A Common Problem
If you work for a nonprofit, you know that donations are the lifeblood of any charity organization. It’s not only important to keep regular donations coming, but to look for new sources of donations. This is no easy task. The reason why it’s so stressful is because it’s so necessary. Without those donations, the ability to execute on the charity’s mission/vision will fail and the cause that is served by your organization must go without.
Different Ways To Do Philanthropy
The Store Front Model
A few charities still operate under the “old way” of doing things. They set up shop at an office and send out direct mail to everyone on a donor list, sometimes requesting direct financial support or maybe inviting them to purchase a ticket to a fundraiser. This requires putting staff to work on creating direct mailers and hoping that checks get mailed back (if you calculate the cost to your staff in time and money, you may find that the ROI isn’t what it once was). Like the old general store on Main Street, U.S.A., this was once very effective. However, its extremely difficult to extend the reach beyond the immediate community in which that charity serves.
The 1990s Model
Most charities now have a website. Some are more sophisticated than others, but nearly everyone recognizes that its important to have an online presence. From a website, you can do a lot to manage your organization. However, the limitation to a website is that you have to work really hard to get people to find and return to your website. Although more efficient than trying to communicate with your supporters through direct solicitation, your website is still dependent on your ability to bring traffic to your website through SEO efforts and social media campaigns (again, you may want to study the ROI for the time and money spent by your staff). Like retailers that started creating websites in the 1990s, that was a better model for charities than what was done in the past.
The Philanthropic Platform
Today, nonprofit organizations can reach a much broader, yet still targeted audience, by getting on a philanthropic platform, such as www.givsum.com. How does a philanthropic platform work? The same way that a retail platform like Amazon works, which provides a marketplace for buyers and sellers of goods to find each other (even suggesting goods to buyers based on their past purchases). Givsum does the same for the nonprofit sector. A specific 501©(3) can be found by individual users that search for them or may be suggested to them based on the charitable categories that they select. Any individual on Givsum is there because they want to engage in philanthropy, so a charity has a friendly audience that expands beyond its current donor list and the occasional “foot traffic” that most websites generate.
The Donate Button
So what’s a “Donate Button”? Once you’ve activated your profile on Givsum, you’ll have an account which anyone visiting the philanthropic platform will be able to donate to quickly and easily via your Donate Button. What’s even better is that your Donate Button can live on ANY website. So, yes, you can place it on your charity’s website (like a PayPal button). Even better, your supporters can place the Donate Button on their business or personal websites. For example, if you have a corporate sponsor, their employees and customers can support you too, all by clicking your Donate Button placed on their website. Because your Donate Button is attached to a philanthropic platform, it all ties back to one central location, Givsum. This allows you to go to one place to track where all of your donations are coming from, while having your Donate Button safely dispersed as widely as possible. How is this different from crowdfunding? Anyone using your Donate Button is making a tax deductible donation directly to your charity. Crowdfunding does not provide the person making a gift with a tax deduction (which may suppress the amount that they decide to give) and provides you with no actionable data about the individuals who are giving to your charity. The power of a philanthropic platform is similar to a retail platform, all of user information is conveniently located in one location, which benefits the individuals and the charities alike.
Get Started Today
By activating your account on www.givsum.com, not only do you get a Donate Button, but you’ll also have the ability to sell tickets to your fundraising events and to recruit and manage your volunteers. Multiple functions all in one place, making it easier for you to be a force for good.