How to Target Businesses for Donations

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Fundraising can be tricky. While you may be supporting a fantastic and beneficial cause that could change lives, it can be difficult to get people to part from their hard-earned money to help it out. When looking for charitable benefactors, there are definitely right and wrong ways to go about courting donations. If you’re unsure how to even start looking for donators, check out these few tips on targeting specific businesses for donations.

  • Determine which business to target.

If you’re running a nonprofit in your local area, chances are that the businesses within the same area will be the best ones to target. If you need help knowing where to even start, visit your local Chamber of Commerce (and join if you haven’t already) where they’ll be able to provide you with lists of businesses and information surrounding them. From there, narrow down your list. Identify companies with whom you do business, and capitalize upon your already existing relationship. Determine which businesses have a history of donating or have higher ups on the boards of other nonprofits. Businesses who have a history of benevolence will be more likely to lend aid to your cause.

  • Do your research.

Just like in a job interview, finding out as much as you can about the business before you meet with them can make a literal world of difference. Having background knowledge of the business and gathering information on the people with whom you’ll be meeting can help you tailor your speech or presentation to target them individually. Also, it can be helpful to find out if the business has a history of donating to nonprofits and if any board members or executives do charity work or are involved with other organizations. Meeting with people who are already involved in the world of philanthropy and nonprofits can be a huge foot in the door and make it easier for you

  • Go in person.

The best way to get someone to donate their time or money for a cause is by humanizing your cause, and what better way to humanize something than by putting a face to it. By greeting your potential donors face to face, you allow yourself to become a spokesperson for the organization and can represent it in a personal way that an email, gift basket, or pledge drive never could. Putting a face to the cause can help you stand out in the sea of nonprofits and can make your cause more relatable.

Saying Thank You to Donors

PhotoAs a fundraiser, you are only as good as your relationships with your donors. Maintaining a strong relationship requires a great deal of communication and personal attention. This could entail anything from holding donor events to sending personalized emails. However, many fundraisers run into the problem of how to keep fundraising personal when the donor list continues to grow. Keeping donors engaged is key and, as it turns out, videos are a great, engaging way to say thank you for donating.  

Videos have the potential to not only communicate a message, but also get people to feel emotional about your cause. The music, imagery, and theme can make people invested in the same thing in which you are invested, and therefore make them want to be long term donors. Do not be mistaken, however, these videos require a lot of forethought and work. Below are some tips to get you started on making your very own thank you video for donors.

Decide on a Theme

The theme of your video should line up with your cause, and can affect how the video is made. For example, fundraising for more personal causes may require just a phone camera while raising money for a larger cause requires higher tech gear. Once you decide on a theme, you can get to work on forming your video.

Sketch Out your Scenes

It may be tempting to grab a camera, shoot a bunch of film, and go through the footage to decide what fits best where afterwards. However, this will end up being a huge waste of time. Instead, write out a script or a storyboard, detailing what you will say and do in each scene of the video. This will allow you to see if you’re missing any vital information before filming gets started.

Tell Viewers What Happened

Thank you videos cannot just be videos saying thank you. They must detail how the contributions were used and why they were necessary. Donors are more likely to give recurring donations if they are confident their contributions are making a real difference.

For more tips on making a thank you video, check out this article from Razoo.

Focus on Your Donors

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When it comes to fundraising, it is absolutely imperative that you focus on your donors. As much as you want to continue building growth and development with new benefactors, you want to make sure you cultivate a strong foundational relationship with the individuals who have already contributed to your cause. In the grand scheme of things, nonprofit organizations need to view their operations and logistics as a business. Providing that necessary investment with specific donors, especially your high-valued clients, can, in turn, provide a stronger return on investment.

To start, let’s first examine why so many nonprofits overlook this step. When it comes to focusing on donors, many NGOs and organizations look primarily for growth. While focusing on other avenues and aspects will always be the name of the game when it comes to fundraising, you cannot forget about the individuals who helped established your presence in the beginning. By focusing and investing in your previous donors, you can essentially meet your fundraising goals, quarter after quarter by simply reaching out to that already tapped potential. By involving those individuals with the process, the overall return can lead to either new donations or new donors simply from your interaction and relationship with one client.

To do this, you need to first and foremost build a relationship and rapport with them. Any strong nonprofit organization knows that when it comes to landing a donation, it all begins with how you interact with the person on the other side of the table. Make sure you listen to their intrinsic goals. Ask them those overarching questions of what they believe in and what they are looking for. In many cases, your goals and vision align with their needs. By leveraging that knowledge, you can create that much-needed bond that can continue for years on end.

