Fundraising 101 is a fact of life for nonprofit youth football organizations. Like it or not, it needs to be done. Online fundraising is one of the fastest growing methods for fundraising, and not surprisingly so. Almost everyone is on the world wide web; so naturally fundraising on the net is fast, convenient and easily accessible. For these reasons online fundraising is both logical and effective.
Simply adding a “Donate Now” button to your league website is a great way to start. Keep in mind that people who make donations online are looking for a simple, straight-forward and easy to understand way to donate. Make sure your button fits the bill. If the process is confusing or difficult, donors will be turned off and will be less likely to finish the process.
Also, if adding a “Donate Now” button, your organization needs to be able to accept credit card donations. You can do this by becoming a merchant at a bank, or by using a third-party credit card processor. There is a fee charged for this service, and the amount will vary depending upon the institution. Banks fees tend to be higher than a third-party processor. However, with a bank your organization’s name will appear on the donor’s statement, whereas if you use a third-party processor, it is their name that appears on the donor’s statement, which can be confusing to your donor. Also, sometimes there will be a delay in receiving the funds with a third-party processor. PayPal is a secure method for receiving funds which can also be used for fundraising. Consider these options carefully.
Set up a “Monthly Donation” plan. Doesn’t that sound perfect? Lots of little donations add up, just like the larger donations. Maybe you can offer incentives or have a give-away for your monthly donors.
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There are a number of reputable websites which will help you organize, advertise and facilitate your online fundraising campaign. There are a host of different services and a wide range of fees. There are a lot of great online fundraising resources available on the internet, just keep in mind that they are looking make money for themselves too. So make sure to do your due diligence before signing on the dotted line.
You might not realize that in forty states, a nonprofit is required to register in order to solicit funds, and not limited to online fundraising. These requirements are not new, but recently they are being more widely enforced. To assure that your organization is compliant, contact your State’s Attorney’s Office or the Office of the Secretary of State for your state in order to find out how to be compliant.
Publicity is fundamental to a successful fundraiser. Get your word out there via social media and word of mouth. Make sure that all your football mailings mention your quick and easy online donations. Explain to your organizations goals and how you plan to use the money. People will be more willing to help youth football organizations that they feel good about, than one they don’t know much about. Lastly, make sure your message is positive and upbeat!