Creative fundraising using social media

Over the last few months I have been exploring some creative webby ways to raise funds for a special project enabling the poor to work their way out of poverty. So what kind of circumstances, tools and people help to make that happen?

Honestly, if I had never started blogging, using Twitter, or building up some great online friendships I wonder if this would have happened. There are some wonderful people out there! Still I have a long way to go,  raising some funds. Here are some examples of social media I’m trying out to do this.

1.A place to raise funds – Chipin. This website has been helpful in creating a page where people can make payments, with the added benefit of a visible widget updating the fundraising status.  People have donated over AU$1200 so far this way and left some lovely comments of support. On problem is I’d like more flexibility to display Australian dollars and I can’t embed it in this blog or Facebook (I think). Also the ‘page’/blogging functionality is pretty crude so I ended up creating a blog.

2.A place to call home – a Blog. Yeah, yeah I created another blog. I used Blogger so that I could easily embed the Chipin Widget. In retrospect, I’m not sure if a blog was the best way to go, but it’s there now. I also created a page about the project on this blog.

3. Another place to promote – Facebook. I have used the Facebook Fanpage for my next creative project and exhibition.  Not wildly successful yet but I guess it’s all a case of ‘wait and see’.

4. A place to mention it – Twitter. No, I didn’t create a second Twitter account for my ambassadorship. I could, but I think it’s important to know your own limits. When you have part time work, a great husband, three young boys under the age of six, and your fingers in other creative pies – another Twitter account just didn’t seem to be priority! I’m trying not to bombard people on Twitter with requests to participate or donate, but I’m thinking of a Twitter challenge on International Women’s Day.

5. A place to stitch images together – Slideshare. I was fortunate enough to get a couple of slides featured on the homepage, but I’m not sure it helped to raise any funds. At least Slideshare has been a central place to share some of the creative work.

6. A place for people to get something in return – RedBubble. Yesterday I uploaded some of my photography to RedBubble. So you can now buy cards or prints with all proceeds going straight into the Paypal account I set up for this fundraising project.

rb_buy

I have also played around with Tumblr and Youtube (using Animoto) and I’m helping Opportunity International Australia get more of their content online for use in social media. I’m even giving Flickr a go for the current creative challenge.

I’ll give an update in June once I have raised some more money. The funds will establish a group of 15 to 30 of these entrepreneurial poor. The project is similar to the good work of Kiva, except this Opportunity International project additionally focuses on equipping individuals to develop small businesses AND impact their community.As soon as I raise the AU$10,000 the group will be sponsored and I can share their encouraging stories with you.

What about you? Have you used any social media for nonprofit fundraising? I’d love for you to share your story.

If you would like to make a difference and donate (tax deductible) to this project against poverty,  you can do so over at Chipin