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How to maximise your fundraising efforts this summer

If you want to fundraise for a volunteering placement or charity close to your heart, summer is the perfect time to do so. There are countless runs and sports events to choose from, and the fine weather makes BBQs and outdoor events much more pleasant than at other times of the year.

Before you dust of your runners or click send on that email invite, it's important to get up to speed on the different fundraising platforms available and which will help you to maximise your efforts. We've just discovered Altruism Ireland and are encouraging our volunteers to set up donation pages with this platform. Here's why…

Transparency is encouraged

From bake sales and marathons to talent competitions and pub quizes, VSO volunteers have raised much-needed funds for our programmes overseas.

Buzzword it may be, transparency is still vital in the charity sector, now more than ever before. New campaigns are vying for people's attention every day. To stand out and encourage confidence in their donors, organisations in the sector need to be open about where that money is going. There are hundreds of worthwhile causes out there, and people won't donate their hard-earned cash unless they know it's going to be well spent.

Altruism Ireland acts as an intermediary between people and organisations, assessing charity financial records and project reports and presenting these figures in an easy-to-read manner. A transparency score out of ten helps donors to quickly assess if the charity is worth backing or if they should focus their efforts elsewhere. This transparency is mutually beneficial. Individuals don’t have to worry about their donations being wasted on potentially questionable projects, golden salaries and transaction fees. At the same time, virtuous charities aren't missing out on donations that are rightfully theirs and have the chance to increase their perceived trustworthiness in the eyes of the public. Thanks to our easily accessible annual reports and financial records, VSO Ireland has been given a transparency score of ten out of ten.

No fees on donations

The organisation's motto is 'When Zero Matters', reflecting the non-profit nature of the platform. There are no fees on donations made so every cent raised goes directly to those who need it most. This is in contrast to other fundraising platforms that charge up to a staggering 6% on donations! There is an unavoidable Stripe payment processing fee but, at 1.4% + 0.25, this again is at a more competitive rate than alternative platforms. For instance, if a volunteer goes with an alternative platform that charges 6% on fees, they have to raise an extra €90 to reach a target of €1,500. So if you're setting up an online fundraising account, we'd definitely recommend going with Altruism Ireland. And telling your friends to do the same!

Educating charities

Another aspect of Altruism Ireland that commands respect is the founders' dedication to advancing the efficiency and effectiveness of charitable bodies in Ireland. The platform was born out of hard work and financial sacrifice, with the founders giving up part of their salary and much of their free time to develop it over a two year period. You might question their motives but, working in the sector, these people understood why something needed to be done to tackle the transparency issue and increase funds for charities.

Altruism Ireland has already been supported by major technology partners like Slack, Google and Yesware. With the help of donations from the public, it shouldn't be long before the organisation can also offer free technological education to other charities, helping them to maximise their profits and transform the way they deliver their services. Other corporates also understand the important role technology has to play for charities and NGOs. Orla Hogan, Head of Philanthropy and Corporate Communications at Microsoft Ireland, for instance, commented, "Technology is, in many ways, charity's ideal partner – allowing the organisation to run services in previously unimaginable ways and enabling them to do more with limited resources."

Ireland is consistently listed as one of world's most generous countries, and platforms like Altruism Ireland help us to maintain this status. It also benefits NGOs because volunteers can reach their fundraising aims in record time. VSO Ireland is happy to back this fantastic platform, and we encourage you to do so too!

Interested in fundraising for VSO Ireland?

Fundraising provides much-needed income for our development programmes, which are implemented through volunteers. These programmes support people, communities and governments in the areas of health, education, secure livelihoods and participation and governance. Your fundraising activities also help us to raise the profile of VSO in the local community. Call us on +353 1 640 1060 or email info@vso.ie if you’d like to do your bit for people in need.

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