We live in a digital age where almost anything can be done online. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that even charity fundraising has shifted to the digital space. This is true for both large organizations with global and national causes, as well as private individuals. Today, when trying to tell a story, there is no easier way to tell it than through digital platforms. A website or a social media page allows you to upload multiple pages of content and videos. These can be added to or replaced instantly and viewed by millions of people around the world. The automation of forms and files allows the aggregation of donor information and is completely digitized throughout the process.
Distribution of Content, Online vs Offline
Only 50 years ago, charity fundraising required an entirely different method of operation. The availability in creating awareness and attracting donors was limited to offline activities. Printed offline activities included newspaper ads, bulletin boards signs, mailing letters, etc. Some organizations were even able to afford commercials on the radio or television. Producing printed materials required physically printing every sign and letter. This would be followed by sending them out by mail or delivery to the bulletin board location. All of these logistics requirements were time and cost consuming. Today, with websites, emails, and social media, production is almost immediate. Costs for delivery and placements of digital content are substantially lower than the printed alternatives used in the past.
Availability of Logistics, Operations, and Communications
As with every project done in the digital age, time and efficiency are on a new level. The option of sending and receiving information globally is instantaneous. This is true even when it comes to organizations of thousands. People can send emails instantaneously to everyone and anyone in the organization. When it comes to small local organizations, this may not make as big of a difference when there are only a few people located in proximity to each other. With large and global organizations there is a big difference. This is especially true when it comes to organizations with cross-continent transportation of merchandise and food.
Online Collection of Funds
In the past, most mailed letters would come with bank account information in the envelope. This would be for potential donors to send money to the organization in the form of checks or cash. Today, the option of sending an envelope with money to the organization still exists. However, very few people still donate in this way. Envelopes would take days and sometimes weeks to arrive. The organization or the bank would then need to deposit the money into the organization’s account. This means that in the best case scenario funds were available within weeks. In most cases, it would take months. When a donation is made online the money becomes available within a few days at most.
Charity Fundraising websites
Ever since GoFundMe was founded in 2010, online charity fundraising has taken off all over the world. People used to be limited in their audience reach. Usually, they were only able to reach family, friends and their local communities. Today, there are dozens of online platforms for people to set up pages and campaigns for fundraising. We’ve collected information about three that stand out and are diverse in their purpose and experience.
GoFundMe – Definitely the most popular and successful charity fundraising platform. In many ways, it has become the”Google” of fundraising. Just as “Google it” has become a phrase for searching information online, so has GoFundMe become the go-to fundraising website. GoFundMe has 18 different categories for people to define their campaigns under. You can find campaigns for just about anything, even honeymoons, and starting businesses. However, a third of the campaigns are launched as Medical campaigns.
Just Giving – There are 8 categories to choose from in Just Giving. Most of the causes here are for charity. However, you can also campaign for celebrating a birthday or for completing exams. Other campaign types include Education, LGBT and women rights, faith, social welfare and more. Even though Just Giving seems like it offers minimal categories to raise funding for, it is actually quite diverse and extensive.
DonorsChoose.org – “Support a classroom. Build a future.” is Donors Choose’s slogan. Donations here are for educational purposes. This website is very different than any of the other platforms. With this intention, campaigns are in the U.S only and are tax-deductible. Furthermore, you can filter your search by the amount the campaign is raising. Causes vary from school dance groups to musical instruments and much more.
Charity Fundraising for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Many people who are blind or visually impaired are charity fundraising to purchase OrCam MyEye 2 devices. This is the most advanced wearable assistive device for the blind and visually impaired, that reads text, recognizes faces, identifies products and more. Nearly one hundred people have launched campaigns in order to raise enough money to purchase this life-changing device.
Click here to find GoFundMe campaigns that can help improve the quality of life and enable independence for the blind and visually impaired.