Once that bond is forged, it will be your job to communicate with that donor. This can be done in a variety of ways. Start by reporting back to them. For many of these donors, they want to know that their donations are leading to something great. Provide them that necessary feedback by reporting how their gifts are making that transformational change on an individual or a community. This can be done through a simple newsletter, appeals, social media, your websites, an email, a phone call, or other communication channels. The more consistent you are the better.  

In addition to communicating and updating your donor, try sending gifts and acknowledgments to them. This will always be important. When you make it a habit to send your donors a thank you letter or a gift of gratitude, you are forging that ever-lasting strong relationship. To continue building on that, consistently update them with information. Share various photos and sentiments of thank you cards from other parties. Here, an emotional appeal will play a large role. Not only will it give you a chance to connect with them, but also it will showcase the impact that their gift has done for another life.

Last but not least, stay donor focus. As stated before, it is easy to get lost within the operations of the day when it comes to fundraising. The simple idea of more donors leads to more donations absolutely works. But by hitting that low-hanging fruit of retaining donors on a long-term campaign, you will be able to see a stronger return as a whole when it comes to meeting your financial goals. To do this, continue communicating with those individuals. Everything flows into communication. Being donor focus can spark a wide variety of opportunities, which will be fundamental for your nonprofit’s future.

Providing Constructive Feedback for your Fundraiser

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When it comes to the growth and overall development for any campaign, the success of any fundraiser falls primarily on your ability to internalize the strengths and weaknesses of your fundraising strategy in a strong and holistic manner. By finding various beneficial ways for improvement, you will be able to refine and perfect any mishaps or mistakes that are preventing you from reaching your quarterly and annual fundraising goals.

To start, we have to, of course, understand the concept of constructive feedback. When it comes to constructive feedback, there has always been a negative connotation attached to its name. While difficult as it may be to highlight specific weaknesses within a project or an employee, constructive feedback can provide various positives for growth and development. Think of it like this. In life, settling will always be the biggest hurdle preventing you from success. Settling for anything less than you deserve will only force you to move two steps back than ten steps forward. Similar to this concept, settling on a ‘winning idea’ or ‘the traditional standards’ will only hurt your process for potential development. In order for you to achieve your intrinsic fundraising goals, you need to challenge the overall status quo by reflecting and evaluating what you can do in the future. By assuming that type of ‘do not settle’ mentality, you will be able to take particular negative conversations to positive professional discussions that can essentially improve and mend the skills, capabilities, attitudes, and strategy for your fundraising campaign.

Now, to do this effectively, you have to make sure you start by analyzing your previous campaigns. Go even as far as five years ago to truly gain a holistic understanding of the changes and trends within the data. By having that knowledge, primarily data, in mind, you will be able to uncover specific trends that can help you in the future. Once you have analyzed the campaign to its fullest, begin by cultivating a set of constructive questions that can elude you a more strategic plan.

When it comes to questions, focus on the data. Ask yourself, as well as the rest of the board, what internal and external factors could have led to those positive and negative trends. Analyze specific year-to-year approaches and ask which strategies worked and which ones did not. By thinking critically and asking these overarching questions, you will be able to discover the meaning behind the numbers. For many nonprofits, understand the data beyond the numbers will always lead to something greater. It gives you specific opportunities where you can question the overall facilities and operations of your organization so that group can culminate a strong and impactful attack plan.

Last but not least, you want to make sure you are evaluating the operational side of your organization. This means providing that much needed constructive criticism to your employees and workers. As stated above, constructive feedback is very similar to an overall evaluation for growth. While this can build tension, or even anxiety, for your employees, you want to make sure that every person, at the end of the day, leaves the workplace with a goal in mind.

In the grand scheme of things, there will always be opportunities for improvement. In order to hit your fundraising markers year after year, you want to make sure that you, as well as the rest of your organization, is progressing each and every day. By assimilating that concept of change, you will be able to a variety of growth such as strong leadership, refined operations, and impactful strategies. Remember, strength and growth only come through continuous understanding and change.  Do not let if hinder your abilities. Instead, embrace the new world order.

Run your Nonprofit like a Startup

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Similar to startups, nonprofit organizations are use to doing more with less. Unlike the resources of private corporations, nonprofits are limited to the people they have and the funds they can play with. In many of these situations, these organizations are primarily responsible for the donors and communities that they service. While money does play a large role in the overall success of a campaign, it is imperative that nonprofit organizations take a page out of the startup playbook by being resourceful and effective in their infrastructure and spending in order to optimize the overall sustainability and outreach of their campaigns.

