Looking for an easier way to collect registration and jersey fees for your softball team? How about skipping the lame wedding gifts or baby shower registries (that NOBODY ever shops off of) and opting for cash donations? Are those examples too low level for your? Okay, how about raising upwards $170,000 dollars to start up a social networking site to rival Facebook? Whether it be for personal projects, community/charity causes, or raising capital for that startup you’ve finally got out of the conception stage; group fundraising may be for you.
I know what you’re thinking, “I am not about to sell candy just to get married”. Well you don’t have to. Individuals, groups, or startups looking for non-conventional ways to collect, raise, and manage money can look to the web and social networking to get that project funded.
Three sites I singled out as new, fun, and effective ways to raise money are wepay, gofundme, and kickstarter. While all three offer the social networking ability to share information with other members of the group, or the world; they all have their specialties that set them apart and are worth outlining.
Wepay is primarily used for collecting and managing monies from fundraising efforts. If your group has elected a treasurer, then wepay is the service they need to know about. Wepay makes it easy to collect money from individuals and sponsors. You can set up your account to send out emails to remind members that funds are due. You can also reimburse group members or supporters via the service as well. Transparency is built into the service because group administrators can share account activity information with the group’s members.
Once your group has reached its goal and is ready to spend the money, you can pay by check, online transfer or via a wepay Visa or MasterCard debit card linked to the account. Signup, payments, withdraws, etc. out of the account is free, but deposits into the account incur a small free per transaction.
Gofundme is an online service that allows users to create their own fundraising page to share with others. The service allows you to explain why your project needs to be funded. You can also keep others informed with your progress and collect money (via PayPal) once visitors decide to donate. Whatever cause you deem is important enough to raise money for, the sky is the limit with Gofundme. You can upload images, change colors, text font, etc. to personalize your page.
Once your site is set up just the way you like it, you can use the site’s tools to share the site via email contacts, Facebook and Twitter friends, and/or get code to link to your website/blog. So if your social network likes your campaign, they can easily share it with their network, and so on. Gofundme has a “Featured Funds” section where sites picked by Wepay are put on blast, possibly getting more traffic to your page and increasing your donations! The site also offers real time stats and analytics, so you can get instant alerts when you receive a donation, and track the number of supporters versus number of visits to your site, etc. Donations are submitted directly through your page and are sent to a linked PayPal account. The only fee you will incur from using Gofundme is $9 a month to use the site and any PayPal-related fees for collecting money.
Kickstarter takes group fundraising to a whole new level with its innovative site. The long and short of the site is it’s centered around more creative projects like short films, fashion, movies, photography, etc. (but the site professes that their definition of creativity is very broad) and project creators submit their idea, how much they need, and how long they think it will take to raise the cash (90 days max).
The twist is if the goal is if your project reaches or exceeds its goal within the deadline, all of the pledged funds are awarded. If not, the projects pledges are cancelled, simple as that. So the responsibility is on the project creators whether or not they are serious about their project. If they are, they will spread the word to get traffic to their page. Similar to Gofundme, Kickstarter projects have a page within its site and sharing capabilities to get the word out. The site also has “recommended projects” where different projects in different categories are featured. Not really sure how they pick the projects to be featured, but why not play it safe and make your project as creative as possible?
When visitors decide to be supporters, Amazon Payments handles the transaction. You are only charged when the project meets/exceeds funding upon deadline end, and if the project misses the target, the transaction is cancelled with no fees to the supporter. The only fee Kickstarter will attach to the project is 5% of the total raised for the project from the creator.
There are so many other features to all of these sites that I can’t begin to mention; but it’s safe to say that WHATEVER cause you want to raise, collect, and manage money for, one of these sites can handle your needs. So stop bugging me with those cans of stale popcorn outside of the grocery store!Category: web 2.0 | Tags: Capital, causes, donations, Gofundme, group fundraising, Kickstarter, PayPal, pledges, Wepay