Internet Fund-Raising Resources

As the Internet grows as a resource and become more intertwined with all of our operations, there are more specific tools tailored for non-profit organizations and development offices. Following are some resources that you may wish to investigate. I have found these sites to be useful and have benefited from their guidance to update my web site and e-mail. I don’t yet have hands-on experience with all of the ASP systems mentioned. I would welcome any feedback from you at Charlie Hunsaker as you learn more – good or bad – about these sites.

 

Fund-Raising Information and other Helps:

bullet NetworkForGood.Org  This site has many resources for non-profits. Of particular interest, I think, is their Resources for Non-Profits, both general and technology. Also see in the section below how folks can make donations to you now via this site. (This site is sponsored by the AOL Foundation and was formerly at Helping.Org; a very useful site.)
bullet Nonprofitmatrix.com This is an online directory and guide to selecting and integrating “dot-coms” (commercial service providers of components such as donation processing, giving portals, affinty shopping and more) into a nonprofit organization’s web and internet strategies. This site notes “new arrivals” and “tombstones” (R.I.P. – defunct dot coms). It is a good starting point for finding vendors.
 
bullet Fund-online.com  Adam Corson-Finnerty and Laura Blanchard at the Penn Library in Philadelphia have set up this site with many on-line links. They are also promoting their book “Fundraising and Friend-Raising on the Web.” Buried within their site is a group of what they call “cool links” at http://www.fund-online.com/alabook/links/cool.htm These are links to a lot of good example web sites.
bullet eGrants.org has prepared an Online Fundraising Handbook which provides some useful insights into using the Web and E-mail “to raise more money.”
bullet Convio.com, one of the ASP vendors on my Vendors page, has developed a guide called eMarketing for Nonprofits: A Practical Guide to Using Email to build Relationships Online.

Contribution Resources:

bullet Donate Free through the Network for Good Anyone can currently donate to your organization through this free service. They look you up via a search “powered” by Guidestar.Org (which has all organizations which have submitted a Form 990). They can make a contribution via credit card. They can do this NOW. You can receive money NOW. It’s not real flexible, but whether you know it or not, you can already receive on-line donations! Network for Good also has links to other gift processing sites – some free and some with fees.
bullet Contribute.Com – Their Claims: “Contribute.com works quietly and invisibly behind the scenes to enable your donors to make contributions from your web site. We custom build an online payment form to match the look and feel of your existing web site. It looks just like you had created it yourself.”
bullet GivingCapital.Com – Their Claims: “GivingCapital provides a simple and secure way to donate online. We help nonprofit organizations harness the collaborative power of the Internet to acquire new donors and increase contributions. With our patent-pending technology, donors click a banner on your Web site to make their gift.
From straight donations to creating a matching or challenge campaign, GivingCapital provides an array of tools to create and monitor your campaign. Use GivingCapital to lower your online fundraising costs and reach new donors with this innovative Internet technology.”

Application Service Providers

Rather than buying a software package, vendors are now allowing you to access their software via the Net. This concept of Application Service Provider or ASP is fairly new, but growing. (Do you have your calendar or contact list on the web? You can. Or you can have your fund-raising package on the web.)

bullet eTapestry  eTapestry is really the first vendor to offer their software via the ASP route. This product is from the folks that offered FundMaster and FundMaster Lite. They even offer their product free for very small nonprofits. Their Claim: “In its simplest form, eTapestry is software for fundraising that you run over the Internet. But don’t confuse it with some traditional systems that may give you limited access to your software through a browser. eTapestry is totally new and has been built from the ground up to run on the Internet.”  Their product is also available to run in stand-alone form on an organizations intranet.
bullet PG-Calc GiftCalcs  PG-Calc allows individual calculations to be done via the web (for a small fee per calculation.) If you own their software, you can also put their GiftCalcs module at your organization’s own web site to do remote (or local) calculations.
bullet Visit my Vendors Page for much more information. DonorPerfect Online and others are offering ASP offerings to complement their database systems.

Other Technical Resources

bullet Network for Good Technology Resources Again this site provides excellent resources for finding info on technology planning, funding, setting up a site, hardware and software issues, etc.
bullet TechSoup.Com calls itself the “technology place for nonprofits.” Many articles, ideas, and references here.
bullet TechRocks: Their Claim: “TechRocks accelerates social and political progress by building technological capacity for community collaboration and citizen engagement. TechRocks encourages and enables foundations, advocacy groups, and leading activists to use technology to achieve their mission goals, to increase participation from interested constituencies, and achieve change more quickly than by traditional organizing and advocacy methods alone.” They are a nonprofit organization themselves that provides consulting and tools. Their key tool is ebase®, a FREE relationship management software package for nonprofits. ebase® can be downloaded from this site.
bullet Wilson Internet Web Marketing presents a Web Marketing Checklist: 29 Ways to Promote your Website. Everyone should read this!
bullet Web Pages That Suck – What a title, but this site helps to “learn good design by looking at bad design.” As a sage once said, “nobody is good for nothing; you can always serve as a bad example.” Enjoy!
bullet Useit.com: Jakob Nielsen’s Website presents the positive side of Web Usability and Design.
bullet Web Job Roles – by Tim Brown of Myxa Corporation. In developing and maintaining your Web Site, there are many roles that need to be played to do this effectively. Tim has done a great job of defining and documenting these roles. Tim and Myxa have built some excellent sites with significant functionality for some major nonprofit organizations.

I am not recommending or endorsing any of the product or service sites. I do note that most listed above have some “staying power” and haven’t hit the R.I.P. lists.  I would welcome any feedback from you at Charlie Hunsaker as you learn more – good or bad – about these sites. I’d also welcome any additions to the list above.

Don’t confuse technology with fundraising. These may be tools and enabling technologies, but everything you knew in the past about cultivation, building relationships, solicitation and stewardship still applies! Regardless of predictions about “the Net makes it all different”, most schools and other nonprofits are raising less than 2% of their dollars on-line. Red Cross, as an exceptional example, raised 5% of their funds in 2001-2002 on-line and 80% of that was in the Liberty Fund.