Online Fund Raising Tips

Steve presenting at Foster City Library

The talk at Foster City Library on Saturday went well.  There were a couple of questions from the audience that I didn’t have detailed answers for, so I figured I’d look them up, and provide them here.

    1. How do you set up a “Text to Give” number?

Fund raising responses for natural disasters like Red Cross’s campaign for the Haiti earthquake were very effective.  Text “GIVE” to this number to make a $10 contribution for the cause.  Millions of dollars were raised.  How can our non-profit get in on that?

A:  The pros are that these programs can be set up quickly, are convenient for donors, and you don’t have to be a major non-profit in order to set this up.  There are several web articles on how to do it.  See for example:

The downside of these programs is they are pretty expensive (setup fee up to $500, monthly fees in the $100 range, plus 4-7% of amounts donated).  Plus, you don’t get the donor information unless the giver specifically responds to your receipt text.
    1. How do you set up an Amazon associate link?

A non-profit can get a percentage of their supporters’ Amazon purchases if the buyers navigate to Amazon through their organization’s associate link. The percentage is rather generous (4% and rising as you sell more items). Plus, it’s not that hard. I set one up for myself in about 15 minutes, and then surfers that access Amazon through my tagged links will yield a commission (some disclaimers apply–you can’t get commissions on things you buy for yourself, or things that will be re-sold, and the like.)

Amazon does have a decent set of tools and reporting features for the program.

Start to sign up for Amazon’s Associate program.

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