Welcome to the world of digital fundraising. Will this mean the end to sausage sizzles or asking for donations to go into the bucket? Nobody can deny that times are changing. We spend a lot of time online working, socialising and entertaining ourselves. Isn’t it time we started to fundraise online too?

In this article, we explain what digital fundraising is, the benefits it offers and discuss how to identify if it is the right move for your organisation.

What is Digital Fundraising?

Digital fundraising is about using the internet’s many digital channels to reach your target audience. This generally means using different social media platforms, a website and emails to ask for donations to encourage people to support your cause. Just like other fundraising methods, you also need to have a strategy in place for digital marketing. This will ensure that you reach your target audience, know who is doing what and when, as well as being able to assess how successful your efforts are.

While not a major fundraising strategy in New Zealand yet, there have been many widely known examples from overseas we have seen here:

  • Amazon Smile – choosing an organisation to support when you make a purchase from Amazon, who donate a percentage of your purchase price.
  • World Wildlife Fund – the #Last Selfie hashtag was used to gain traction to promote awareness of the danger of extinction.
  • #MeToo – the sexual assault and harassment awareness movement was very well received and shared via social media around the world.

How Does Digital Fundraising Work?

The aim with all fundraising and digital is no exception, is to reach your target audience and entice them to support your cause. The unique presentation of doing so online throws both challenges and highly effective methods to do so.

For example, Jane’s school is selling reusable lunch packaging as a fundraising activity to both the school and the wider community. Traditionally this would have occurred with children taking home a printed form to collect orders, door knocking and having ‘sign up’ tables at galas or other events. Going digital though, allows Jane’s fundraising team to reach out to a wider audience with less effort, relying less upon the individual children to spread the message. Jane posts about the fundraiser on her school’s Facebook page, asking people to share it with their friends. She sends out a newsletter to parents with a link to their school website. On the website, there is a form through which people can place an order for the lunch packaging. It is this link that parents can send their work colleagues, friends and family members so they can order too. Going digital has allowed Jane the opportunity to reach a far wider area with less time needed to be spent by her school community’s actions.

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