Online fundraising generally refers to using the Internet to raise money for your organization. Web sites, blogs, email marketing, search engine optimization, Facebook, tweets, etc. are just some ways to do this.

Tech Projects on a Limited Budget: Understanding ROI to Help You Prioritize and Win Funding (Live Webinar)

Bad technology decisions can waste time & destroy morale. Join us on May 9 for insider insights into nonprofit technology, so you can list out the pros & cons of investments in certain technologies for your nonprofit. Enroll now. 

If you do plan to raise funds online, you need to know about the Charleston Principles, which are non-binding guidelines that the National Association of State Charity Officials created to help states develop their own regulations for online fundraising. The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) summarizes them as follows:

Organizations located outside of a particular state must register if they use their website to specifically target people in that state, or receive contributions from the state on a repeated and ongoing basis or a substantial basis through its website. The Principles don't specifically define "ongoing" or "substantial" -- that's left up to each individual state. Organizations should note that email solicitations automatically trigger registration requirements, just as a letter or fax would. What happens next with the Charleston Principles is currently unclear. States have not shown any special urgency to address this issue, but may begin to in the next couple of years.

The AFP also created Internet Transaction Guidelines to provide basic guidance for members and others who might use the services of an online or similar service provider.

See also our related Knowledge Base articles:

- Can a nonprofit organization do fundraising activities in multiple states?
- Where can I find nonprofit software reviews?

Self-paced Learning on Social Media

Build a Social Media Strategy
Develop your social media plan to more effectively engage your audience online. $35.

Leveraging Leadership for Social Media Success
Learn how to mobilize your stakeholders as social media ambassadors and grow your influence online. $45.

Social Media for Leaders: Find Your Voice
Learn how to add social media engagement skills to your executive toolkit. $45.

Storytelling for Social Media
Learn how to effectively employ stories in your social media efforts. $25.



Topic(s) Individual Giving Marketing & Communications

Have a question about this topic? Ask us!

Foundation Center's Ask Us service will answer your questions within one business day.

Ask Us

Este artículo está disponible en español

See Spanish Version