U Ottawa: Go Deposit a Gift!

Are you sick and tired of bake sales? Does selling club swag make your brain hurt? Are you completely out of ideas on how to fundraise for your club or organization? Well, I may very well have the answer for you: crowdfunding. Haven’t heard of it? Well, I hadn’t heard of it until very recently either. But trust me, this innovative and modern idea is definitely worth your while.

Crowdfunding is essentially online fundraising that leverages your social network. It’s the idea of taking your cause or organizational needs online, in order to be able to leverage your community, reach more people and, most importantly, raise more money. And, it’s growing.  You have probably heard of online gift or wedding registries, where you can sign in and either donate money or an online voucher for a friend’s special day. Crowdfunding works exactly the same way. Bake sales, club keggers, and club swag sales can only generate so much revenue, since you only ever sell or attract the same people in your social circle or school community. However, with crowdfunding, you can reach tons more people than your measly bake sale or warm-beer keggers. You can finally put your fundraising woes to bed!

Dana Ostomel, founder of Deposit a Gift, grasped onto this idea of crowdfunding and created a new and innovative website in order to help grow the idea and appeal to a multitude of people. With Deposit a Gift, you can take fundraising online, couple it with built-in social media tools, and expand your cause. People that may not buy your cupcake, or walk by your table will have a way to interact with your group, get involved and donate. According to Dana, it truly creates the ultimate supply chain.

I know what you’re thinking: how can I emotionally engage people from a website? Isn’t the best part about bake sales talking to people and getting them involved? However, Deposit a Gift offers more than just a website platform. It offers a socially and emotionally engaging aspect since it’s more than just a donation page: it’s a micro-website for your club or organization. You can make a mini-site with your own pictures, information, and even custom URL. And, it’s a concise and memorable URL that translates well offline. You can link it to your facebook and twitter pages, while still keeping a more professional online page than your social media groups and pages. Here’s an example of a fundraising page: http://ihadlacollegedrive.mydagsite.com. You can easily see your fundraising goal, while having every aspect of the page personalized.

Even if you’re not part of a club or organization, Dana says that Deposit a Gift can be great for personal needs. You can fundraise for your own study-abroad programs (since studying abroad can be very expensive), or even for your graduation gift. This is actually how the website started: personal causes. Dana launched the website three and a half years ago, and originally focused on a cash gift registry. About a year in, people started using the website to fundraise for medical bills, schools, entrepreneurial projects and other personal needs. People loved the aspect of customization and detailing how the money would be used. Today, Dana has found a balance between the registries and the fundraising, appealing to many diverse communities.

Practically everything is online and technological today. If you can learn from an online lecture or promote your event on Facebook and Twitter, then why not fundraise online?

For more information on Deposit a Gift, check out their website, like the site on Facebook and follow @Depositagift on Twitter for more updates!


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