New Ideas for Online Giving

This time of year is known for many things: holidays, the beginning of winter, and a barrage of end-of-year fundraising appeals.

Online giving is especially important in December, as people rush to make donations before the end of the tax year. In fact, a significant portion of online giving apparently happens in the final two days of the year. I guess we’re a nation of procrastinators. Fortunately, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, many nonprofit groups are seeing better fundraising results this year compared to 2010.

One interesting strategy I ran across this year was organized by the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. The Council’s “Ways to Share . . . A Holiday Wish List” compiled organizations’ needs from around the state into one go-to resource for potential donors. Groups could list specific items they needed, as well as volunteer opportunities and a “big wish” item. Then, in addition to posting the resource on its own web site, the Council posted highlights from the list to its 450+ followers on Twitter and Facebook — making it very easy for donors to retweet or share on Facebook to their own social networks.

I’d love to see an association of museums or public history sites try a “history holiday wish list” or something similar. Sure, groups would be competing for donations, but we all know that we’re competing no matter what. Pooling marketing efforts just might reach a broader audience than individual organizations would reach on their own.

For other ideas for online fundraising, check out these tips for creating effective online campaigns. And for next year, make sure to investigate some of Mashable’s picks for the best online fundraising platforms.

Happy holidays, and happy fundraising.