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Online Fundraising 101; A Guide For the Ambitious Newbie

13 January 2012 No Comment

It used to be that only large organizations and wealthy philanthropists were the only ones who could gather enough resources to help worthy causes and draw attention to important issues However, thanks to once pricey technologies being more and more accessible to the general public (inexpensive video cameras and cell phones, video and audio editing software, and simple online tools for example…) regular, ordinary citizens can take more initiative in trying to change their world for the better. And thanks to a variety of free and easy web tools and websites, those that want to fund raise for a particular cause are often successful.

image from fundrazr.com

Find a Cause
Most people are passionate about something. It could be a political cause, human rights, animal rights, environmental concerns, poverty reduction, education, funding research to help cure disease, or just getting a new roof for the aging elementary school down the street. All you need to do to fund raise for a particular cause is to have a tangible goal and desired outcome (example: raise $500 to pay for tuition, books, and supplies for 10 needy children in Zambia). You can do this by working with existing non-profit organizations and charities or you can fund raise for your own personal cause, like funding a costly operation or a child’s daycare expenses.

Get a Fund Raising Web Site
We currently work with a wonderful group of committed Children International sponsors who are able to get their projects featured here at our site. However, there has been an explosion of people doing online fundraising since Aura’s House launched back in the day and currently there are dozens of amazing websites out there that will let you create your own custom fund raising page with no web design experience necessary. Here is a great round-up of the best free sites and tools to custom create your page.  I would also add another site to this list for personal causes that are not affiliated with an official charity. Gofundme.com  was recently used by a friend of mine to help pay for child care costs. She raised over $1000 in just a few days. Not too shabby for a complete beginner.

Get Online Donations the Smart Way
Most people think that if they build it (the fund raising website) they (the donors) will come. This is simply not the case. The internet is vast and most people spend an average of only ten seconds browsing any given website, and this is if they even find your page at all. You can’t leave your fund raising up to chance. You have to actively recruit donors and that means contacting virtually everyone you know. This is the hard part, but if you persevere, it is also the most rewarding part. Here, for your fund raising bliss, I have compiled for you my very best fund raising tips and tricks with a few resources thrown in for good measure.

Now Get To It!
I have only scratched the surface, but now that you have the tools and the tricks to fund raise for a cause that you are passionate about, what are you waiting for? Good luck, and the world thanks you in advance for your efforts.

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Kristen Palana specializes in creating socially conscious art and multimedia. She founded Aura’s House in 2004. Visit her site to see what she’s been up to.

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