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New Web Portals Turn Birthdays, Anniversaries or Holidays into Fundraising Events

Resource Center - Foundation

(Oct. 25, 2011) It’s better to give than to receive, as the old adage goes. But what if you can turn the gifts others wish to give into donations for the causes you love? New online tools are making this form of peer-to-peer fundraising easier and more secure.

At first glance it may not sound revolutionary—giving to a cause in honor of a person. However online giving and peer-to-peer online tools are making it possible for people to harness their social networks and create a special fundraising event based on their own personal anniversaries and occasions.

In short, it is a way to say ‘I have enough stuff. The gift that would make me the happiest is to know that my favorite cause can advance as a result of my special occasion.’

Facebook-tied Causes.com lets people give and promote a charity online.  Charitybirthday.com is another Facebook site that allows donors to make a gift to a nonprofit, also through using Facebook. Inlieuofgifts.com and justgive.org also offer the opportunity to give for either a birthday-specific event or to give associated with a live event.

Another website, called ShiftMyGift.com, offers a way to celebrate any special occasion with charitable giving. If a donor or supporter wants to celebrate their special occasion and have gifts go instead to a charity, they can create a page on Shift My Gift, with a small processing fee included. It’s a cross between a gift registry and an email party invitation.

All U.S.-registered 501c3’s are already searchable on Shift My Gift. It is not necessary for a charity to create a specific campaign in order to receive donations. All charities listed by Guidestar can be found on the site through a built-in search function.

The website lets individuals direct funds to the charity or charities of the host’s choosing, and  then share with invitees information about who has given and how much.  Guests can post messages on the event page offering congratulations.

In the era of social networking, there are many new online tools that supporters can use to spread the word about your organization and creatively turn well wishes and gifts into donations for worthy charitable causes.

Editor’s Note: AFP does not officially endorse these products. They are only a few of many online services related to fundraising that may be of interest to its members.



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