Since the popular Facebook fundraising App Causes was built using GuideStar’s database of nonprofits in the United States and Canada, only nonprofits in the U.S. and Canada can utilize Causes’ fundraising tools. There are some amazing nonprofits at the grassroots working miracles daily with relatively small amounts of cash, but unfortunately, since no international database of verified nonprofits exists, these nonprofits are consistently unable to utilize most online fundraising tools. Not any anymore… thanks to Ammado.com.
Based in Dublin, Ireland, Ammado is a social network just like Facebook or MySpace, but whose primary focus is to empower people and nonprofits worldwide to fundraise and donate online. In addition to online donation capabilities, they offer giving circles, giving vouchers, and Facebook widgets. Considering that 70% Facebooks users are outside of the United States and that most of its growth is occuring internationally, Ammado’s timing is very good.
That said, nonprofit’s inside the United States and Canada can use Ammado too. One obvious advantage that Ammado has over Causes and most online donation processors, is that it accepts and distributes donations (via wire transfer) in 31 currencies (!!). As the world goes global, so does charitable giving.
Therefore, how nonprofits worldwide can get started on Ammado:
1) Nonprofits that want to use Ammado must read and agree to their Nonprofit Recognition Policy and then sign up to be added to their database of nonprofits. Ammado has staff dedicated to vetting nonprofits and researching their legal status. This vetting includes checking registration with proper authorities, reviewing of websites, calls or inquiries, personal referrals, etc.
2) After your nonprofit is approved, you then create a profile. You can add a summary of your organization, photos, post news and articles, join/create communities, etc. Once your profile is up and running, you can then apply to accept online donations by clicking the “Apply for Donations” button on your Ammado profile. Donations are accepted in 20 formats (Visa, AMEX, PayPal, Diners Club, JCB, Carte Bancaire, etc.) and the processing fee of 5% is used to cover donation processing fees. Nonprofits are responsible for wire transfer fees. See their Giving Policy for more information.
The minimum donation amount is $5 US and donors are emailed a receipt. Unlike Causes, nonprofits on Ammado can use internal email tools to message donors individually and get access to the donor’s email address. I made a donation. No problems. In fact, I was prompted to add a “Donate Now” box onto my Facebook profile after giving. I agreed. A screenshot is below:
The great thing is that nonprofits can add this “Donate Now” box to their Facebook Fan Pages as well. Seemingly something so simple, but something incredibly necessary that has never been done. Nonprofits can also can also push/post the “news and articles” that they post on their profile on Ammado directly to their Facebook Page. You can learn more at Ammado’s Facebook Page.
3) Ammado provides some interesting fundraising tools to both individuals and nonprofits. Much of it based on peer-to-peer fundraising, like Causes. The idea is to empower people to fundraise for your nonprofit online and on Facebook. I am 50/50 on peer-to-peer fundraising. I think it works great for marathons and in lieu of birthday, wedding gifts, etc., but most donors give to nonprofits of their choosing that are working on issues that they care about. Keep that in mind. Pitch Ammado’s peer-to-peer fundraising tools in that context. After 3 years at Change.org, the only peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns that ever worked were based on marathons, birthdays, weddings, etc. Occasionally when the campaign was about an issue of timely importance (gay marriage, legalization of medicinal marijuana, etc), peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns would work, but only if the organizer was incredibly dedicated and online savvy with lots of friends and connections.
That said, Ammado’s giving circles and giving communities are a pretty slick new take on peer-to-peer fundraising that supporters/creators can also embed on their Facebook and Bebo profiles:
4) There’s also an interesting corporate giving component that no other social networking site has addressed. There’s a lot of potential there for large donations and corporate social responsibility Web 2.0 style. I am honestly surprised that it’s taken this long.
In closing, I got to say muchos kudos to Ammado.com for empowering nonprofits worldwide… for taking it upon themselves to invest the time and resources necessary to vet and empower nonprofits outside of GuideStar. They also have some great widgets and Apps, and the corporate giving angle is just damn smart. I hope they do well. In fact, I am so impressed that I am going to start covering them in my How Nonprofit Organizations Can Successfully Use Facebook Pages and YouTube Webinar on Thursdays at 2pm GMT. My Thursday Webinars are specifically for nonprofits outside the United States. Also, after you set up your profile, make sure you grab Ammado’s Web 2.0 icon and embed it on your Web site, blog, Facebook Page, etc.!