New to Fundraising? Bookmark These 6 Online Resources
So you’ve decided to go into fundraising. Congratulations! While you undoubtedly have a giving heart and a passion for making the world a better place, those traits will only get you so far in the nonprofit world. You’ll soon discover that there’s a lot of hard work involved in securing the donations and gifts necessary to facilitate real change.
Thankfully, there are some online resources that can guide you through the
fundamentals of fundraising, whether you’re targeting the everyday consumer or the Steve Wynn types of the world. Here are a half dozen of the best.
1. Network for Good.
Even though it calls itself “a fundraising guide for the overworked nonprofit,” this site does an excellent job of providing first-time fundraisers with the nuts and bolts of the industry. With everything from articles to eBooks to webinars, Network for Good is a wealth of information about topics such as using email, social media, planned events, or websites to bolster your fundraising efforts. There’s even assistance with nonprofit marketing.
At first glance, it’s obvious that the AFP has a large number of resources to aid you in getting your feet wet in the world of fundraising. But one of the more unique aspects of this toolkit is the emphasis on setting your organization’s ethical principles, standards, and relationships with donors. After all, successful fundraising entities aren’t just skilled at revenue generation; they have a clear focus and message that underpins every action they take.
Once you learn the basics, you’ll need to keep up with current trends and emerging challenges associated with fundraising. The AFP Information Exchange is a clearinghouse of articles and papers about topics that are directly relevant to today’s fundraising groups — and new content is added on a weekly basis. These pieces are designed to provide solutions to real-world problems based on the experience of fundraisers who have dealt with these issues.
This site will appeal to the computer-savvy individual who is seeking a turnkey approach to the various categories of fundraising. DoJiggy is a provider of software that comprehensively manages different aspects such as charity golf tournaments, pledge events and “walk-a-thons,” and online charity auctions. In addition, the site offers donor management and event management software, which assist fundraising organizations in their day-to-day operations. DoJiggy has service packages that support their software as well.
So much of modern charity work is handled online nowadays that “cyberfundraising” is a complex topic in itself. Sage draws on its vast expertise in this area to walk you through each aspect of online fundraising and teach you the best practices of each one — such as accepting donations, launching giving initiatives, and simplifying the process for givers. Sage also boasts an impressive cache of information on modern online fundraising trends as well as success stories of other charities and nonprofits.
Of course, different charity causes often have to approach fundraising differently — which is where Blackbaud comes in. The site breaks down its information by nonprofit category, such as education, animal welfare, faith-based groups, arts and culture, health care, and public broadcasting. There’s also a great deal of content about fundraising metrics and data management, so you can better identify the strengths and weaknesses of your group’s practices and initiatives and make the appropriate adjustments to improve your entity’s bottom line.
No matter what niche of fundraising you are in, chances are there’s been some person or group that has come before you and has had to address the issues and challenges you currently face. If you use these resources to draw upon their experience and expertise, you’ll be able to conduct all of your fundraising-related duties more efficiently and effectively.
Written by Chris Martin
Chris Martin is a freelance writer who has penned articles on topics ranging from entrepreneurship to charitable giving to corporate management.