New interactive technologies are swiftly becoming a key element in the fundraising mix. Innovations generated during the last decade include Internet applications, mobile technologies and interactive television. Charities are now gearing up to use some of them in their fundraising programs. This article provides a summary of the most important new technologies, their features, and their advantages for fundraising. Internet
It’s now been little more than ten years since the Internet, and especially the worldwide web, really became part of our daily lives. Ever since, more and more non-profit organizations have started using this medium; clearly, the Internet is changing philanthropy. By using the Internet, charities can reach a large number of people at relatively low costs and they’re finding more convenient ways to carry out fundraising by means of computers. Two specific features of the Internet – websites and e-mail – have contributed to online fundraising. But these are not the only two ways that charitable causes can apply the Internet. Website
If an organization has its own website, (potential) donors can obtain information about the organization and submit their questions to it. But the key factor to any successful website, besides being up to date, is being interactive. Interaction between the nonprofit organization and (potential) donors is essential for attracting traffic to the site and for bonding with donors. Interaction is encouraged by activities such as: Online donating
Online giving is quickly becoming an essential component in every NPO website. Many charities are now generating funds through their websites by having a “donate” button on their own website. Making a donation online is fairly simple. Either you have the equipment and software to receive secured donations made by use of a credit or debit card, or you should be able to use the facilities of another agency to collect these funds. The goal is to make the transaction as easy as possible for both you and your donors. One thing to remember, however, is the importance of protecting the public’s confidence and trust in the reliability and security of these online transactions. Webshop
More and more charities are adding an online shop to their website. Selling products with the organization’s design and logo can generate extra income and promote the charity’s interests in yet another way. With a relatively minor investment, a webshop could thus be a potential source of funds year round. On the other hand, enticing people to visit your site and come back to shop there can be a challenge. Nevertheless, if your employees, volunteers and donors are passionate about your cause, they’ll make the extra effort to keep dropping in – especially when reminded either online or offline every now and then. Blogging
The term “blog” is a contraction of “web log”. A blog is a website where entries are made in the style of a journal and are displayed in reverse chronological order. Blogs often provide commentary on or news about a particular subject. These could include philanthropic projects or special events; other blogs function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other webpages and other media related to its own topic. It takes time for a blog to become widely known and it takes time to manage the content. When managed well, however, it will definitely generate traffic to your website. It’s also very easy to make a blog interactive by giving visitors an opportunity to respond to the posted entries. E-mail
In the new media environment, e-mail is an important element. Overall, 95 percent of Internet users make use of the Internet for the purpose of sending e-mails. Many nonprofit organizations are moving toward actively using e-mail campaigns as part of their fundraising programs. Besides its low cost, e-mail is also an efficient and effective way of communicating with donors. There are...