Today, Charity Begins on the Web
Though the Internet revolution occurred at the end of the 20th century, many nonprofit organizations have yet to take advantage of cause-related marketing, fundraising and communicating online.
While some fundraising professionals are simply afraid of new technology, most believe that entering cyberspace is cost prohibitive. However, in today’s increasingly competitive fundraising arena, it is more expensive NOT to utilize the modern tools available and -- even more importantly -- not to use them wisely.
Not convinced? Go to the Internet and use a search engine (e.g., http://www.google.com) to find the words “online fundraising.” One will find approximately 1.73 million matches -- matches that offer opportunities to do such diverse things as buy flowers, books, computers, etc. with a percentage of those sales being donated to one’s favorite charity.
Though cause-related marketing is spreading geometrically, many nonprofits have yet to recognize that the Internet is the perfect venue to help it proliferate for their benefit.
For new believers, here are some basic tips to help get e-fundraising started:
1. THINK LIKE A “BUSINESS WITH A CAUSE.” Just because an organization is a nonprofit, it doesn’t mean that it cannot incorporate some of the lessons learned from the for-profit world. In essence, a nonprofit should adopt a mindset that enables its management team to think like a “business with a cause” and make responsible choices accordingly.
2. BE FLEXIBLE AND OPEN MINDED. Time and again, people in the nonprofit world will do what they have done before just because it’s “the way it’s always been done” or because “we don’t want to offend those that have brought us this far.” It is important to embrace those with whom you have a history, but this sort of prohibitive thinking can leave an organization not only in the dark ages, but also in the poor house.