Overview Of Business Model
Online fund raising has serious potential for success because of how affordable the Internet is as a marketing medium, communication tool, and place to present information. There are many choices available if you want to provide fund-raising services. The number of potential customers for this type of business is significant—charitable organizations, schools, hospitals, not-for-profit associations, and so on. Most organizations do not have the personnel to run fund-raising campaigns in-house and are quite happy to use an outside service. Fund-raising campaigns for each organization are usually run at a specific time of year, so the trick will be to have clients who run their campaigns at different times.
This business is perfect for someone who has experience in philanthropy and telemarketing. You have to be organized and have a great telephone manner. Basic Web publishing skills and familiarity with managing a contact database are needed.
Cost To Start This Business
To start this business you will need a computer, appropriate software, and a printer. You will incur costs related to the design, development, and hosting of your Web site. You may need to purchase direct mail lists as well if your clients don’t provide them. The approximate cost to start this business is between $3,000 and $10,000.
Number Of Employees Needed To Start
One dedicated and knowledgeable person can start this business from home and part-time to begin.
The potential of this business is mainly national. International telephone rates and foreign languages are drawbacks to international delivery of this type of service.
Important Business Issues To Be Addressed
It is important to consider how your revenues are generated. One option is to collect a fee or percentage of the money you raise for any given charity or group. The other is by selling a product to be used in a fund-raiser. Obviously you will gain a profit through the sale of such items. The best way to increase revenues is to provide both services.
Online Marketing Techniques
- Develop a comprehensive link strategy. If you do not provide products for fundraisers, link to sites that do and vice versa. Also develop links from appropriate directories, meta-indexes, and Web rings.
- Register your site throughout the major search engines and optimize your site for organic search engine placement with effective keyword phrases such as fund-raising services. You can also consider participating in a pay-per-click strategy with the popular search engines.
- Arrange reciprocal links with a wide variety of philanthropic sites.
- Participate in news and discussion groups for fundraisers to share their techniques and successes.
- Participate in mail lists that your target market participates in relative to fund raising.
Avenues for additional income are banner and hyperlink advertising on your Web site if the traffic levels are high. Other ways to gain more revenue from your fund-raiser Web site would be to expand your services and offer to coach others for a fee on how to begin a fund-raising project. You can also provide products that can be used in fund raising.