9 free and easy ways to fundraise online

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TFN has found nine free ways your charity can increase the amount of public donations it receives overnight without a chugger in sight. Try one or try them all - just don't sit and do nothing.

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28th September 2015 by Paul Cardwell 2 Comments

1. Text donations

1. Text donations

Text messaging is an easy way to get people to donate to your charity. Register with a text-giving platform such as JustTextGiving to get a unique code for your charity. Highlight this along with the phone number of your chosen platform and people can text it in to automatically donate with the money coming off their phonebill. Cancer Research UK (£8 million) and MND Scotland (£450,000) both made use of text giving during last year’s #NoMakeUpSelfie and Ice Bucket Challenge crazes.

2. Put a Donate button on your own website

2. Put a Donate button on your own website

If you already have a way for supporters to donate money on your website move on to number three or this may come across like trying to teach granny to suck eggs but amazingly some charities haven’t quite cottoned on to the idea yet. Using a service such as PayPal all you have to do is copy and paste a few lines of code onto your site and they instantly add a Donate button which allows people to click and send you money!

3. Social giving platforms

3. Social giving platforms

Set fire to your sponsorship forms nobody uses paper these days! Online social giving platforms such as JustGiving (has raised $3.3 billion since 2001), Virgin Money Giving (has 1,600 charities on its books) or MyDonate (funded by 1% of BT’s profits) are the modern day equivalent. Simply sign up to one and the next time someone is running a marathon for you tell them to link up to your chosen site and the money they raise will be sent directly to you. No more waiting six weeks for £1 here and £2 there drip-feeding its way in. Read the terms and conditions first though – some platforms charge a commission and some don’t.

4. Get money every time your supporters shop online

4. Get money every time your supporters shop online

Sign up to a shopping portal website such as Give as you Live or easyfundraising.org.uk and ask your supporters to shop online via that website and you will be given a percentage of what they spend. The way it works is companies such as Argos, John Lewis and eBay are grateful for you referring customers to them and pay you back a small percentage of what they spend. Bigger charities such as the RNLI and Macmillan Cancer Support even have links on their own websites for people buying from Amazon – cutting out the middleman – and get 5% of any orders made by supporters who log in to the site via their own.

5. Contactless payment

5. Contactless payment

Chip and Pin will soon belong in the past with paper sponsorship forms. Contactless payment where people just have to tap their bank or credit card on a payment reader to make a payment will soon be everywhere. Follow the lead of early adopters Cancer Research UK and use the technology to raise money. People walking past some of its shops (so far only in England) are now able to make a £2 donation to the charity simply by placing their card on the glass in front of payment reader. The technology doesn’t just have to be used on a shop window though – it could be used on an advertising board or even on top of a collection tin at the village fete!

6. QR codes

6. QR codes

Similar to the contactless payment idea only instead of getting people to tap their bank or credit card to donate you ask them to scan a pattern (like the one above made via qr-code-generator.com) using their mobile phone. This can then take them directly to a fundraising page and allows the person to donate as much as they like. Alternatively charities can sign up to platforms such as Barclays Pingit which automate the process for you making it even easier.

7. Twitter #Donate

7. Twitter #Donate

Twitter isn’t just good for keeping up with the Kardashians, it can also help you raise money. A new service called #Donate allows charities to accept donations from Twitter users. Charities sign up via Good Agency and create their own hashtag, then when supporters tweet using that hashtag and add a donation amount that figure (donors have to provide their Paypal details the first time they use it) is given to the charity. You just need to promote your hashtag.

8. Facebook Donate now

8. Facebook Donate now

After what seems like an eternity of asking Facebook has finally added a Donate now button. Initially trialled by a select few in the USA Facebook announced last month it was being rolled out in the UK for non profits - all be it slowly. Charities who are eligible to sign up to the service can get a Donate button placed on their cover photo or adverts allowing fans of the page to donate via their credit or debit card with 100% of the donation being passed on to the charity.

9. Crowdfunding

9. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a way for charities to quickly raise money for a particular campaign or project. By signing up to a crowdfunding platform such as Crowdfunder, IndieGoGo or KickStarter you get a webpage to tell your supporters (and people who have never heard of you) what your latest campaign is, how much money you need and why. Those interested can then pledge their cash to the project and you can withdraw once it once it reaches its target. To entice people to donate most organisations offer donors an incentive such as thank you tweet or an invite to an open day etc. Ideal for smaller charities with little web presence – you still have to promote the campaign yourself though. Remember: like social giving platforms some crowdfunding companies charge a commission.

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