Online Fundraising Is Here to Stay

Growing up in India, fundraising was mostly synonymous with a smaller group of people who could afford to pay a hefty price for a fancy dinner. This excluded a large chunk of people who were too intimidated by the ticket prices or turned off by the glitz and glamor surrounding a charitable cause.

Living in a time fraught with natural disasters, online fundraising has indeed been a blessing in disguise for charitable organizations and political fundraisers alike. The internet has not only connected all corners of world but also opened a new and furiously popular online giving platform. For the individual who takes on the personal challenge of fundraising for a cause, using online tools such as Facebook and Twitter automatically connects them with a larger and a more global audience. It reaches a wider audience with minimum time and effort and makes every penny count. And frankly, it also makes asking for donations a lot less awkward! Farooq Khan, a mentor with Team in Training has been fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for four successful years and says “online fundraising is clear cut with literally no cost involved. It needs the least amount of effort and is so easy to set up”.

A world where ignorance is no longer bliss, online fundraising is not just a boon for you and me but a superior platform bringing people together, supporting like-minded causes and creating a virtual community. Fundraising online is more effective for causes because it also offers a level of consistency and perseverance, one that is hard to achieve when relief efforts span months or even years as in the case of Darfur.

Online giving brings such a strong ‘call to action’ for charitable organizations; let’s not even get started on what this can do for political fundraising! In 2008, Barack Obama raised in excess of $ 500 million online – a solid example of the power of collective action and online fundraising. Director of Obama’s new-media department, Joe Raspars was quoted in the Washington Post saying “You looked at the money being raised online in the same way that you looked at the crowds who came to the rallies and, when it came to online donations, people exceeded our expectations as to what they were willing to do.”

Online giving is no longer only limited to charities but also extends towards funding creative ideas and great projects that lack necessary financial backing to get off the ground. With websites like Kickstarter, an online platform for funding creative projects all over the world, the success story of Diaspora was born. An alternative to Facebook started by four New York University students, Diaspora aimed at raising just $10,000 but ended up with twenty times more than they needed (not a bad problem to have at all!)

Relief funds for the earthquake in Haiti exceeded $ 305 million with the Red Cross alone raising $ 137 million – sixty percent of those donations to the Red Cross were raised online. With the most recent earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, an enormous amount of resources and funds are needed to provide relief to the victims. This would almost be an impossible task if it were not for the power of online fundraising virtually tapping on every ones door, or in this case, everyone’s inboxes.

In November 2010, the NonProfit Times featured an article projecting that Americans would donate approximately $ 48 Billion during the holidays to charitable causes and political fundraisers…that just goes to show that tough economy or not, online fundraising is here to stay.

Online fundraising is very attractive for small and large non profits especially given its relatively low set-up costs. You must check out the online fundraising ideas available online that can be implemented easily for your next fundraiser!

Article by Lotika Gulvadi

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?Online-Fundraising-Is-Here-to-Stay&id=6267251

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