Whether you’re running a non-profit organization or volunteering for one, you know how important it is to raise funds for your group. While you can certainly go the traditional route with bake sales and car washes, there are newer, more innovative ways to raise the money that your non-profit needs. Here are five great ways that you can start putting into practice today:

Beth Kanter
by Beth Kanter via Flickr

1. Media Platforms

According to Forbes, one of the best ways for non-profits to raise money in today’s market is to utilize a variety of media platforms. People are more apt to donate their hard-earned money if they know where that money is going. Make videos of your campaigns and post them to social media sites like Facebook and YouTube. Utilize your Twitter account to keep followers abreast of both your activities and your expenditures. If you keep your campaigns simple and easy to understand, you’ll find that people are quick to give, particularly when your cause is one that people can feel good about supporting.

2. Social Networking

If no one knows about your non-profit organization, you can’t expect to raise funds. One of the best ways to spread the word in today’s modern society is via your social networking account. Create a Facebook page and keep people up-to-date on your organization’s activities. Be sure to keep your page entertaining and informative in order to keep people’s interest. A Facebook page will allow your group to post photos from events, share news that pertains to your cause, recruit volunteers and garner donations from followers who want to support your cause. If you choose to utilize Facebook as a way to spread the word about your organization, be sure to check out the Causes app, introduced by Facebook creators in 2007.

3. Sell Goods

Successful non-profit heads know that a website is a fantastic way to spread the message. A website will also give you a space for selling items to raise money for your group. Before you decide to sell anything online, you should check out online review sites for the best point of sale software vendors. Setting up an online shop isn’t a difficult thing to do, but finding a POS software vendor that can provide what you need is essential. You’ll also want to research how you can lower your processing fees in order to keep more money in the pocket of your charity. Once you decide to set up shop, you’ll want to sell items that will enable you to maximize your profits and minimize your costs.

4. Social Fundraising

Whether or not you choose to operate your own website or create a Facebook page, there are social fundraising sites that you should be taking advantage of. Websites like Sparked, Razoo and JustGive allow non-profits to seek donations in a passive way. For example, joining JustGive allows non-profits to add a “Donate Now” button on their website or social networking site. Websites like Jumo allow non-profits to register, create a page and accept donations through an online form for a small fee per transaction. Add the names of the sites you join to your business cards, brochures and flyers and sit back; you may be surprised at how well these sites work for you with very minimal effort on your part.

5. Public Events

Public events are a tried-and-true way of raising money for your non-profit organization. Many localities have fairs and festivals at which you can rent a table or booth. Use these opportunities as a means of recruiting volunteers, spreading your message and securing donations. Have information to hand out at the ready, set up a laptop or two with Power Point presentations or videos running, and hand out information about any upcoming events that your group will be participating in or hosting. Having a credit card processing app on your mobile device, like those from Square or PayPal, will make taking donations easy and user-friendly.

There are hundreds of ways for your non-profit to raise funds. If your group uses technology wisely, you’ll see a significant increase in the amount of donations that you receive. Using the five tips above will not only help your group raise money, but will help your group raise more money than it ever has before. By selling goods online, utilizing Facebook and other social media, and taking donations right from your mobile device, your group will soon have access to the funds that it needs to meet its goals.

Ara Muffins is an avid blogger who writes commentaries about Merchant Maverick’s ratings, reviews and comparisons.

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