Fundraising through various activities as sales, silent auctions, walk-a-thons, races, or entertainment events is a popular revenue generator for charitable and non-profit organizations. However, quite a few obstacles exist in the pursuit of running a successful fundraiser, including lacking or overworked volunteers, limited payment methods, limited reach, and overall golf fundraising ideas process inefficiencies. Fundraising organizers are realizing that in order to complete the event with a significant amount of raised revenue, it must be run as efficiently and resourcefully as a business. Websites, online payment capability, and electronic payment processing are three key factors that can help overcome many of fundraising’s obstacles.
A website with online payment functionality not only enables your fundraiser to reach past the local neighborhood, but helps to automate processes. Customers can enter their own information into the secure online form and the transaction is processed automatically. Volunteers no longer have to spend countless hours sorting paper checks and making trips to the bank.
Donors also appreciate the ease of being able to give donations online as their own busy schedules permit–instead of having to make time during regular business hours. They also like being able to choose from a variety of payment options including credit cards, ACH direct-debits, and the ability to give smaller amounts on a recurring schedule, rather than a larger one-time donation.
All of these options pay-off for fundraisers. According to charitable or non-profit businesses utilizing electronic payments have a 98 percent fulfillment rate–50 percent higher than businesses using mail-based processes. Accepting payments online for a fundraiser will decrease processing costs, reduce volunteer manual labor, provide more flexible payment options to customers, improve overall efficiency, and decrease headaches for all involved–making fundraising once again a fun and enjoyable experience.
Read on to learn about one Boy Scouts Troop that simplified and automated the entire order process for its annual fundraiser by adding online fundraising functionality.
The Boy Scouts of America are well known for their good deeds and outdoor activities. To support these activities and charitable events, Boy Scout Troops hold fundraisers. Troop 970’s most important fundraiser is its annual Mulch Sale, which promotes teamwork, instills personal commitment, and helps Scouts pay for High Adventure camping trips throughout the United States.
As Troop 970’s Mulch Sale grew in size in recent years, so did the fundraising challenges it faced, including cumbersome order tracking, inability to automatically capture customer information, untimely deposits of revenue, and limited payment options. To simplify the process, and to provide more flexible purchase options, the Troop adopted an online fundraising system with a securely hosted custom-branded online payment form, enabling it to take orders and accept payments from customers online. Customers could pay via credit card or ACH direct-debit from a checking account, and the system processed the transaction and automatically deposited the collected funds into Troop 970’s bank account.
With custom field capability, the system accepted additional detailed information the Troop required. In this case, customers were able to provide the exact location where they wanted the mulch stacked. Using a secure password, BSA volunteers could access order information, and once the system showed the payment had cleared, the volunteers could deliver the mulch, as requested.
With sales approaching 20,000 bags, Troop 970’s 2007 Mulch Sale was a resounding success. Online fundraising enabled the Troop to manage both the financial and logistical aspects of the sale more effectively and efficiently, and it created a customer database that the Troop plans to use for future fundraiser marketing.