There's a great article called "Paul's Top 11 online ways to raise money for your non-profit without going to a foundation, spamming your friends, or hiring an uber geek to manage your "some assembly required" fundraising software." at the Cool n' Conscientious blog.
I guess the title says it all, but it's a quite handy list for non-profits looking to generate donations and revenue with very little maintenance. Here are Paul's suggestions with some examples I've added to help illustrate how non-profits are using them.
- Escrip.com. You get people to sign up and each time they make a purchase at major stores (Safeway, Barnes & Noble, etc.) a portion of the money goes to whatever nonprofit or charity they designate.
- Pledgebank.com. a person posts a pledge to make a contribution or commit to a certain action (like giving up smoking) if X number of other people agree to do the same by a certain date. The site tracks progress of the pledges and sends reminders. The Open Rights Group is using this service to provide a way for members to pledge their cash to the organization.
- Missionfish.org. Sign up to get eBay sellers to donate a portion of their profits to your nonprofit or do your own selling on eBay that benefits your nonprofit directly.
- Cafepress.com and Goodstorm.com. These are online merchandise stores that sell products you design. They don’t require any up front investment (other than time to develop designs for T-shirts, mugs, etc.) and they handle all of the order processing and shipping. You make money only when someone places an online order. It’s like having your own ecommerce store without worrying about who’s minding the store. Note: You will need to have Adobe Photoshop and someone with Photoshop skills to submit designs to Goodstorm.
- Goodsearch.org. A search engine that allows money to be donated to a designated nonprofit or charity each time a search is made. It won’t make your organization rich, but an easy way to generate ongoing revenue that doesn’t require a lot of work on your part. The Watchung Hills Regional High School is a great example. The school used GoodSearch as their online search engine and raised raised over $30,000 for research.
- Chipin.com. A free “widget” that you can place on your website or blog allowing people to donate money directly to your cause via credit cards or PayPal. Takes only a few minutes to setup. One of the best ways the Chipin widget was used is by Beth Kanter, who raised $800 for the Sharing Foundation.
- Sixdegrees.org. Join Kevin Bacon and other celebrities raising money for their (and your) favorite charities via a “badge” that you can setup and place directly on your website or blog. The badge allows the viewer to donate directly to your cause (via Network for Good) and view a videos that you can post on the badge. The VA tech community partnered with sixdegrees.org to remember and honor the victims of the tragic events by making a donation to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. The fund was established by the university to aid in the healing process and generates financial support.
- Change.org. A social network of social benefit organizations where you people can go to donate to and learn about a variety of organizations and causes. List your site as one of the beneficiaries and use their free fundraising widget to accept donations instantly. Over 200 nonprofits and NGOs have signed up for accounts on Change.org such as CARE, World Wildlife Fund, and Natural Resources Defense Council
- Givingworks.ebay.com. Buy or sell items on eBay to support a good (your own) cause. Here’s an example of United Way’s listing on ebay to raise money to help improve lives in the Bluegrass. United Way registered with eBay and MissionFish to list items with the proceeds benefiting the United Way of the Bluegrass fundraising campaign.
- Paid Advertising Widgets: boobox, AuctionAds, togo, Tumri, Mpire are all part of the latest widget craze. You can install these advertising widgets on your website or blog to advertise products or services and the advertisers split the click through revenue with you. They are kind of like Google Adsense on graphical steroids. No telling how much you can actually make on them just yet, but might we worth experimenting with.
After you've had a chance to check out these eleven fundraising tools, come back and share your comments with us on what could work for you and what won't.