Charity fundraising is about more than just collecting gifts from donors. Building a community around a cause and an organization is very powerful. Charities need volunteers and supporters just as much as they need donors. Getting a message across and a name on people’s tongues is how recognition spreads.
For online fundraising, viral marketing techniques will have a cumulative effect as word of mouth moves through social networks on its own momentum. Putting resources onto the internet that support an organization and its cause will provide information and attract attention. The internet provides the ability to communicate 'en masse' across boundaries and borders at an extremely cost efficient price. Ultimately, charity fundraising is most successful when it is complemented by online fundraising and networking.
Social networking has opened an entirely new market for communication and community building. Dedicated members of a cause will make any organization really excel. There are many options available, from Facebook to MySpace, Twitter, and everything in between. Online fundraising should include using all of these avenues to generate interest, get exposure, and recruit people who want to help and donate. These networks are even self-propagating, with the ability to generate leads as current community members spread an organization’s profile to their contacts. A vibrant social networking system will generate interest and garner manpower around the country without have to expend man hours.
Having an online presence through social networking is the first step to establishing strong online fundraising. Ultimately, all of the contacts generated online have to point back to a central resource, the organization’s website. Charity fundraising is best supported by a central website and blog to disseminate information and raise awareness for their cause.
Website design is a blend of art, marketing, and technology. A site design has to be created to reflect the image that a charity wants to put forward while allowing its audience to identify with both the organization and the cause. Finally, utilizing the interactivity of the internet is a great first step in getting people active with your organization. It should generate leads and contacts that can be developed into lasting relationships.
The central paradigm of the internet is instantaneous mass communication and this is of great benefit to charity fundraising organizations. Delivering news and keeping in touch with a core audience will not only keep them informed, but will also keep them invested in the organization. Having a scheduled newsletter to send out will grab contacts that have lost touch, giving them an opportunity to reconnect. This method also works well for delivering information directly to donors and supporters for promotional purposes. Communication will foster stronger relationships.
In the end, charity fundraising that is supported by online fundraising will perform better, create a stronger community, and develop a lasting place in people’s hearts and minds. These are all incredible benefits that any organization would love to have and they can be achieved with effective social networking.