Posted by Heidi on December 5, 2008
As a nonprofit professional, I spend a fair amount of my time at the office asking people and organizations for support. One of the great things about this is that a big part of my job is explaining why Barrel of Monkeys is such a worthwhile organization. I get to talk about our mission, the kids we work with, and the art we create. Increasingly, I do a lot of this over the internet as fundraising tools and mechanisms become more readily available online and people choose online interactions above more traditional communications.
One of the most interesting, in my opinion, developments (hee) in online fundraising is the many ways to raise money passively. Tools like igive and goodshop give a percentage of online shopping or search revenue to the charity you designate. Obviously we encourage you all to sign up with BOM as your charity of choice, but my larger point is that the internet has made it easier for people to support their favorite organizations even when they can not make a direct contribution. Instead a portion of the ad revenue or corporate profit goes to charity instead of to (for example) the search engines. Some of the ways you can support BOM passively are listed on the support page.
Today, for example, I ran across a new site called Everywun. You can choose from one of 46 charities (mostly national in scope) and display a badge on your facebook page or blog demonstrating your support of a specific charity or type of organization. My badge, not surprisingly in support of arts education, is after the jump. The principle of the site is that it can cost nothing to make the world a better place, and the site has a forum that anyone can participate in to discuss causes and ways to support them. The site just launched a few days ago, so it’s hard to tell yet if it will be successful, but I’m optimistic.
Of course, none of this can supplant or replace cash contributions entirely, but every little bit helps. Barrel of Monkeys, for example, has raised a couple hundred dollars from people using goodsearch.com instead of other popular search engines. While this doesn’t change our annual fundraising goals particularly dramatically, all the contributions add up over time. Ultimately I look forward to seeing how online initiatives like these grow and develop in the next few years.
In the meantime, if you are in a position to make a year-end donation to Barrel of Monkeys you may do so online. Every little bit helps, and we are continually grateful for the support of our community and fans.
If you have heard about other fun new ways to support your favorite charity online, let us know in the comments.
In the meantime, this is my badge from everywun: