In 2014, Marie Napoli raised more than $50,000 for The Bone Marrow Foundation through crowdrise.com. Donations came in from around the country and the world to support Napoli in her participation in the New York City Marathon.
It might not have been possible to raise that amount of money without the internet as a medium to spread the word about one’s plans and communicate with prospective donors across the globe. Since its integration into our lives in the 1980s and 1990s, the internet has changed nearly everything we do: how we talk to our friends, how we find information, how we pay our bills, and how we stay on top of what’s happening in the world. It has also changed the way we give to charitable organizations. Multiple websites exist where individuals can create accounts for collecting donations for their chosen charities. Some of these websites include:
These websites make it easy to set up a fund for your chosen charity and promote it to your network. Additionally, they make it simple for donors to support your charity and others.
As of 2013, nearly half of Americans report that they find out about charitable causes through social media and other online channels.
A big part of why internet fund raising campaigns are so successful is that they allow potential donors to maintain a sense of control over how much they give and whether they give at all. Receiving a solicitation to donate in person or over the phone can be intimidating and lead to snap decisions, which then can lead to regret or anxiety over whether the donation amount was sufficient or really fit into the donor’s budget. Online, a donor can choose to give right away, take the time to think about giving before actually doing so, or navigate away from the page. There’s no pressure to give online.
Using Social Media and the Internet to Give
As companies from all sectors have noted over the past decade, social media is a powerful force. Social media is a platform to tell stories and share successes. It can be used to reach individuals and groups around the world to spread awareness of issues and groups in need of their donations. Social media provides a safe space to discuss the organizations and causes that need support and share ideas about how to get involved and give back.
Marie Napoli’s success story is far from unique. Every day, thousands of dollars are raised on websites like crowdrise.com for causes ranging from sponsoring volunteers to provide medical care in developing nations to helping families facing cancer with their daily living expenses. If you want to get involved with a charitable organization by raising money, consider using the internet as a channel to seek donations. Fund raising through websites like crowdrise.com and gofundme.com is fast, easy, and accessible to millions of potential donors.