How to Fundraise Australian: Online Fundraising Lessons Learned From Down Under
More teams in North America could benefit by making it easier for supporters to raise funds online via their websites. While many organization have added a “Donate Now” button to their homepages, relatively few make it easy to let people "do their thing." Often a person who wishes to raise funds is required to call the charity or download and print an application form.
Online tools make it easy for someone who has a desire to support a cause to sign up and register to fundraise automatically. The tools also make it easy for people to fundraise using their e-mail and Facebook friends, giving them secure and personalized donation forms.
A good example of this type of grassroots fundraising in North America originates from UNICEF Canada. From the “Get Involved” menu on its homepage, it is easy to find the link to “Start a Fundraiser.” Similar to the team in Australia, these Canadians provide suggestions to the would-be online fundraiser: “Are you having a birthday or a wedding? A Halloween party at work? Perhaps you’re willing to shave your head if you raise enough money?”
An examination of the fundraising pages that have already been set up on the UNICEF website reveals an interesting trend. Many of the pages were built soon after the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Unintentionally this community-events online fundraising system had morphed into a disaster-response online fundraising system. Because the UNICEF Canada team had the foresight to have a “fundraise now” option on its website, these individuals who wished to do more than simply donate online had the basic tools they needed to fundraise.
One featured page, that of 13-year-old student Bilaal Rajan, includes his personal note: “I am launching a fundraising challenge to schools all throughout Canada to raise funds for the Haitian relief efforts. I am asking each student to raise a minimum of $100. And to have a little fun, I will shave my head in honour of the school or individual student that raises the greatest amount of funds. That’s right. I’m going to shave my head, faux hawk and all!” He ended up raising more than $2,600 via his page.