Recently industry journalist, Alex Prior sat down with three of
our clients to talk about the benefits of online fundraising. What
emerged throughout those discussions is that online fundraising
software offers charities a pragmatic solution for driving sustainable
financial growth at both grass roots and enterprise levels of
not-for-profit fundraising. Through the alignment of charities
and social entreprenuers, a new wave of innovation is pushing
the charity sector forward in the highly competitive 21st century.
Catherine Patmore encourages people to throw themselves off buildings in the Sydney CBD.
It’s a tough job running Abseil for Youth, and one she says she couldn’t do without GoFundraise,
the Australian digital platform that allows charities to register people for events, and then helps them raise money on the charities’ behalf.
Abseil for Youth has raised $1.5 million for the Sir David Martin Foundation since it started in 2010, and $376,000 of that alone was donated last year. This was just a fraction of the $25 million that flowed to Australian charities through GoFundraise in 2014, from 79,000 fundraisers, and 298,121 donors.
Patmore says the tiny team at the Sir David Martin Foundation couldn’t hold a public event of this size without GoFundraise.
“GoFundraise opened up the possibility of public events for smaller not-for-profits,” she says.
What is GoFundraise?
GoFundraise allows Australian and New Zealand charities to build a page for their event that automatically generates a fundraising page and link for each new participant that registers. Family, friends and colleagues can then be encouraged to sponsor the participant at the click of a mouse.
GoFundraise also automatically provides the participants with all the legal paperwork required to allow them to fundraise on a charity’s behalf, and generates tax invoices for donors - saving thousands of hours of administration, and allowing small teams like Patmore’s to bring in new supporters and tackle larger events.
Working with Charities to get the most out of fundraising efforts
The McGrath Foundation has found using GoFundraise so easy and so successful that they’ve made it an integral part of their business plan. CEO Petra Buchanan compares the platform to open source software and says it’s “constantly evolving and getting better. It’s far better than anything that we could create in a bespoke environment.”
As well as streamlining fundraising efforts, GoFundraise collects data such as contact details on the charities’ behalf.
According to GoFundraise CEO Stuart Finlayson, the platform is “database agnostic” meaning it works with whatever system the charity has in place.
“We knew really early on that data was important to charities,” says Finlayson, “so it was a priority to make it as easy as possible.
“We are now integrated with all the major databases,” he says. “It helps (the charities) reduce costs, which means more money can go to the cause they are supporting.”
The McGrath Foundation is taking it a step further, with the charity about to undergo a major technological revamp that will see GoFundraise integrated into their supporter management - meaning that GoFundraise will soon be an inherent part of their business software.
Why GoFundraise works
It’s this combination of making it easier for individuals to raise funds while cutting the administrative burden on charities, which Finlayson believes, is driving growth. Whereas the average cost of fundraising runs typically between 20-30 cents for every dollar raised, Finlayson says the cost on his platform is a miniscule 0.07 cents.
It’s also a completely scalable system. When Queensland was hit by the 2013 floods, Lifeline’s own website was in danger of being swamped by people wanting to help. With 20 minutes notice, GoFundraise set up a payment page and provided a link seconds before 500,000 fundraising emails went out, and $1 million in emergency donations flowed in.
“Because we are all in the cloud we can fire up new servers in seconds if we have to,” Finlayson says. “That’s why the biggest charities in Australia are using us. Instead of spending millions upgrading their systems all the time, they can just focus on being a charity.”
Making Fundraising Simple
Craig Shipton organises five fundraising events, including the Queenstown Classic cycling tour in New Zealand, and says it is GoFundraise’s simplicity that attracted him and keeps him coming back.
“It’s the simple things that GoFundraise has that the others don’t,” he says. “It’s easy to set up an event. It’s easy to setup real time reports and tweak them. Setting up the fundraising forms is free and simple. The ongoing administration is just... easier.”
With an event held annually in England, and another coming up soon in the US, Shipton doesn’t look forward to having to use other platforms for his fundraising needs. “They are just not as responsive, not as nimble,” he says of what’s available internationally. Lucky for Craig, though, all his future events in Australia and New Zealand are set to benefit from GoFundraise’s innovative and simple platform.
To find out more about setting up fundraising events visit: www.eventcreatorvision.com