I hope that you have enjoyed my discussions with Sarah Hoddinott, from Advanced Solutions International, and Shane Davis, from Artez Interactive, about online fundraising. I have one more thought I wanted to talk with you about. We have all heard countless stories of online fundraising success. For example a small charity supporting Africa that raises tens of thousands of dollars as a result of their online fundraising (Gulu Walk) or the celebrity that wants to make a difference and has a good idea resulting in millions of dollars (Nothing But Nets). What about your organization? Can it succeed through the use of online fundraising?
I know I don’t have celebrity support and what appeals to the community I live in doesn’t necessarily have national appeal. Does it? I can understand why someone outside of Africa might want to help fight malaria in another country or help the abandoned children in Uganda but is there national appeal to what I’m doing in Seattle or what you’re doing in Boston or Chicago? Shane had a great response:
Online fundraising is not about the location, it is about the relationship. The relationship or connection you have with that person who is involved in the campaign. Whether it be family or friend, a celebrity with a message you believe in, or someone you feel attached to due to their commitment to a cause you feel strongly about. Frequently, like with Kiva, we see people give to people they have never met, simply because they believe in them.
I realized that one of the most amazing things about online fundraising is that no longer do we have to be constricted by geography. When a donor is passionate enough about what your nonprofit is doing to ask their friends they don’t have to be located only a few miles away. If your friends live in Colorado see if they want to get involved, if they live in Israel ask them. In this new world of online fundraising we are able to “go global” in our appeal to address our local needs.