Online Crowdfunding for Nonprofits

What is Crowdfunding?2016-03-30 09.09.10

Crowdfunding refers to any effort to raise money through donations from a large number of people. Crowdfunding websites allow individuals, organizations, and businesses to reach a wider audience in order to obtain donations and support. Crowdfunding websites also give individuals an easy way to contribute to their favorite organizations.

Why Should Nonprofits Use Online Crowdfunding?

There are numerous benefits to using online crowdfunding. First, it’s accessible to anyone with internet access. This is beneficial for organizations looking to expand their donor base or simply to make it easier for existing donors to give. Second, it’s fairly easy to start an online crowdfunding campaign. With crowdfunding websites (like Kickstarter and Indiegogo) on the rise, it’s becoming easier to create and maintain crowdfunding platforms. And third, online crowdfunding also works as an outreach platform and marketing tool.

Which Online Crowdfunding Website is the Best?

This isn’t a simple question. Different crowdfunding websites offer different benefits and services. There are a plethora of different websites but it’s important to understand how much of the donations will make it to your organization. Most crowdfunding websites charge a “platform fee,” which is charge for using their website. Most crowdfunding websites also charge a “credit card payment fee” which goes to the third-party payment processors (like Paypal).

Below are 5 popular crowdfunding websites with their associated fees:


5% : Platform fees

3% + 30¢ : Credit Card Payment Fee


4.9%: Platform Fee

2.0% + 30¢ : Credit Card Payment Fee

First Giving

5.0% : Platform Fee

2.5% : Credit Card Payment Fee

$500 : Subscription Yearly Subscription


5.0% : Platform Fee

2.9% + 30¢ : Credit CardPayment Fee


4.9% : Platform Fee

3% : Credit Card Payment Fee

This is my no means an exhaustive list. However, these may  be a good place to begin your crowdfunding journey.


Engaging College Students in Philanthropy

What can nonprofit organizations do to engage college students in philanthropy?2016-03-30 09.09.10

There are a plethora of new and old ways that college students can participate in philanthropic efforts. While the philanthropic contributions from current college students may differ from traditional methods, they are none-the-less vital. So, what can your nonprofit organization do to engage passionate students in philanthropy? Here are some suggestions!

Find Us on Social Media
In my experience, the largest obstacle for college students to engage in philanthropic efforts is the lack of readily available resources. Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) is by far the best way to reach college students. Sharing events, links to online donations, and information about local philanthropic efforts is a fantastic way to get information about nonprofits to college students. (We spend a lot of time on social media, if you hadn’t noticed.)

Interact With Us on Social Media
For college students, it’s not enough to see what organizations are doing—we want to feel involved! We want our voices heard. Posting on Facebook is a great start to engaging college students, but you can’t stop there. It’s important to engage with college students on social media—‘like’ Facebook status that mention you, tag event attendees in your Facebook and Twitter photos, retweet reactions to your events and programs.

Let Us Donate Online
Online shopping is a miracle. As a college student, it’s saved me time and energy that I simply don’t have. Online shopping is also phenomenal for nonprofits. Online donations offer an easy way for college students to contribute to local or national nonprofits without leaving the comfort of their beds. Additionally, offering monthly donation options is a great way to maintain a relationship with college students. I know I can’t donate $100 at one time, but I can definitely donate $10 a month throughout the entire year.

Work With Our Universities 
Many colleges and universities offer service learning opportunities to students. Service learning focuses on civic responsibility and community involvement. There are few things better than helping a great cause while receiving course credit for it. Working with universities is a great way to introduce college students to what philanthropy is and how they can get involved.

Listen To Us
We’re young, passionate, and excited to help organizations and causes we care about. So, please, listen to us! Create opportunities for college students to contribute ideas to your organization—whether it be an online suggestion box, events on college campuses, or an online survey. This is a great way to gather new ideas and find new board members.

Good luck recruiting and engaging!


