Friday, May 22, 2009

Firstgiving

Justgiving, a UK company set up to help charities raise money online, is the parent of Firstgiving, a US for-profit business helping nonprofits get the cash they need to do good works. How it works: Firstgiving hosts the fundraising pages for each nonprofit, securely accepts and transfers donations, provides widgets to highlight donation levels, and takes care of all the details of harnessing tech to operate the money side of things. In exchange, Firstgiving gets 7.5% of the amount raised.

Does it work? Well, Firstgiving was the technology behind the 2009 Boston Marathon's fundraising of $1.9 million for nearly 100 charities. Since 2003, Firstgiving has helped 25,476 nonprofits raise more than $96 million. Sounds like a plan.

All kinds of causes are represented on Firstgiving's pages, from the Blue Rudge Rollergirls skating for the Asheville Humane Society to the Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit Special Olympics Georgia. Browse charities by tag (such as "education") to see the diversity of causes on Firstgiving's site. Bottom line: A touch of good marketing for some very good causes.

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