Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fundraising for Complete Beginners

Twitter is down in facebookImage by thinkjose via FlickrI started out raising money for SALVEASERRA in July. I had no experience, but lots of good intentions and plenty of passion for the cause.

So far, I have to admit, I haven't raised vast wads of money for them. I have sold a few t-shirts at We Add Up - but still not quite enough for them to pay out. The How to Make a Difference Toolbar has earned just over $100 - but once again, not quite enough for Conduit to actually pay.

There is so much to learn - and so little information out there for people like me. Individuals who are starting from scratch trying to build up a fundraising 'brand', get the word out there for a worthy cause and build a network of donors and supporters. Given that, I thought I would share three important things I have learned about online fundraising in the last month:

  1. It takes time to build credibility and create momentum
    If you are just starting out in the world of Online Fundraising, then immediate results are unlikely unless you already have a sizeable network of potential donors.

    So don't give up if nothing seems to be happening straight away. Keep your name and your cause out there and remember . . .

  2. Social Networking is the Key
    I used to think Twitter was kind of weird and stalker-esque but in the last month I have become a convert. Not only has it been the path to some really useful sites and information (and some not so useful but equally appreciated), but it has been a steady driver of traffic to my blog. And everytime I get a new follower I feel so special!!

    There are some great tools out there if you want to make the most of Twittering for your cause - check out my list of favourites on Delicious. If you have any more that really work for you please let me know!

    Facebook has also been sending a fair percentage of my daily traffic. I don't actually do a great deal with Facebook - other than have my blog feed and Twitter feed display on my profile. Perhaps my next focus should be to look into how I can make Facebook really work for me!!

    Visiting other blogs has also been of real value. Not just for the great information and inspirational writing. I have found that taking the time to comment on other people's blogs has helped me to become involved, in a small way so far, in the greater community of bloggers. And, it does have the added benefit of getting my blogging efforts noticed as well!

  3. You have to ask
    If you want people to help you, you have to ask.
    If you want people to read your blog, you have to ask.
    Do you want comments and discussions for your blog posts? You guessed it, you have to ask.
    And if you want people to buy a t-shirt or download a toolbar to help raise money for charity - well of course, once again, you have to ask! (Please buy an awesome t-shirt from We Add Up - and download our fantastic How to Make a Difference toolbar!!)

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Anonymous said...

Hello KiwiMeg!

Thanks for all your efforts to make a difference. WE ADD UP just launched our online fundraising program. So, just like you, we're beginners. I'd love to hear your experience and get any feedback on how we can help you do a better job.

You're right on, though, that you gotta ask for it! And, social networking is key. See you on Twitter!

kiwimeg said...

Thanks for stopping by Jill. I love what WE ADD UP is doing - such a great idea.

Am currently contemplating the irony of purchasing your Buy Local t-shirts to encourage locals to do their weekly shop at our new community market . . .