Is Online Fundraising Right for My Charity?

11 July 2022

by Brian Isaac

What is online fundraising, how does online fundraising work, and what are the benefits? We’re here to answer all those questions and more. Let’s jump in.

What is online fundraising?

Online fundraising is simply when charities raise money using the internet.

It’s a flexible method of raising money and is simple for the charity, supporters, and donors. There are several ways it can be done, and none of them relies on the need for in-person events, mailing checks, or holding telethons.

For example, charities can join a fundraising website to ask for online donations, or even recruit individuals and teams to get donations on their behalf.

Online fundraising is all about reaching more of your supporters, raising more money, and ultimately changing more lives.

Before we dig deeper into online fundraising, let’s look closer at how it works.

How does online fundraising work?

Here’s how online fundraising works.

Charities join a fundraising platform, where they can create a profile unique to their organisation. From there, charities can raise money for their mission, or launch a campaign to raise money for a specific project.

This means when people visit the page, they can learn all about the charity’s mission, read its story, and see options for how to donate online using a credit or debit card.

Supporters will enter their payment information, choose their donation amount, enter their details, and submit their donation to the charity. Charities then receive their payment, as well as the donor’s information for easy follow-up in the future.

Why is online fundraising important?

It’s more important now than ever that people have the freedom to give to charity regardless of their location.

A primary benefit of online fundraising is that charities can get donations from anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time. Empowering supporters to give from anywhere strengthens the bond between them and the causes they love.

For example, the DEC’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal raised more than $6 million from over 128,000 supporters in a matter of weeks, primarily because they were able to respond so quickly with an online fundraising campaign.

Benefits of online fundraising

There are many reasons your charity should consider using online fundraising, and here are the most beneficial.

Increase your brand awareness

Online fundraising makes it easy to reach more people and attract and retain supporters who may not even be in your area. With online fundraising, people can learn about, get involved in, and donate to your cause from anywhere in the world.

Raise more money

Online fundraising raises unprecedented amounts of money because it’s easier and faster for people to give to charity online rather than worrying about using cash or checks.

Respond quicker than ever

Online fundraising is extremely versatile. Charities can spin up an online fundraising campaign quickly, something proven vital for unplanned circumstances. These might include asking for important donations in times of emergency, like unexpected impacts from COVID-19 or damage from the flooding earlier this year in Queensland and New South Wales.

Become more efficient

Reduce your team’s admin overhead with built-in payment processing and receipting. Online fundraising offers easily-accessible donation reporting and reconciliation, recon Plus, you can use a variety of payment types (like credit card, debit card, PayPal, and more), and automatically issue government-compliant receipts.

Build better relationships with supporters

Online fundraising makes it easy for supporters to share their own stories of why they’re passionate about supporting their chosen cause.

Not only are they proud to share their own story, but it’s proven that they’re also likely to raise more money in the process. Supporters can easily ask for donations or share their fundraising progress online via social media, email, and text, which increases engagement and ultimately raises more money for charity.

Some supporters even go viral because of the creative ways they support the cause they love – check out how Tommy Little raised over $75,000 in June 2022 by swimming a 92km relay in icy cold waters!

When is online fundraising right for my charity?

Here are a few ways to know if online fundraising is a good option for your charity.

  • You want people to be able to easily donate to you when they search the internet
  • You’re looking to attract new supporters and grow your fundraising database
  • Your community of supporters is spread across the country (or even the world)
  • You want the ability to launch a fundraising campaign any time of the year
  • You want your supporters to be able to raise money for you, using their own network of family, friends, and colleagues

Even if you already have a fundraising campaign in the market or have a traditional offline or in-person fundraising event, using online fundraising as an additional revenue source can be an excellent way to expand and amplify it even further.