Want to do something for a cause you care about? The future of charitable giving is online. Here’s why!

You don’t need to be a large charity to make a real difference. The internet makes it easy for anyone to raise awareness for a cause, from organizing a campaign to managing donations to effectively spreading the word. Social media can help extend your reach further than you can imagine — to “friends of friends” and strangers’ networks all over the world.

Take a look at these simple and fun ideas to start raising money online.

1. Accept a challenge

Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? This online campaign raised more than $100 million for ALS with donors sharing videos of themselves soaking each other with buckets of water – and inviting their friends to do the same.

Taking on a physical challenge is a great way to draw attention to your cause: Could you give up coffee for a month? Hike the Pacific Crest Trail, skip rope for 12 hours or roller blade across the province? Any activity that can be documented with videos or photos will create buzz and make your campaign all the more shareable.

Upload memorable moments on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr to motivate people to show their support by joining the challenge, giving donations and spreading the word.

2. Make a pledge

Why not ask people to give by declaring your personal commitment to a cause?

This is as easy as setting a financial target you’d like to reach by a specific date and letting people know with an email, newsletter, Twitter campaign or Facebook page.

Use a significant number to make your pledge more memorable. For example, you could create a “30 x 30” campaign and set a goal of raising $900 by your 30th birthday. Your “ask” could be for 30 people to match your donation of $30 – or, if you have a birthday party, ask guests to skip the gift and kick in a few dollars to meet your goal of raising $900 instead.

You can make a similar type of pledge using an anniversary, a friend’s birthday – any significant date. Asking people to donate just $3 to raise funds for a three-year old in need of expensive medical care can quickly gain momentum – and inspire people to give more than the small amount you’re asking for.

3. Exchange skills for donations

Everyone has a special skill or talent that may be valuable to a potential donor. Why not offer up an hour of free guitar lessons or taking on some chores in exchange for a donation?

Outline what you are willing to provide sponsors in an email, on your Facebook page or website. You can increase your fundraising capacity by inviting others to donate their skills alongside yours. When friends and family reach out to their networks to spread the word your simple campaign idea might just experience an online snowball effect.

Inspired to plan a campaign, create some buzz and raise some money for a cause close to your heart? Take a look at these additional tips to make your fundraising campaign a success!

Chimp’s Giving Groups make it easy to invite your friends to join you raising money online for a cause. Sign up to get started!

3 Ways to Raise Money Online for Your Favourite Causes

Nicole Breit

Nicole Breit is a freelance writer and editor. Her clients include small business owners, marketing firms, non-profit organizations and corporations. She has written for West Coast Families, Canadian Immigrant magazine, Women in Biz Network and many other print and online publications.

Category: How To