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Online Fundraising: What Everybody Ought to Know

We live in the future, guys. By now many have forgotten (or have never known) what life was like before the Internet. So we can sometimes take for granted how much things have improved since its conception.

A little over a decade ago, fundraising still depended on how many people you could get to buy your stuff at your yard sale. But by harnessing the power of the web, online fundraising has streamlined the fundraising process, making it easier than ever for individuals to raise money.

And even though this technique has already created a new standard for fundraising, the greatest part is we’re just getting started. As technology gets more sophisticated – with faster data transfer speeds, increased sharing capabilities and continued adoption of the Internet by people around the world – the future of fundraising is bright. Can you tell we’re excited?

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Here are some of the ways online fundraising is currently making your fundraising efforts so much better.

1. You can easily access donations, with minimal fees.

One thing many people don’t realize is how much of their donation money never actually makes it to their cause in traditional nonprofit fundraising. In a 2011 study conducted by Forbes that looked at 200 charity organizations, an average of 86 percent of funds were spent in “direct furtherance of the charitable mission, as opposed to certain overhead or fundraising.” That means 14 percent of each donation was spent on keeping the charity organization going.

Luckily, online fundraising websites have shrunk this percentage, charging a much smaller service fee (GiveForward takes an average of 0.5% of donations from each fundraiser). For individual fundraisers, this means more of the money raised will make it to the beneficiary.

What’s even cooler is that these fees are used to keep innovating and improving the fundraising experience.

2. Your potential reach has seriously expanded.

Integrating online fundraising with social sharing was a huge deal for personal fundraisers – by making fundraising pages compatible with social media like Twitter and Facebook, users can cast a wider net, increasing the number of potential donors. This relatively new feature is getting more useful by the day, as fundraising websites find more ways to use social sharing in fundraisers.

3. You have 24/7 access to your fundraiser.

Some people complain that the Internet has too strong a hold over us – that we’ve gotten used to being plugged in all the time. But this is the first time fundraiser organizers have been able to keep up with their fundraising campaigns literally 24/7. For many beneficiaries who are recovering from medical hardships, access to encouraging comments and a growing donation count through their site or mobile app gives them the hope they need to keep fighting.

4. You can share your story however you see fit.

Say goodbye to boring fundraisers. Today multimedia is king, and fundraising websites have paid attention. Users can easily post media to their fundraising pages, letting their personality shine through their fundraisers. You can personalize your GiveForward page by adding photos and posting video or text updates, so you can really make your fundraising page your own.

5. You can feel safe about it.

If you take the time to do some research before committing to a site, online fundraising is perfectly safe. GiveForward uses state-of-the-art encryption technology to make sure donors’ financial information doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. Look into a site’s security options before starting a fundraising page to make sure it’s right for you.

The long and short of it is that pushing fundraising efforts to the web has changed the way people think about raising money. It’s also had a significant positive impact on the success rate of fundraisers. As technology advances, it continues to spark innovative ideas that make fundraising easier and more effective for individuals and organizations. And we think that’s pretty cool.

Whose world will you change?