Using WordPress to Fundraise

WordPress is a powerful community building tool, in addition to a blogging and public relations tool.  But did you know nonprofits/not-for-profits and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) use WordPress to cultivate millions in donations every year?  In fact, the amount of money raised by nonprofits in the U.S. alone is staggering.  Just online, nonprofits raised around $22 Billion in 2010.  That number is 3 years old and still huge.

Although there are many many ways to raise money online, WordPress makes it super easy.  Especially when a nonprofit is using WordPress to power their website, using these themes.  Integrating with a payment gateway is simple, secure and professional.  Some of the third party fundraising sites work well too, but since we are all about WordPress at Pingable, this post focuses on the different ways to integrate fundraising with WordPress.

1. Cash in on your existing network

If you already have a large network of supporters and website visitors, this is the fastest way to cash in.  But be warned, visitors do not always equal stakeholders.  You can’t buy useless traffic using ads if the visitors don’t convert to active participants in your cause.  However, nonprofits with an engaged following that care about the mission and relate to the personal stories you tell on the website can turn into a source of consistent financial support.  Consider this tutorial that covers creating a donate form on your website.  The aforementioned tutorial covers adding a pretty complex and native donate form using a premium forms plugin and Paypal integration.  For the more novice user, you can use a simple Paypal donate widget.

2. Go pro with a crowdsourcing plugin

Crowdsourcing is all the rage.  From Kickstarter to IndieGoGo, there are a million project-funding sites.  What they promise is the ability to raise funds quickly.  What they don’t say is that 90% of funds come from friends and family unless your project goes viral.  Crowdsourcing is primarily for non-business or individual projects.  However nonprofits can get in the game too.  Using the same platforms, nonprofits can raise funds and generate income tax deductions for their donors.

Using a premium plugin like IgnitionDeck is a great way to stand above the fray and raise money for your nonprofit.  A premium WordPress plugin, IgnitionDeck is a very smart crowdfunding tool.  In addition to accepting donations easily, you can set a smart target which automatically moves to the next tier when a goal has been reached.  For example, a nonprofit that uses it’s WordPress website to fund a community center might set a goal for a pool table, a goal for the renovations and a goal for purchasing the property.  When the community has contributed enough for the pool table, the renovations become the next goal.  Cool huh?  Never make success the barrier to more success!

Bonus: there are some premium themes available on ThemeForest (our fave) that seamlessly integrate IgnitionDeck.  Our personal favorite: FundingPress:


3. Get the community involved

Crowdfunding, by definition, is micro-donations or contributions that reach toward a larger goal.  Rather than seeking a large donor or investor, crowdfunded projects get lots of little support.  So in a way, this method is also crowdfunding like all of the above, however this one really leverages relationships and community.  Using a plugin called Personal Fundraiser, your nonprofit can allow stakeholders to create their own fundraising pages.  This way, they are encouraged through many different calls-to-action to get their own network involved.

By leveraging other people’s networks, you have the potential to not only raise more funds, but reach more people which can turn into other opportunities.  Never turn down a chance to discuss your mission with someone, you never know who they are.