How to Raise Funds Online
Online fundraising is now a very popular way to raise money. You can raise money online using a customisable microsite of a fundraising organisation like 'justgiving' or through a personal website dedicated to your fundraising activities. This article won’t cover raising money through selling online as that is covered elsewhere on the site.
Here are some tips on how to make the most money through online fundraising:
Create A Good SiteIf you make an effort with your site, people are more likely to pass it on to others, return to it and, most importantly, make a donation. Use your imagination to get the needs of your cause across and persuade people to donate. Write some copy for the site which is clear, informative and persuasive. Pictures will also help.
Let People KnowIt’s all well and good having a fantastic site where people can donate money. However, they have to know about it first. You can’t have a ‘build it and they will come’ mentality. The Internet is full of websites and unless you spread the word, it’s unlikely that anyone will find your little fundraising site.
Email friends and family. They will usually donate as well so your page will start to fill up and look ‘active’ so don’t stop there! Tell people at work, old friends, people you know through hobbies or a church or community group – anyone. Take advantage of the benefits of the Internet; after all, you can reach people anywhere in the world.
Add a link to your site when you send an email or letter to companies or individuals asking for donations. Read our article ‘How to Write a Fundraising Letter’ for more tips on this.
You could also add a site link to the end of your emails as a ‘signature’. Ask before you do this with work emails. You can also set up a signature in online chat forums so that whenever you post, the signature with a link to your fundraising site will appear.
Let the media know about your fundraising site too – this can really raise awareness of your cause and your fundraising activities. Find out more in our article ‘How to Publicise your Fundraising Activity’.
UpdatesKeep your site and your donors up-to-date. Update your website regularly with progress reports, news and recent pictures. When you update your page, you have a good reason to send email updates to people on your mailing list (make sure they have agreed).
Always send thank you emails to anyone who donates. A lot of sites, especially the purpose-built microsites will let you automate this process and offer an option to automatically personalise thank you emails. It is really worth taking the time to set this up.