4 Rules for Online Product-Based Fundraising

  • by Shala Graham
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A lot of nonprofit organizations like to sell things like candy, DVDs, and other specialty products as a way to raise money for their causes and programs. That can be a great idea, especially if you have access to some sort of product that other retails aren't offering, since it has the double benefit of being exclusive and making people feel good about their purchase.

To make the most of these opportunities, though, you should borrow a page from the online retailers’ bag of tricks. Here are four ways to leverage your nonprofit website and get more from your online product-based fundraising campaign:

1. You must accept online orders. 

Although you do still occasionally see nonprofits asking people to fax in order sheets, or mail checks, your online fundraising campaign will be a lot more successful if you can take orders directly through your website and/or social media pages.

2. Great product descriptions are a necessity. 

Few people want to "just buy something," even if it's for charity. Follow the examples set by great marketers and write fantastic product descriptions that stress the benefits of what you're offering. It's work, but it's also a great way to raise more money.

3. Show your progress on your website. 

Whatever the end, bottom-line goal is for your online fundraising campaign, spell it out on your website and show visitors the progress you're making. When they can see that you are reaching an important goal one sale at a time, they feel more compelled to pitch in and help.

4. Get social about it. 

There are lots of options for taking donations, and making product sales, directly from your Facebook fan page. Look into those, as well as promoting your fundraising activities through social profiles directly. The more you can do to spread the word, the bigger effect you're going to have.