Ken Goldstein, MPPA

Ken Goldstein has been working in nonprofits and local government agencies from Santa Cruz, to Sacramento, and back to Silicon Valley, since 1989. He's been staff, volunteer, board member, executive director, and, since 2003, a consultant to local nonprofit organizations. For more on Ken's background, click here. If you are interested in retaining Ken's services, you may contact him at ken at

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

First Giving makes online grassroots campaigns a snap

You can facilitate online fundraising by your nonprofit organization's supporters with a new site called This is not simply adding an online donations function to your group's existing web site, but enabling each of your volunteers and donors to set up their own, personal fundraising page.

Using the site, individuals choose a cause and quickly create a page where they conduct their campaign. Their campaign can go along with a "real world" campaign they're working on, or an event such as a bike ride or walk-a-thon, or it can be in memory of somebody, in honor of an occasion (wedding, birth, etc.), or just because they believe in the cause.

Once the page is created (takes less than five minutes, including registration), they can send emails to their friends and family giving the URL address of the page. Contributions are taken online by credit card. The organization then gets the money from, less a 7.35% service fee.

This is not a replacement for any of your nonprofit's current fundraising activity, but if you have an active contingent of volunteers or supporters who would like to do something more, this could bring in a few extra dollars.

I've been checking out the different donations pages on the site, and some people have collected between $20,000-$65,000 for their organizations. I'm sure the majority of campaigns bring in much less than that, but are you going to turn down the possibility of this kind of income?

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1 comment:

  1. I completely agree. We used First Giving to register supporters for a 5K walk in May 2006 and will use it again for May 2007. With First Giving, we could easily register participants online. Then registrants and non-registrants alike could put up their personal webpages to solicit donations. First Giving helped us increase donations by 50% and was significantly less expensive than more comprehensive services like Convio.