The Importance of Online Fundraising
With Government spending cuts and reductions in local authority spending, the need for fundraising has never been greater to the services and support that many vulnerable and disadvantaged people depend upon. Many local charities, appeals, clubs, organisations and support groups have had to simply cut down on the level and amount of support that they are capable of offering people in need and the importance of fundraising has become increasingly crucial to maintain these vital services.
Over the last few years online fundraising has become ever more significant and in some cases a central part in the way many charitable foundations raise funds. Not only are there now more people online than ever before, but the amount of time that people spend using the internet has also notably increased over the last five years. All of which leaves online fundraising with an ever increasing window in which to reach out and engage with people and to hopefully leave donations for their cause.Fundraising online is an incredibly versatile platform in which to raise funds and there are a number of fundraising ideas available to organisations.
One of the first means of online fundraising was through sponsor pages, which still remain a popular source for securing donations. Charities, clubs and appeals can set up a sponsor page outlining their cause and aims, with any number of accompanying photos and videos. Sponsors can then visit their individual organisation page and leave donations to the charity. Links to these sponsor pages can then be disseminated virally across the internet across websites and blogs, but social networks such as Facebook in particular can help transmit their message and campaign to a large number of potential sponsors, by sharing the link of the donation page to their friends online.
New Ideas for Online FundraisingOnline fundraising has also branched out to incorporate online internet habits and activities. Similarly to sponsor pages, organisations can create their own causes page. Supporters of the cause can then raise funds through online shopping and also internet searches. Donations can be earned based on the amount of internet searches that members use via the causes specific search engine on their sponsors page. More effectively causes can also increase the amount of money it raises through spending behaviour and purchasing products and services online. In times of recession both of these means of fundraising online have the added benefit of not costing sponsors any additional money and are in essence free as well as useful in raising funds all year round.
Some club, society and charitable organisations also have incorporated facilities on their own website to allow members to donate straight to the cause. Whilst this is a much localised fundraising option, the spectrum of people available to donate is limited to the amount of people that know and are aware of the cause. For 'local champions' this is an effective and convenient way to know that the funds being donated are directly going to the cause itself.
Social MediaYet the success of any fundraising idea, just like traditional forms of fundraising rests with the awareness and support of the cause itself and online fundraising is uniquely positioned to help catapult many causes into the minds and hearts of people, who may otherwise never come across the campaign. Social platforms like Twitter can immediately trigger hundreds and thousands of potential sponsors simply by being mentioned and 'tweeted' by a user with a large number of followers or increasingly celebrities that endorse and bring attention to the cause that needs supporting. The awareness created can generate almost overnight a significant amount of funds that could otherwise take many years to reach.
Today there are an increasing number of ways that causes and organisations can not only raise awareness but also raise funds. With increased usage of the internet from an ever increasing demographic of the population, online fundraising could prove vital to the survival and existence of many charities, organisations and causes across the UK.