform?)  You want to use a site that at least has a decent amount of traction and traffic.  Ideally, people come to the site to browse for causes to support… that way, you may get donations from folks who you don’t know, and who simply find you on the site.

Tips for Making the Most from Your Crowd-Fundraising Campaign

In order to maximize revenue from your crowd-funding campaign, be sure your non-profit does the following three things:

#1 – Create a Compelling Page

The best way to get new donors to support your cause through crowd-funding sites is by creating an emotional, compelling fundraising page.  Use pictures and videos where possible, tell an amazing story, and explain to people exactly how much you need and what the money will be used for.

#2 – Start With Your Own Network

It’s imperative to launch your online fundraising effort by reaching out to your own network.  Tell everyone you know about your campaign – including your donors, supporters, staff, volunteers, board, etc.  Ask them to e-mail out the campaign to everyone they know, and to ask their entire network to donate to the cause.  You won’t get donations from others on a crowd-funding site until you have a good amount of traction from your own network showing that you are serious.

#3 – Publicize the Effort

You also want to publicize your crowd-funding campaign as much as possible.  Put it on the front page of your website.  Link to it on your Facebook page, through Twitter, etc.  Try to get your local media involved by suggesting story angles.  Take every opportunity to spread the word and get people talking about your project.

Source: http://www.thefundraisingauthority.com/internet-fundraising/crowd-funding-your-non-profit/

I often wish I could help more the charities that I care about, but I have to face my limited resources. With this strategy, you can raise incredible amounts of money and give more exposure to your charity. Of course, you still need to package your offer properly and do the marketing to promote your project. In the next posts, I’ll probably go over how you can market successfully a crowdfunding campaign and I’ll give the best strategies to get tons of traffic to your offer.

Benefits Of Advertising On Social Media

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A lot of business owners make the mistake of thinking that social media is another ‘fad.’ The truth is, this could not be further from the truth. Not only is social media not a fad, but it is one of the most important ways that you can market your business. In this article, we will be going over some of the top benefits that you are going to get when advertising on social media.


What are the benefits?


1. Better Targeting

One of the biggest benefits of advertising on social media is the fact that you are going to have a much better targeting potential. Meaning, you should be able to accurately target your ideal customer and target demographic. Because social media has access to so much information about various demographics, you will be able to have much more effective advertising when using it than other mediums. This is going to ultimately lead to better results and more optimized advertising.


2. Better Brand Recognition

By advertising where your consumers are, you are going to effectively experience better overall brand recognition. This is true with any type of advertising, but in particular with social media advertising. This can make you much more familiar to your target customer than any other medium because consumers are typically looking to engage in more things while they are actively using social media. It is important to advertise where your customers are located


3. Increased Web Traffic

One of the best things about social media advertising is that you can effectively increase the amount of traffic on your business’ website. The reason why this is possible is because your advertising is going to bring people to your website with a simple click of a button. A lot of other mediums of advertising are going to require much more from a prospective customer. When you are advertising online, all they need to do is click your advertisement. This is going to increase the amount of people that you get to respond to your advertising and it is going to also allow you to achieve much more conversions because you can send them directly to a landing page.


As you can see, there are many different benefits that you are going to be able to get from advertising on social media. You are going to be able to better target your ideal customers which is going to not only help you save money on your advertising but also help increase the returns on your advertising. Also, you are going to be able to achieve better overall brand recognition simply because you will be putting your brand out there where your customers and prospective customers are congregating and where they are located. Lastly, you are going to experience a huge uptick in website traffic which is going to ultimately help increase the amount of sales that you can make simply because you are going to have a good chance of converting them when you control where they are taken to, such as a specific landing page.