Building Relationships While Building Funds

By Christy Gilbertson, Continue to Give


G.T. Smith said, “Donors don’t give to institutions. They invest in ideas and people in whom they believe.” When it comes to online giving, these words are important. Often with typical fundraisers, organizations have the opportunity to make personal connections with those donating to their cause. Even if it is just for a brief moment, an interaction between two different people occurs creating a sense of community. However, without the face to face contact it becomes harder to build relationships which are vital to raising support. Typically, people want to feel acquainted with organizations that they contribute to. They want to feel like they are a part of something important. But with larger establishments crossing state lines or even country borders, a typical car wash will not be efficient in raising the needed funds. Therefore, what’s an assembly to do? The answer, simply, is online giving. In the words to follow an explanation of what online giving is will be expressed, a sample of fundraising websites will be given, and will then end with a description on how to make strangers feel connected to the organization they are donating to.


What Makes People Not Donate to My Cause?


In the busy world we live in today, it is understandable that people simply forget to give to organizations or they forget to carry the necessary cash to purchase something at a traditional fundraiser or even for church tithing! Sometimes it is not because of a lack of interest but rather a lack of remembrance, time, or absentmindedness. It is not because people do not want to donate but more likely is due to the annoyance of remembering cash when the rest of the world, it seems, is paperless. A majority of the general public uses credit cards, debit cards, or checks when paying for everyday things like groceries or cleaning products. In addition to that, it is becoming more and more common to buy things such as clothes, presents, and even furniture online. A benefit to buying off of the internet is that you can do it when you have the time whether that is 9PM or 4AM. It creates a sense of freedom to do what you need to do whenever you have the opportunity to do so. People like buying things from their computers and other handheld devices because of the convenience they provide. Not only does it save time, it saves the hassle of carrying or mailing cash. It only makes sense then to follow the tread when it comes to fundraising. Online giving is simply that; the option of donating money to a group or person online. It is easy and affordable for groups or individuals to use. And it works. Here’s how you or your organization can raise funds online.


Examples of Online Giving


Continue to Give (CTG)” is an example of a crowdfunding website that works with groups and individuals to help make raising money a bit easier. Like most softwares, they provide all of their resources online so that they can be accessed at any time. This is how to build for online giving and crowdfunding. A church, for example, can register their community completely through their computer. Then an online fundraising should always create a fundraising page with an explanation of what your mission is. It is also important to be setting fundraising goals and posting pictures or videos to keep those donating informed and up-to-date. Interested contributors can easily access your fundraiser by clicking on the links attached to your organization’s website, by clicking on badges found on your Facebook page, or by scanning QR-Codes posted in designated places chosen by you with their smartphones. These options create a tranquil and easy way for people to donate. For those who would like to easily contribute weekly or monthly, there is an option to give consistently. When “re-occurring” is chosen, the amount someone sets for their contribution is taken from their bank account or credit card on the dates they have selected. These are just a few of the ways online giving can be utilized for raising funds.


However, there is still one unanswered question:


“How does one use a site like Continue to Give effectively enough to raise money especially when trying to reach complete strangers?” This is when words of empathy come into the picture.

It is a common held belief that people just want to be understood and to feel important. They want to feel connected and contribute to the greatest of human causes. Because of these reasons, it is imperative that when you create a page for your fundraising you use the proper words. Words are powerful and can make or break your attempts at raising donations. Therefore, phrases such as “without you, we cannot achieve …, your gift will change lives, there is hope because of your contribution,” and “you have the power to change…” help to make the donor feel important and wanted. Likewise, lines like “have you ever felt… or we believe you’ll understand…” benefit your cause by making people feel connected through similar struggles or needs. Simply saying “Please and thank you” also work well when trying to create common ground. People are more attracted to words related to their identities and emotions rather than rational words that seem to just surround their wallets. Emotions are always effective when trying to invoke people into contributing to your cause. Humans are emotional by nature so by tapping into emotions through your words, people feel a sense of connection even if they have never met you before. By building these weak (though important) networks with others, you can easily build your wealth through fundraising while building new relationships.