Searching for Funds
After the toolbar is created, organizations have the ability to send a standard e-mail to their database of supporters asking them to download the toolbar. According to Fund-It/BenefitBar, the download process takes 30 to 40 seconds and does not replace the existing toolbar on the user’s browser. Fund-It/BenefitBar sends organizations a check every month for the amount that their toolbars raised. If an organization raises $50 or more in a month, Grosz says, Fund-It/BenefitBar takes $10 to help defray its costs, which include full back-end support of the toolbar and consultants’ payments. If an organization doesn't earn $50 in a month, no money is deducted from its earnings.
Organizations currently using the toolbar include USO, American Red Cross, Bethel Foundation, University of Michigan and United Way of Greater St. Louis.
The United Way of Greater St. Louis has been using the toolbar for about two years. It promotes it on the left-hand side of every page of its Web site, in a row of boxed links that drive visitors to "Follow United Way on Twitter," "Join the Cause on Facebook" and "Watch videos on YouTube." The button for the toolbar reads, "Search the Internet. Support United Way." When clicked, it leads visitors to a drill-down page that urges them to "raise money for the United Way while you search the Internet" and instructs them on how to download the toolbar. "You'll always be a click away from United Way news, volunteer information, upcoming events and more," copy on the page continues.
According to Kate Kromann, e-communications director for the United Way of Greater St. Louis, hundreds of people have installed the UWGSL-branded toolbar.
"It's an easy tool for organizations to include on their site at no cost," she says. "We are using it more as an awareness tool than a fundraising tool, and our users have tens of thousands of display hours where United Way is top-of-mind."