With the holidays and the end of the calendar year fast approaching, now is the time when individual donors suddenly realize they’ve put off their charitable giving until the last minute. Meanwhile, nonprofit organizations start to scramble to find quick ways to meet their year-end fundraising goals. The growing focus on green marketing and social media marketing mean more of each side are taking to the web to get the job done.
Here are some of the best websites to help green your charitable giving, whether you’re an individual donor or a nonprofit organization.
Network for Good has been bringing together donors and nonprofit organizations since 2001 – to the tune of over $450 million being raised to support over 1.2 million charities. They also help connect interested parties to volunteer opportunities and jobs at nonprofit organizations worldwide. Network for Good integrates easily into website, email and Facebook.
Razoo, founded in 2006, takes its name from speech from the land Down Under. Meaning a small bit of money, the premise behind Razoo is that every dollar counts, and even small change can add up to make a big difference. Describing themselves as a social network for social good, Razoo gives you all the tools you need to integrate your Razoo page with other social media sites. They even have a Donate Anywhere widget you can embed into your blog or website. Looking for a cause to give to? They have a searchable database of nearly 1 million causes.
Founded in 2002, Global Giving is a charitable giving site that prides themselves on connecting donors to doers. Believing that grassroots campaigns have the best chance for success, their website lists over 1,000 grassroots projects around the world that have been vetted by the organization and are looking for an influx of capital. They also list a number of volunteer, service learning and study abroad opportunities for donors who want to get a little more connected.
Since 2005, Kiva has been working to empower individual entrepreneurs across the globe. Kiva partners with a number of existing microfinance institutions to find and invest entrepreneurs. Donors visit the Kiva website, find projects they wish to invest in, and then invest in the project via a small loan. Once the entrepreneur pays back the loan, the donor can choose to either re-lend the money to someone else, or withdraw it. Kiva has helped lenders invest over $173 million in more than 450,000 entrepreneurs.
Donor’s Choose is an online charity that was started in 2000 by a social studies teacher. Donor’s Choose bypasses the sometimes complex legal tape surrounding the education system and allows donors to connect directly to classrooms in need. Teachers submit projects of varying sizes and scopes, but each project is based on a real need the teachers see in the classroom. Donors visit the site and search by types of projects, or by school name or location. Since 2000, over $65 million has been invested in more than 161,051 projects.
For more than 65 years, Heifer International has helped bring nutrients and income to the families most in need. Working across 5 continents, Heifer helps deliver farm animals as part of an effort to end world hunger. The animals provide income and/or food for families in poor areas across the globe. Heifer then helps those recipients pay it forward. One of the expectations of participation is that program recipients will share the gift by passing along an offspring.
Causecast Mobile Fundraising brings the power of charitable giving to your cellphone in three easy steps. Donors are first alerted by a call to action through Facebook, Twitter, television, or other forms of marketing. They respond by texting the designated keyword to the specified number. Finally, they accept a contribution amount that has been designated by the nonprofit (usually $5 or $10). The amount automatically gets added to their cellphone bill. Services such as Causecast are fairly new, but their impact has been significant during recent natural disasters.
Facebook founded Causes in 2007 as a way for individuals to harness the growing power of social networks for social good. A cause can be created by anyone, and can be used simply to raise awareness or to raise money. Since its start a mere three years ago, over 50 million people have created 240,000 causes and raised over $8 million.
Image Credit: RLHyde