News: A 'Causes' Application for Twitter, Free Online Auction Tools
Before setting up an IDonateToCharity site, St. Peter Lutheran Church in Greenwood Village, Colo., held a silent auction to fundraise for three summer mission trips for its high school youth. Securing all of the items to auction off, getting them all to the event and on display, and then making sure the auctioned items got to their rightful owners was a major feat, according to Youth Director Karen Dehmlow. In addition, Dehmlow says, each year there are always a handful of people who want to participate in the fundraiser but can't make it the night of the silent auction.
Holding the auction on IDonateToCharity.org allows people from anywhere to bid on items on an ongoing basis. As auction items are secured by the youths, Dehmlow adds them to the site.
The online raffle component of the site cuts out a lot of the hassle of traditional raffles, where all of the sold ticket stubs must be accounted for before the raffle drawing can take place. St. Peter’s has about 40 youths trying to sell a minimum of 40 tickets each; that's at least 1,600 ticket stubs that have to be arranged in numerical order before the drawing.
"I am dealing with high-school youths that have school, sports activities, church activities, social calendars, etc.," Dehmlow wrote in a letter to IDonateToCharity. "Consequently, there has been years that youths are bringing me their sold stubs hours before the drawing. One year we had to postpone the drawing because one youth forgot their stubs."
Tickets for raffles held on IDonateToCharity are sold online, so there is no sorting of ticket stubs; youth can sell tickets to anyone, regardless of geographic location; and the site randomly picks the winner and automatically sends a confirmation e-mail to ticket purchasers.
To learn more about the program, visit www.IDonateToCharity.org. Organizations interested in signing up for the program will need to fill out a form online. Once the organization's nonprofit status is verified — which, according to IDonateToCharity, is completed within 24 hours — it receives access to the site and is paired with an account manager who helps it get set up. Each charity gets its own URL that links directly to its storefront.