Tips for Online Fundraising

Although Howard Dean’s strange temper tantrum caused his campaign to dip in the polls, he surely knows how to use the Internet to raise funds. Taking some of his tips and incorporating them into nonprofit fundraising, we’ve come up with some useful ways for you to raise money out there in cyber space.

  1. The most powerful part of the online Dean campaign is the amount of information gathered about the donors. But it does not stop there, the Dean campaign leverages the information by quickly assembling and then segmenting it so it doesn’t just sit there collecting dust. The problem with many nonprofits is not that they don’t have sophisticated donation programs but that they don’t know how to use the most sophisticated and powerful parts of the programs. Invest the time in the free trainings that come with your online donation software!
  2. Charity Channel has created a great mini-publication, E-Philanthropy & Technology Review(http://charitychannel.com/eptr.shtml ), with articles galore on everything from Internet marketing to donation processing.
  3. There are many online donation programs that offer tools and analysis that rival many of the functions of donor tracking programs like Raiser’s Edge. You will find a wonderful updated list of these at the NonprofitMatrix web site.
  4. Let’s put the wonder of online money-making aside for a second, and let’s focus on donors. Donors can and should be a tad bit apprehensive about throwing money into cyber space to support your mission. They need to feel a sense of security and confidence that your organization and your donation software are legitimate. The Association of Fundraising Professionals provides information on the “E-Donor Bill of Rights,” and it would be wise for you to memorize it before setting up your online donation system.
  5. Based upon research done by Kimberly Chapman who runs the Web site “Charity Check,” here are some nonprofit sites with first-rate one-click donation systems. It may behoove you to look at these sites to see what they are doing right before you set out to set up your own system:

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