The internet and social media offer many tools for nonprofit fundraising, and one of the most useful of these is YouCaring. This crowdfunding website offers a place to host your fundraising campaign, upload pictures and videos to make the campaign compelling, and write blog-style updates to tell your organization’s story. YouCaring also lets you integrate your fundraising campaign with your nonprofit’s social media pages; if your story is compelling enough, it might go viral and reach millions of donors. While there are plenty of online tools to raise money for your nonprofit, YouCaring is one you should strongly consider.
What is YouCaring?
YouCaring is a crowdfunding website that caters to charitable causes. Unlike competing platforms, such as GoFundMe, where users can solicit donations for everything from moving expenses to new video game consoles, YouCaring is limited to users seeking money for a good cause. The platform offers several benefits over other fundraising methods. It is free to use, and the website doesn’t take a cut of your donations. That said, when it comes time to transfer money from the platform to your nonprofit’s bank account, the donor processor takes a small fee of 2.9%, plus 30 cents per transaction. Once donations start pouring in, YouCaring lets you access your funds at any time. There is no minimum withdrawal, nor do you have to wait a certain number of days to transfer your money. You can receive donations in Canadian or U.S. dollars.
Setting Up Your Campaign
The YouCaring interface is simple to use, and you can set up your campaign in just a few minutes. Once your campaign is active, you should spend time developing your page and making your story as compelling as possible. There are a ton of fundraising campaigns on the internet and social media, so you have heavy competition for donors’ dollars. Try to tell your organization’s story as vividly as possible to paint a clear picture in donors’ minds about the good you can do with their donations. You can make your story compelling with the use of pictures, videos, and text. Using the platform’s blog feature to make regular updates helps you engage with donors, as they can see your campaign’s progress and the good it’s doing. Each update you make offers a reason to share your fundraising page on social media, potentially touching off a viral campaign.
Integrating With Social Media
YouCaring lets you integrate your fundraising page with Facebook, Twitter, and email. You can share your latest update on social media or email it to your contact list with a few clicks, so definitely take advantage of this feature. Even if just a few people share or retweet you at first, you never know when one of those shares or retweets is going to catch the eye of an influencer on social media. When that happens, your campaign has the chance to go viral within hours. If the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge taught fundraisers anything, it’s that viral fundraising campaigns lead to big donation dollars.
Before setting up your campaign, make sure you have a thorough understanding of how the CRA treats crowdfunding donations. Because crowdfunding is a new concept, the tax code governing the process in Canada is constantly evolving. The good news for nonprofits is that, as of 2016, the CRA keeps its hands off crowdfunding money donated for altruistic purposes. This could mean anything from raising money for a sick child to giving strangers a dream vacation. It could also mean a nonprofit organization such as yours soliciting donations for a good cause. Even better, if your nonprofit is a registered charity, your crowdfunding donors get to write off the money they pledge.
Other Fundraising Tools
YouCaring is a fantastic service to raise funds for your nonprofit, but it shouldn’t be the only tool at your disposal. You can also solicit donations through your website or blog and by building an email list. In addition, you can use YouCaring in conjunction with other tools, such as your organization’s website, to amplify the power of both. Let’s say you have a website that’s getting decent traffic, but you’re having trouble using it to solicit donations and find it even more challenging to track donations you receive. Rather than continuing to solicit donations through your website, try linking the site to your YouCaring page, and send donors there when they’re ready to open their checkbooks. You can do the same on Facebook and Twitter and in emails to your contact list. This method lets you consolidate your donations in one place, making them easier to track and simplifying your accounting in the process. YouCaring is a valuable tool to put in your repertoire if you want to solicit donations for your Canadian nonprofit, but it can’t do the job alone. Make sure your nonprofit’s website has a professional-looking design, and be consistent about sending emails to your list. Auctions are another valuable fundraising tool.