To begin, nonprofits and startups share a similar mentality; both entities need to be smart with their spending. While they may have a strong investments going into their campaigns, the overall development and growth of their mission require a lot of creative and strategic thinking, both operationally and financially. The best organizations and startup business that have been able to do are not necessarily the ones that spend the least or spend the most. Instead, they are the ones that are able to create an effective budget and making specific buying decisions that will lead them to reach their overarching goals.

So how do you do this? How can you effectively manage and operate your team or organization while saving and cutting cost on various expenses?

First and foremost, it is imperative that your business leaders within your organizations have a strong and holistic understanding of their finances. For startups, they need to adhere to their budget. While 2015 may be the year of the unicorn, it was also the fall for many great and innovative businesses that could have been the next Google or Apple. The reason why is because many of these companies did not take advantage (or cut cost) of their finances when they needed to grow and develop their companies. Similar to startups, nonprofit organizations need to understand the specific financial restrictions that can prevent them from hitting their targeted goals. This requires these organizations to understand and internalize their monthly expenses, their revenue, and their overall donations and donor numbers. By knowing these numbers quarterly, your organization will be able to leverage areas in which they can cut and save spending, while also investing in specific approaches that can help hit their quarterly goals.

One of the basic concepts your nonprofit organization needs to understand is that evaluating expenses is not cutting things from the budget. While a portion requires you to cut things, you are looking to find different avenues that can be more cost efficient while also adhering to the work and goals that your organization is trying to accomplish. Do not by any mistake think that low quality is a good thing. Find the best type of quality for the most reasonable price. In doing so, you will begin thinking more strategically with your financial budget.

Now, when it comes to cost, it is important that you find specific small expenses you can cut like irrelevant office supplies or overly expensive office spaces. Cutting these cost can help you utilize more funding in various departments that can assist you in reaching your donation goals. For example, for many startups, the overall popular trend for launching a company is no longer being seen in the big cities. Why? The exorbitant amount of cost for an office in Manhattan or a building in Silicon Valley is just not financially reasonable. Instead, many of these businesses are seeking cheaper office locations and effective spaces that allow for their business to grow and develop in the right way possible. Like startups, you need to find these areas where you can cut corners with your budget. Many nonprofit organizations are use to operating with that scarce mentality. But for a better infrastructure and longevity with success, try and think lean. Be cash-conscious and weigh any and all expenses against your nonprofit’s ability to achieve its mission. This will force you to keep your budget in check and various buying decisions at a minimum.

Lastly, for any type of investment opportunities, make sure you weigh the cost. One of the biggest mistakes many startups make is burning any financial investments that should have been used in the future. Similar to startups, your nonprofit organization needs to be cash-conscious and seize any opportunity or investment that can help benefit their campaigns. For example, take a look into promotional campaigns that can help expand your mission and engage new and future donors to your organization. Remember, nonprofit organizations are still business. Invest in what can help reach your goals, but also weigh any negative consequences and ramifications that can come out of it.

Switching from For-Profit to Non-Profit

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Switching sectors from for-profit businesses to nonprofit organizations has become increasingly common throughout the past five years. Many of these for-business professionals consider this career switch into the nonprofit world because of their emphasis on charitable missions. The idea to make a meaningful and transitive impact is not alluring, but a possible personal goal as well.

While you would think that the transition into this type of work would be easy, the move can, at times, be difficult to adjust in. Many candidates often struggle to frame their own professional experience in a way that makes sense to nonprofit work. In fact, the overall story and transitive skills can be difficult to translate beyond the operational objectives within their for-profit sector. If you are looking to be successful within the non-profit industry, it is imperative that you reflect, analyze, research and prepare any necessary changes within your mentality. To help you with this transition, I have provided some vital tips to get you on your way to do something bigger than yourself.

To start, begin by doing your homework. Make sure you research every organization and program that you are interested in so that you know what you are getting yourself into. Not every nonprofit is going to value and leverage the private sector skills that you bring to the table. Spend some time learning the mission and values that each nonprofit is working towards and how you can become an asset and a key leader when you get the job. In addition, make sure you learn the background of some of their key leaders. Understanding their own personal success stories can help you gain a holistic view of the type of leaders they are looking for within their organization.

