This week the Where Most Needed Blog pointed us to a survey that showed blog fans are twice as likely to give online. With that in mind, I decided to take a look at some of some interesting fundraising tools, ideas, and approaches for small grassroots organizations that came across my reader or inbox in the past month or so.
Nancy White recently blogged about a tool called ChipIn which is designed to simplify the process of connecting with people in your social network to collect money for a personal cause, to purchase a gift, or for community fundraising. It was developed by Carnet Williams, a serial nonprofit social entrepreneur/techie, who I tracked down for an interview many months ago.
Another new tool is PledgeBank. The concept is: Tell the world “I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help me do it." So basically you pledge to do something if x number of people pledge to help you. The pledges range from changing a city to changing the world. The CyberYenta, Deborah Finn, recently had a successful pledge as follows: "I will smile and say "hello" to strangers I pass on the streets in my neighborhood but only if 50 residents of Boston, Massachusetts, USA will too."
But even more impressive was Lucy Hooberman's pledge: "I will mentor a minimum of two people in the developing world in the area of my skills base and expertise (media, communications, broadcasting , democratic media building, participatory media, community video). I will do this for free for a minimum of six months (in my free time). The mentoring will be in person or via email/skype and the mentoring connections will be established by a website and database that I am willing to take responsibility for creating but only if 250 other people will mentor a minimum of two people in their skills." Amazingly 350 people signed up and this lead to the Mentoring Worldwide project.
P2Paid connects people in situations of extremeneed with people who can and wish to contribute to human suffering. These are requests for items such as diapers, baby formula, medical supplies, or other necessities from individuals in the developing world. The site connects with individuals who want to help out.
Donors Choose (which came my way via Blogher Lisa Stone's sister!) is a simple way to provide students in need with resources that our public schools often lack. For example, here is a request from a second grade teacher in the Bronx who needs a digital camera.
The Omidyar Network has launched team-based collaborative funding projects. Each team has put forth a proposal and they need to get 30 members to vote for the proposal within a month. (Disclosure: I'm on the board of the Sharing Foundation and our NGO was nominated. So, if you're Omidyar Network member, check it out.)
In a recent interview with Cityzen Jane, she described an experiment where she was trying to convince her executive director that social networking can boost fundraising. She is using a system called dropcash to raise $300 in 30 day to demonstrate the value of these tools to her organization's cause.
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