Part I of Thoughts On Millennial Volunteers: We Know We Can Change the World

Recruiting and keeping volunteers is difficult in its own right, but what happens when you throw those pesky millennials into the mix? Katrina Pieri for wordpress

You know, the tech-savvy, photo-obsessed teens and young adults who are often perceived as communicating solely through text, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and a host of other social media sites. How do you persuade one of these elusive millennials (who are prone to walking into things due to their refusal to look up from their phones, by the way) to volunteer their time and efforts for your organization’s cause? How do you convince them that they should actually contribute to society instead of just contributing to online communities?

Well, fear not, because I myself am a millennial, and today I’m here to share Part I of how your nonprofit organization can attract millennials. In Part II I will share some general practical tips on recruiting millennial volunteers, but first we have to cover the basics.

A Lesson on Millennials:

We Do, In Fact, Think Know That We Can Change The World

Many accusations have been thrown at millennials: we’re narcissistic, we all think we’re exceedingly special, we don’t have proper communication skills because we text so much, we’re losing basic skills because we turn to technology to solve all of our problems (hello, spell check, nice to see you again), etc. Now, I call these accusations, but let’s be real, some of them hint at broad trends that do apply to many millennials. I would like to argue, however, that there’s a more important trend that should be emphasized: individuality. As a millennial, the most inspiring trend that I’ve noticed among my peers is a desire to express individuality. For a host of reasons, many millennials have been empowered to believe that they can be anything, wear anything, eat anything, and do anything they want in life. Does this sometimes lead to problems? Well, yes. Some millennials aren’t particularly fond of certain traditional business practices, for example. I just graduated from college in May, and let me tell you, during my college career I encountered many millennials who loathed the concept of the typical 9-5 job experience, believing it would stifle their creativity and ultimately burn their soul to ash. Continue reading

Meet Our New Intern, Katrina

Hello World,

My name is Katrina and I’m the new PCNRC intern. I graduated in May of 2015 from Ball State University with a degree in Anthropology and a minor in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution. Katrina Pieri for wordpressI’m looking forward to this amazing opportunity to learn more about how nonprofits function. I plan on working in the nonprofit field throughout my life. This may involve working directly for a nonprofit, volunteering, or perhaps even starting my own nonprofit.

I’m also particularly excited to be working at the library because my second career goal is to become a published novelist.* As the daughter of a librarian, I spent many years growing up listening to my father read Harry Potter (and other books, though mainly Harry Potter) and attempting to write my own magical stories.

Besides reading (as you might guess) and writing, I also have a great passion for traveling. So far, I’ve been to Italy, Germany, China, and Vietnam, in that order. I’ve also been to Canada, but it seems no one ever counts poor Canada when listing off countries in this fashion. I have a rather lofty goal of visiting every country in the world. It’s been done before and it can certainly be done again.

For anyone reading this, I hope to meet you in person sometime, whether you visit the PCNRC to utilize our resources or attend one of our upcoming programs!

*Cue jokes about how we all know someone who is ‘writing a novel.’

Meet Our New Intern, Katherine

Hello! My name is Katherine and I am the new intern here at the Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center. I am graduating in Katherine Profile PictureMay from IPFW with a degree in English-Writing, so working at the library surrounded by books makes me feel right at home.

Besides literature, my main love in life is travel.

I spent last semester in Ireland, which didn’t disappoint my prior notion of it having spectacular landscapes and friendly people. During my time abroad I also had the opportunity to see some other parts of Europe.

Although my travels included scarlet fever in Paris and a trip to the hospital in Milan, I still loved the overall experience of seeing cities I’d always dreamed of visiting and was left with some interesting stories to tell, to say the least.

Other than travel, I enjoy spending as much time outdoors as possible, which mostly includes riding my bike and swimming.

I’m so excited to be interning here at the center and learning all about nonprofits and the resources available to them. I hope to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector, so I view this internship as a great opportunity!