GlobalGiving helps NPOs maximise online fundraising

The GlobalGiving Accelerator, a virtual training programme, teaches non-profit organisations how to crowdfund. They are also entered into a campaign where they can raise a minimum of R68,000.

help2read NPO globalgiving
The initiative help2read has reading clubs in townships. Adults in the programme help children improve their reading skills. Help2read undertook GlobalGiving’s training programme and became part of its crowdfunding campaign. (Images supplied)

Melissa Javan
About 500 projects have been supported by GlobalGiving in South Africa since 2002. The group is a global crowdfunding community that connects non-profit organisations, donors, and companies in nearly every country around the world.

One of the 500 is Lifeskills for 2,743 Children in South Africa, an initiative of the non-profit organisation, Keep The Dream196. It is located in Modjadjiskloof, Limpopo, and has raised $67,840 (R924,578) through the GlobalGiving crowdfunding website.

Another South African project on the GlobalGiving site is the drive to collect library books for 25 rural schools by Biblionef South Africa. Currently, $2,877 has been raised online. This project will provide a crucial injection of high quality, home language storybooks to the school libraries.

“We make it possible for non-profits from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe (and hundreds of places in between) to access the tools, training, and support they need to be more effective and make our world a better place,” explains GlobalGiving.

Since 2002, it has helped to raise more than $258-million from 587,642 people who have supported 16,729 projects in 165 countries.

Non-profits and social media

A South African social media survey published on the Nonprofit Network found that 29.1% of NPOs in the country frequently use social media for fundraising, 45,7% use it occasionally and 25,1% rarely use social media for fundraising.

Nonprofit Network is an online resource centre that helps South African NPOs with their online presence, such as websites, social media, e-newsletters and blogging.

The research and analysis was conducted by Ruendree Govinder, founder of Nonprofit Network and Interiority Consulting. In undertaking the survey, 222 organisations completed the questionnaire.

Conducted in 2015-2016, the survey found that 72% of NPOs used social media frequently for marketing and branding, while 20.3% used it occasionally for marketing and branding. Regarding the results, 38.5% were very successful, 47.1% were somewhat successful and 8% were unsuccessful.

Regarding fundraising on social media, 9.5% said they were very successful, 32.6% were somewhat successful and 40% said they were not successful at all. One of the biggest obstacles to using media successfully was little or no budget, according to 68% or respondents, while 48.6% said their biggest hurdle was insufficient social media expertise.

A database of South African NPOs was compiled during the survey. “The database included 1,000 South African non-profit organisations with at least one active social media account,” read the survey. “The database was used to establish the median number of Facebook and Twitter followers, the level of activity on their social media accounts, and the status of their website.”

More information on this survey can be found here.

Maximise your sustainability

Eleanor Harrison of GlobalGiving UK told Charity Digital News that although crowdfunding would be important for some charities, it was an excellent way to engage with your existing database online and access new supporters. “It’s not the be all and end all — it’s never one size fits all.

“I think it can help people access individual donors in new and exciting ways. You should put it into your fundraising plan as a whole so that you can maximise your sustainability,” she said.

“It’s also about communications and marketing — how can you tell people about your work and bring them along with your journey.”

Celine Morolong, the consultant for GlobalGiving in South Africa, said GlobalGiving had driven $1,634,111 (R22,317,217) to projects operating in the country. “GlobalGiving has about 75 South African partners.

“This is additional funds driven to projects in South Africa since the founding of GlobalGiving. In other words, this is money from matching funds or foundations.”

Watch how GlobalGiving helps projects worldwide:

Where it started

GlobalGiving is an international crowdfunding platform founded in 2002 by Mari Kuraishi and Dennis Whittle — before crowdfunding, or raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, became popular.

It connects NPOs with donors and companies in more than 160 countries. NPOs on the platform get access to funding, tools, training and support to help their work.

Morolong said: “Our mission is to democratise aid and philanthropy, and crowdfunding helps non-profits connect directly with people who want to support their programmes.

“Non-profits across the world need to diversify their funding avenues as traditional sources of financing such as grants are harder to come by. Online fundraising is just one of these avenues.”

Watch how to make a video for your NPO:

How it works

Any NPO can apply to be a partner on the GlobalGiving site. Morolong explained: “We have four onboarding initiatives throughout the year, in the form of a virtual crowdfunding training programme called the Accelerator.”

The Accelerator was an opportunity for NPOs to participate in a time-bound fundraising campaign. “[They also] gain skills through our webinars, workshops, and one-on-one consultations, all geared to enable organisations to fundraise effectively online.

“Organisations are required to post a project that tells their story in a compelling way to get donors to give them what they need. Then the fun part starts with actual fundraising of at least $5,000 from 40 donors in a three-week period,” she said.

“The organisations that meet these targets become partners on the platform and have their projects featured on our site. Additional benefits for partners include training and support, access to corporate partnerships, credibility and visibility, to mention just a few.”

The Accelerator, a virtual training programme and crowdfunding campaign, is open to any registered NPO.

Online fundraising versus crowdfunding

Kuraishi, co-founder of GlobalGiving, says that “the power of crowdfunding is not in the funding, it is in the crowd”.

Morolong explained: “Online fundraising is the act of raising money online while crowdfunding specifically relies on small donations from many individuals, which makes GlobalGiving a true community of innovators and givers.”

celine morolong NPO globalgiving
Celine Morolong of GlobalGiving in South Africa.

Why do online fundraising

Online fundraising should be used in collaboration with other fundraising tools, said Morolong. “In South Africa, there was 52% internet penetration in 2016, giving access to an international network to more people,” she added

“Going online with their fundraising opens up networks to a global scale quickly, cheaply and efficiently for non-profits.”

Advice on online fundraising

Her advice those who want to try online fundraising or crowdfunding is:

  • Always tell a compelling story that engages donors.
  • Have a clear call to action.
  • Remember to say thank you to all your donors.
  • Set smart fundraising goals.
  • Use images that empower the people that you serve.

Training for NPOs

GlobalGiving provides various live training opportunities for current and prospective NPO partners. “This includes workshops where we discuss crowdfunding and techniques to help organisations fundraise more effectively, such as network mapping, storytelling and social media,” said Morolong.

“We also conduct webinars throughout the year on various topics and run a more powerful online fundraising academy and social impact academy for our partners. Sometimes, other non-profits that are not currently on our platform also attend the workshops.”

It also ran joint workshops with other like-minded organisations in South Africa on similar topics. “Most of our trainings are free, or available for a small fee.

“We will be having free workshops later this year in Limpopo and Mpumalanga, and low-cost training sessions in Gauteng and the Western Cape. We also offer free tips, tools, and resources — including a crowdfunding strategy guide — for non-profits 24/7 on our Learn Library.”

GlobalGiving has already hosted workshops on online fundraising in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth this year.

NPOs can go to the GlobalGiving website to register for the Accelerator https://www.globalgiving.org/.

Sources: GlobalGiving, Nonprofit Network, Interiority Consulting and Charity Digital News.

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