Getting Started

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The web’s capacity for real-time donation tracking and viral marketing make it a great tool for fundraising. Using the web, your supporters can create personal appeals to raise money for your organization. You might hear this concept referred to as “citizen philanthropy” or “viral fundraising.” This tutorial will review four online fundraising tools and will provide an overview of features, and list pros and cons, for each tool. Two additional sites—GlobalGiving and Blackbaud—are included in the comparison spreadsheets, but are not reviewed in depth in this tutorial.

The accessibility of the web empowers your volunteers or other stakeholders to start fundraising campaigns on your behalf.

Web tools allow volunteers and other stakeholders to start fundraising campaigns for your organization. This can help you reach people with whom you may not otherwise have had contact. The web allows your supporters to customize and personalize their own messaging. Web tools allow for easy reporting and information gathering on your donors. You can easily track who gave money, how much, and when they donated. The web is also great for bringing attention to mini fundraising campaigns based around a specific project or event.

This movement (of asking people you already know to raise money) is sometimes known as “citizen philanthropy.” You may also hear it referred to as “viral” or “person-to-person” fundraising. Web tools give fundraisers a voice they never had before. With the rise of interactive tools, social networking, and widely-read blogs, the average person can now publicize his or her interest in a cause—and attract significant attention.

The report card and comparison table evaluate and illustrate the different features of each tool.

This tutorial will review four tools for online fundraising: Causes on Facebook, Network for Good, AlumniFidelity, and FirstGiving. Each tool presented will be “graded” using a report card template. The report card explains the tool’s cost (if there is one), key benefits and drawbacks, level of security, and time required for both initial setup and ongoing maintenance. It also rates how difficult the tool is to administer and the skill level required for a user.

The comparison table outlines basic features and customization options and compares the four tools reviewed. You can download these documents and add to or adapt them for your own organization. Please click the icon to learn more about the report card and comparison table.

Click to open interactivity The report card and comparison table will help you identify the right tool.

The report card and comparison table will help you identify the right tool.

Download the Report Card Comparison

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