In addition to researching the background and history of the nonprofit organization that you are interested in, make sure you analyze your own personal and professional skills. Similar to any job, every organization is looking for something that can help push it to the next level. While handling millions of dollars of accounts or raising an X-amount of cash within one business quarter may seem like a huge accomplishment at other private sector firms, this may not be the same case for nonprofits. For many nonprofits, they are looking for leadership, management, and communication skills. Make sure you analyze your professional resume and highlight particular professional achievements and skills that can be translated to your sought out position. For example, if you are looking to work within their fundraising marketing department, try and highlight any grant writing or fundraising skills that can showcase your talents.

Once you have analyzed your professional experience, make sure you have a strong holistic reason for switching into the nonprofit sector. As much as you can reference how you would like to do good, you have to understand these organizations have heard this answer countless times. If you are looking to be an active leader within the nonprofit sector, especially for director and managerial positions, you need to create a story of self that directs your professional path to theirs. Ask yourself various overarching questions like: Why do you want to leave your current position? What interested you about nonprofit? What interested you about this organization? How can you relate to their mission? Go even as far and network with various members within the organization and ask them their thoughts and reasons for what got them there. Having a strong grasp of these questions will allow you to better internalize the move. This in turn should allow you to translate that to your prospective employers.

Once that is all done and said, the last thing you need to do is to be realistic about the compensation packages these nonprofit organizations are offering. Now, it is a myth that nonprofit organizations do not pay well. For some, you can be looking at six-or-seven-figure positions. But, unlike the for-profit businesses, salary compensation can be significantly lower that what you were making before. Remember, their main goal is not necessary selling their product. Instead, they are trying to enact a change that can eventually impact and shape the world. If you feel like your finances will be unstable taking this type of position, ask yourself if this is the right move. If you are still adamant about the position, go forward and make your change.

The True Leadership within an Organization

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Being a business leader can be a rewarding experience. But it can also be filled with various challenges. At times, people have this false assumption that these individuals can fulfill the ‘hero’ role in any situation. As much as we can believe that, we need to be tangible and understand that a true leader is someone who can not only inspire motivation and action during the best times, but also admit fault and accept responsibilities during the most difficult stints. It is that sacrifice that truly represents a strong business leader. Without it, the success, the goals, and the overall vision of a company are nothing but a fade dream.

So what characterizes leadership within an organization? How can leadership take your business and company to the next level?

Let’s start off by examining the arduous decisions business leaders need to make on the day-to-day basis. For many people, they are unable to conceptualize the risk of putting thousands, maybe millions, of dollars solely on a simple deal. While it maybe difficult to imagine this situation, in reality, this particular event happens all the time. For business leaders, decisions like these are not just asked, but decided upon almost each and every day. In fact, they spend an excessive amount of time and a tremendous amount of energy making these overarching decisions for the betterment of the company. The main problem of course is the tradeoff, or ‘catch’ if you will. It is like that childhood saying: “No matter what, you cannot have your cake and eat it too.” Like this slogan, business leaders need to be well aware of the ramifications their decisions make on their company and their employees. One simple mistake could impact the livelihood of hundred and thousands of people.

Outside of decisions making, business leaders need to be reflective. For many people, they go to their jobs each and every day without a care in their minds. In comparison, true business leaders within the work place are constantly thinking of the world around them. For them, their mission is to go into their companies with the intention to resell their visions to their employees, their investors, and their clients, especially if the company is going through big and drastic changes. The one thing to note is that with any type of changes, there will always be some type of negative reception from the general public. The worst thing you can do is to ignore these cries and complaints. Instead you need to address them. True business leaders acknowledge and reflect on the weaknesses and problems of their business. They try to understand the negative perspective so that they can arrive at the most viable solution. While of course it is easier said than done, the task to inspire and reinvigorate your company’s values with new and innovative solutions is something that takes a strong amount of effort.

Now a business leader isn’t a true leader if there is no balance within authority. While you may be the boss, you want to make sure that you are respected and open-minded to your workers. At times, many directors or supervisors have been criticized to be too authoritative with their workers. This leads to low work morale and a low retention rate. To benefit your company, try and find that balance. True business leaders make sure to listen and respect their employees. Just because you have a higher title does not mean you cannot learn from those under you. Remember, a true leader is one who is humble enough to admit their flaws. To inspire action and success, you need to become more than just the authority. You need to be the voice that echoes their future.

Strategy for Fundraising

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In today’s volatile economic environment, charities need to continuously reassess their abilities to generate future funds. Like it or not, change is inevitable. The ability to adapt to relevant strategies and introduce innovative successful tactics will be the game changer for whether or not your charity or cause is able to hit their financial goals.

