October 19, 2009

8 tips for raising funds online

NPO panel

At BlogWorld Expo, tools and strategies for nonprofits

JD LasicaThe first Causes/Activism track at the just-ended Blogworld Expo in Las Vegas drew some 1,500 participants — a promising showing by the nonprofit community. I moderated the Tools for Nonprofit Organizations panel, with panelists Judy Chang of Paypal, Justin Perkins of Care2, David Levy of SocialVibe, James Sutandyo of Causecast and consultant Scott Henderson.

Here’s my Flickr photo set of BlogWorld Expo, about 60 photos in all. I also put together this Delicious tag — delicious.com/bwe09 — to aggregate many of the the services, tools and platforms that nonprofits and social change organizations can use to raise funds to advance their missions online.

About 100 people, chiefly from nonprofits small and large, attended our panel and you can follow what they tweeted about the session at #tools4npo

The panelists collectively came up with these recommendations:

8 tips for raising funds online

1. Make it a specific project, not for the overarching nonprofit or a general fund

2. Tell a compelling story with a strong human-interest angle

3. Create a feedback loop from the recipients to the donors to form an emotional bond

4. Have a hard stop — set a date to donate by

5. Pool your efforts by collaborating with reputable like-minded partners (including trading space in partners’ email newsletters)

6. Don’t pussyfoot around — have a clear and specific “ask” or call to action Continue reading

October 8, 2009

Giving Challenge: Tap your networks to support a cause

Challenge

Competition lets you win up to $50,000 for your favorite charity

JD LasicaYesterday the Case Foundation, Causes and Parade Publications kicked off the 2009 America’s Giving Challenge. It’s a 30-day nationwide online competition that encourages people to use their personal networks and social media to build cause communities that raise funds and recruit supporters for a nonprofit.

Nonprofits and individuals can get involved in two ways:

1. Champion a cause. Individuals who are passionate about a specific cause can become “cause champions” and will compete to obtain the most donations for their cause through the Causes application on Facebook.

2. Promote, donate or join a cause. All individuals are encouraged to take part in the Giving Challenge by joining, promoting and donating to the causes they care about. Facebook membership is not required to donate to a cause. Just go to Causes.com between now and Nov. 6 to win up to $50,000 for your favorite cause.

Today, for example, causes receiving the most votes so far include the National Inclusion Project, Angel Covers, FACE AIDS, Compassion International and Facilitating Leadership in Youth. I just donated to Think Autism. If you already support a cause on Facebook, opt in your existing cause.

The Case Foundation will award a total of $170,000 to the nonprofit beneficiaries of the causes. $50,000 goes to the cause with the most daily donations over the 30 days (you can donate as often as you’d like — say, as little as $10 — and each donation counts as a vote); second prize is $25,000. To keep people engaged, the sponsors are also awarding $1,000 each day to the cause with the most donations (not the most money raised); second prize is $500. Continue reading