Doing Good Together

Managing a Nonprofit Online Fundraising Event

Fans of Pearl Jam were given one final treat before August 2014 came to a close. KHQ Right Now, a renowned news leader in Eastern Washington and North Idaho, reported that a skateboard signed by the band recently went up for auction on eBay, care of the Ferry County Rail Trail Partners. According to Bob Whittaker, president of the nonprofit group, this skateboard was used in one of the concerts held in Spokane, Washington during Pearl Jam’s ‘Lightning Bolt’ tour in 2013.

The auction was a huge success, and the final bid for the autographed skateboard closed at $4,450 on August 31. The success of this nonprofit online fundraising campaign comes as no surprise, though, because Whittaker has more than 30 years’ experience organizing such events. Yet even if you do not have the same level of expertise and experience as he does, you can still succeed with your fundraiser if you know how to manage it well. An online auction platform like eBay Giving Works can help you get started on the right foot and enable you to keep track of your campaign and evaluate its success.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that your fundraiser should focus on a particular demographic. That way, you can keep things simpler on your end, especially in terms of marketing. In Whittaker’s case, his fundraiser was entirely centered on Pearl Jam fans and skateboard enthusiasts, allowing him to create marketing pitches that speak to both groups. Incidentally, band members Eddie Vedder and Jeff Ament are also skateboarders.

Even if after you’ve streamlined your fundraising activity, you still need to ensure proper coordination among the members of your various committees. See to it that their responsibilities are clear-cut and that lines of communication are well-established. Whittaker chose eBay Giving Works precisely because he needed an auction platform that allows for real-time monitoring auction hits, number of bids, etc. online—metrics that give a more realistic idea of any fundraiser’s success. Indeed, it is much easier to evaluate online fundraising for nonprofits when the data you need is automatically gathered and processed. With our help, you’ll easily know if your fundraiser is on its way toward reaching the goals you’ve set.

The success of the Ferry County Rail Trail Partners fundraiser just proves that even a small nonprofit group can raise a lot of money in short time.

(Source: Want a skateboard signed by Pearl Jam while they were in Spokane? CHECK THIS OUT!, KHQ, August 29, 2014)