So how do you do this? What strategy planning should be utilized to help enhance my fundraiser?

The first thing you need to understand is that you cannot become too reliant on government grants. As much as these grants can give you a head start in setting up the foundational aspect of your charity, it cannot be the only financial game plan in keeping your organization afloat. For you to expand, you need to venture into new tactics that go beyond the austerities of leads or former donors. Instead, you need to constantly internalize, reflect, and revamp your system so that it can keep up within the tough climate that is fundraising.

Begin by looking at your organization holistically. Strong, successful, and effective fundraisers are powerful in their own right because they are still able to both engage with their previous donors and reach out to new donors year after year. To keep that continuous momentum alive, you need to understand what the problem is. Ask your team the following questions: What is your cause? What are your goals? How will these donations aid with supporting your causes? What happens if you do not meet your financial goals? Why is your organization qualified to tackle this problem? By asking yourself these overarching questions, you will be able to externally focus on any weaknesses you are seeing within your campaign.

Once you have internalized the strengths and weaknesses of your foundation, now you can begin to analyze the necessary steps for a successful campaign. Start by reviewing the numbers. Look at the statistical metrics of how your donors and donations grew or fell within the past three years. Even go as far as to analyze it on a meticulously month-by-month basis. By analyzing this information this way, you will be able to see your charity as a business. In addition, the numbers themselves will give you a variety of different levels to structure an efficient and effective attack plan that can further benefit your cause within the next up and coming months.

When building your attack plan, make sure you continue your research by identifying the specific donors you plan on targeting. Yes, as you can see, research will be a constant role in developing your fundraising campaign to its fullest. For this particular research, you are now looking at the market instead of your campaign. This will allow you to find new and exciting sectors that are looking to support your organization to the fullest. Start off by researching your current donors and their businesses. Ask yourself why they are affiliated with your foundation and what groups they are associated with that you can connect with them. This internal system of connections will allow you to tap an untouched market that can be incredibly fruitful in the future. Once that is done, incorporate a strategy of how you will reach out to them. Will it be by email, word of mouth, or through an in person presentation? Whatever is the case, you want to make sure you are well prepared. That means tailoring your pitch and your presentation (PowerPoint) to that specific organization. The more centralized and specific your cause is to an organization, the better opportunity you have in gaining new donors.

After the restructure attack plan, go back to see how well it worked. If it was successful, great! Continue the strategy and the overall process again. If it wasn’t, reflect upon what was its weakness and what you and your team could have done to improve upon it. Remember, the only way to see this continuous success is by understanding your campaign’s flaws and adapting to any changes that can lead you to your future financial goals.

Two Sides of a Coin: Salespeople and Fundraisers

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When it comes to fundraisers, we try to differentiate ourselves from the cliché salespeople that we all know and loathe. However, as much as we can dichotomize the two professions, we have to understand that there are some strong similarities within both fields that we simply cannot overlook.

In an interesting Harvard Business Review piece titled, What Makes Great Salespeople, I could not help but correlate the two professions. Whether it is from the operational side or from the internal visions, salespeople and fundraises work are simply two sides of the same coin. While the end goal for each job may be different, the mentality and work ethics involve is incredibly similar for both positions.

Let’s start with customer engagement. As a salesperson, their job is simply not just to sell their product to their customer, but also to engage with their customers on various factors. This includes educating the customer on their products and services, talking with the customer, interacting with the customer’s account, and last but not least evaluating and researching the customer’s campaign. Similar to salespeople, we as fundraisers look to provide strong customer engagement in both educating them about the service and what their funding can do for our particular cause. In addition, fundraisers look to engage with our customers both short-term and long-term so that we can establish a stronger relationship for future philanthropic campaigns.

Outside of customer engagement, another trait both salespeople and fundraisers share is large internal network. For salespeople, they look into three different categories. The first is a more general aspect, which includes the overall number of relationships within the company and the time and effort spent interacting with their colleagues and their network. Their second refers to their support resources. This includes the set of metrics that focuses on relationship building within the support staff and sales specialist. Last but not least of course deals with management, where a set of metric concentrates on relationships built between the heads of the division and the salespeople on the floor. Similar to fundraising organizations, fundraisers look to have this general, supportive, and managerial relationship built to allot for successful donor campaigns. This allows fundraisers and the overall company to streamline various content so that their donors can better understand the process and the service that the organization is providing for their causes.

