People spend an increasing amount of time on the Internet and your organisation should have an online presence.
Advantages of having an online presence
- Easier to spread news and request support, e.g. in the case of a natural disaster, an appeal can be active in minutes.
- The Internet complements traditional fundraising methods and it saves money on postage or telemarketing.
- Keeps people regularly informed of your progress in fundraising, or the organisation's activities, through a website, Facebook page or blog.
- Online communication helps strengthen relationships with donors and stakeholders, and enables you to tailor fundraising campaigns to your supporters' preferences.
- Your organisation's mission, message and activities are seen by more people who visit your website or social media pages, and by people wanting to share information. This can lead to new donors, volunteers and advocates.
- Your digital presence promotes a sense of an active and innovative organisation, giving funders and donors confidence.
Adapted from From Fundraising Basics, Ciconte & Jacob.
Coordinate your online fundraising with your organisation's strategic plan and your fundraising strategy. Have a clear and realistic idea of what you want to achieve and how your online presence will enhance that. Simply putting a "donate now" button on your website or starting a social media page isn't enough for effective fundraising.
Online fundraising strategy should:
- make people aware of the organisation
- get people to care about the cause you support and the work you do
- encourage people to support the organisation, and
- keep people connected to the organisation.
Find out about the tools available for connecting with your donors online, from email, blogs and websites to Wiki pages, Facebook and Twitter. Every online tool can be used, from online donations to online charity auctions and marketing of fundraising events. A website, blog or social media page needs to be updated regularly.
It is not too difficult or expensive to fundraise online. There are currently websites, such as Givealittle.co.nz and Volunteernow.org.nz, helping connect charities with donations of money or time/skills (volunteer work). Other companies offer assistance and training courses on Online Fundraising for a fee.