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How to use the internet for fundraising

This guide shows how you can use the internet to achieve your fundrasing goals, including:

  • improving fundraising skills;
  • searching for news and information about funding;
  • carrying out research to support funding applications;
  • developing your website for raising funds online. 

Things you'll need

  • Access to the internet
  • A desire to raise funds
1

Improve your fundraising skills

Most people who raise funds have little training and it is often not even in their job description. Whatever your experience and skills the web can help you learn to fundraise like a pro. For example, there is:

2

Find news and information about funding

While there is no lack of information online about funding that may be available, it isn’t always easy to find. Get to know one or two key sites and use bookmarks to keep track of what you find.  One of the best is Funding Central where you can sign up for email alerts. Many local support organisations provide funding advice services, like York CVS. Some Councils offer one-to-one support and an online directory of local funding information. To see a local authority comprehensive resource visit East Sussex Council's website, search for “funding news” and download a 60-page monthly bulletin of value to any UK-based fundraiser looking for news about grants.

3

Data that supports your fundraising

The best funding applications include compelling data that demonstrates a need for your work. Neighbourhood and locality based organisations can use the ONS site to download Census data and other public information. They can then add their own data, plot it on a graph and include it in the next bid.

4

Raising funds online

Online fundraising is often considered the preserve of large national charities such as Comic Relief but as more and more people are willing to donate or spend money online there are opportunities for charities and causes of all sizes. Web-based fundraising can help you:

  • raise awareness of what you do, how you do it and your latest successes
  • process donations by credit card or PayPal, 24 hours a day
  • recruit supporters and volunteers, and share success stories with funders and other supporters.
5

Get a website that works

Don’t get stuck with a website that you can’t update. Whatever your fundraising strategy, your website is a showcase for your work and must be accurate, up-to-date and well-presented. If you are starting a new appeal or launching a new project, try using a FREE Wordpress site to post news, show pictures and videos of your work and ask for donations. Contact IT4Communities to find a volunteer.

6

Tell your stories online

You know the stories that inspire people to support your cause, so share them as widely as possible through the web. It is relatively easy to make your own video without specialist equipment, post it on YouTube and send emails, post links on Facebook or Twitter and embed the video on your website. Unless your cause prevents it, make sure you put beneficiaries centre stage, telling their own stories and explaining your role in their lives. Do the same with funders and volunteers to inspire others to help.

7

Take money online

A large proportion of the population is now happy to spend money online, so make sure you’re ready to receive it and use an online payment system to take funds and add Gift Aid (for registered charities). The top three services charge different fees, so do your homework and make sure you’ll be receiving enough funds to cover your set up and running costs:  Justgiving, Bmycharity, and Virgin Money Giving.

Charities Aid Foundation also offers online giving and text-based donations.

8

Fundraising services

The Paypal ‘Donate’ button and schemes like Everyclick earn you money every time one of your supporters uses their search engine or shops using their portal. Anecdotal evidence is that most people find that only a very small proportion of supporters change their search engine so, unless you have thousands of supporters, you are not likely to earn much from it. If you do go with these schemes always read the small print as some take a large chunk of the deal, for example EveryClick takes 50%.

9

About this guide

From 'Fundrasing and the Internet' on the ICT Champions website.

There is an ICT Champion in every region, a trusted expert who can answer frequently asked questions about ICT and how it can help the third sector.

Download a printable version of this guide

Further information

Contributors

Page last edited Mar 03, 2016 History

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