During my 20-plus years as a fund-raising consultant, I have helped nonprofit organizations in Orange County and elsewhere raise millions of dollars for capital campaigns, endowment drives, end-of-the-year appeals and more. Since I started raising money in the mid-1970s, the rules have changed considerably. What was once unheard of is commonplace. Take, for example, corporations advertising on public broadcasting stations or universities that aggressively encourage alums to use affinity credit cards as a means of raising extra income. These fund-raising innovations have been good for everyone involved with nonprofits--donors, trustees and staff alike.
I am convinced the Internet will become a powerful fund-raising tool within the next year or two. Here's why:
First, the Internet is doubling in size every year.
Second, sales volume over the Internet is exploding. Last year, electronic commerce generated $8 billion worldwide.
The Internet is creating a paradigm shift in the way people shop, work, learn and play. Savvy leaders of nonprofits need to position their organizations now in order to reap enormous fund-raising rewards a year or two down the line.
Depending on the number of supporters a nonprofit has, considerable monthly cash flows (that is, commission checks) can be generated on a number of interrelated products and services. These include basic Internet service, Web pages, local and long distance telephone service, 888 numbers, find me/follow me software programs, network computers that plug into the television and much, much more.