Last but not least, both salespeople and fundraisers require a strong amount of energy and passion in both their communication with their customers and donors. When asking for money, whether it is for a product, a service, or a charity, the public on the other end want to talk to someone who is incredibly enthusiastic about the vision and goals of their business. This allows for stronger customer services, well-developed visions, and long lasting customers

From these three principles’ alone, we can clearly see the similarities and resemblance that both professions share in order to be successful. While there are many more traits that we can compare, we can thoroughly understand that in order to be a strong fundraiser, you need to be a strong salesperson. Only then will you be able to see the success necessary for your cause to grow.

Crowdfunding: Leveraging the Digital World

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One of the biggest hurdles many people find themselves when starting a project or fundraising for an idea is the financial capital to get them on the right path. Financial funding plays a large portion in the life and death of certain products. It is essentially how the world operates. But how can you find the funding if everything you had was invested in your product? How can you possibly establish yourself if you can’t even find the capital to finance your goals? The answer is simple; try crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding, also known as crowdsourcing, has become incredibly popular in the news and social media. Many startup companies, inventions, and even non-profit organizations have utilized this strategy to help increase their capital for their business. But what exactly is it?

By definition, crowdfunding is the practice of financially funding a project or venture through small amounts of donations from a large number of people, typically through the Internet. Think of this as online fundraising. For crowdfunding, there are two basic models. The first model is known as the rewards-based crowdfunding model. Rewards-based crowdfunding is where people can pre-purchase a product, buy various rewards, or simply donate to the company. For this concept, the donors are simply helping the cause. In comparison to rewards-based crowdfunding, the second model, equity crowdfunding, looks for donors to become shareholders in a company. In equity crowdfunding, a company will often sell ownership takes online to require the necessary funds to make them operational and profitable for the future.

Because of crowdfunding, many industries were able to grow exponentially over the past few years. In addition, crowdfunding sites were able to raise billions of capital for various campaigns such as charities, social impacts, consumer packaged goods, innovative inventions, games, startup companies, and much more. Without these sites, many modern ideas would not have made it to our homes.

Below, you will find some of the best crowdfunding sites to help aid you on your journey. Remember make your presence strong when you’re online. Donors want to know what they are investing in. Tell your story. Be strong and appealing. The best way to succeed with these sites is making your story appeal to people. Be empathetic, strong, and confident.

Kickstarter

Kickstarter is one of the major crowdfunding sites to date. The service itself gets a lot of media attention. Kickstarter helps a variety of people is a range of interest. On this crowdfunding site, you can find artist, musicians, filmmakers, designers, charities, and consumer packaged goods that are trying to establish themselves in their congested markets. The one great thing about Kickstarter is that it is incredibly user friendly. In addition, no financial transactions are changed until time runs out or the project is fully funded. One thing to keep in mind is that Kickstarter takes 5% off the top and the rest goes to the inventor or creator to the campaign.

Indiegogo

Indiegogo is one of the first and largest global fundraising sites that help individuals, businesses, and nonprofits raise money online. It allows people to activate their global community with their user-friendly dashboard. It has been estimated that over nine million people from all around the world visits Indiegogo on a monthly basis. Things to keep in mind are that the site takes 4% off the top of your fundraising if you reach your funding goal. In addition, the site offers reward-base crowdfunding encouraging creators and developers to offer perks for the community to help fundraise their projects.

Quirky

Quirky is a crowdfunding site mainly meant for inventors and gadgets. The site itself has an excellent track record. The one upside to this is that the process of presenting your idea to the Quirky community is a bit more involved than the other sites. For you to create a campaign, you need to submit your idea to the Quirky community so that they can weigh in on whether or not the idea is financially and successfully tangible. The positive is that the Quirky community is incredibly active and engaged to build, develop, and produce ideas. Pricing is also on a sliding scale meaning that people who get in early can get lower prices. Last but not least, Quirky and manufacture the product in-house.

DonorsChoose

For those looking to help aid and donate to the education sector, take a look into DonorsChoose. DonorsChoose is a nonprofit organization that allows individuals to donate directly to teachers and their classrooms. This can vary from classroom projects, class trips or class resources to better aid the future leaders of tomorrow.

Rockethub

Rockethub is another large online crowdfunding platform. It users usually include a variety of people from music, business, science, arts, fashion, startups, and nonprofits. Rockethub combines a traditional crowdfunding site where individuals can promote and raise for financial capital in addition to larger sponsors such as corporate businesses and organizations that want to donate to a specific sector. The service itself takes out a 4% cut from the amount raised and is incredibly user friendly.