Donations jar in a Christmas hat against green background

Set up your charity gift site in time for Christmas

Setting up your own charity gift site is quicker and easier than you think 

What is a charity gift site?

Alternative charity gifts (sometimes called 'good gifts' or 'ethical gifts') are donations to a charity that represent something specific to their beneficiaries, such as six egg-laying hens, or a week of school meals.

A charity gift site is simply a site that sells this type of gift to increase revenue.

Running a site that offers ethical gifts like these is a great way for non-profits to increase their donations revenue. 

Our clients, Concern Worldwide, have even managed to increase their alternative gifts sales during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Concern Worldwide's gift site

Why you need an alternative gift site for your nonprofit

Offline fundraising is pretty much out of the question for most of Europe and North America for the time being due to COVID-19 restrictions on personal contact between strangers; big events like charity runs and mass sponsored activities are all cancelled; and, your supporters are increasingly interacting with you only online.

Alternative gifts give you the opportunity to carry out fundraising online in a new way, and with the biggest gift-giving season of the year about to start, you need to act now to take advantage.

Gift detail page on the Concern gift site

How to set up your alternative gift site to benefit from the online shopping rush

The good news is that with our help, setting up your alternative gift site can be quick and easy.

Step 1: Have SystemSeed set up the site itself

Get in touch and ask us to set your site. We'll look after hosting, testing, creating your user-profiles and credentials, and will even apply your branding to our standard template to get you up and running as quickly as possible.

Step 2: Design your gifts

Define the titles, descriptions and pricing for the gifts that you are going to start with. We recommend launching your site with six or more gifts to allow your supporters to see enough variety for them to choose a gift that suits them. 

The three key elements of a good alternative gifts range are:

Benefit clarity

Make it easy for the gift buyer to understand that a specific gift directly helps your beneficiary. For example, 'two avocado trees' offer a much clearer benefit than 'food crops'.

Range of prices

Offering a range of price points for alternative gifts means that gift-givers will be most likely to find a gift within their budget.

Good impact stories

Impact stories build trust and create a greater emotional connection for the gift-giver. Use an image of a person and tell the story of an individual who has benefited from the specific gift the visitor is looking at.

Step 3: Open for business!

Switch your site on and let people buy. This will require a little testing to make sure everything is working properly as well as connecting up your payment processors, but we can help with that.

Step 4: Promote your gifts

Take to your social channels, regular advertising slots, and your email newsletters to let your supporters know that you have a new way for them to contribute to your organization. See which channels are the most effective and do more of that.

Step 5: Put your new revenue to good use

Watch the new revenue begin to come in. The good news about this sort of fundraising is that you don't have to wait for an event to be completed or individual fundraisers to take their funds to the bank for you to have access to them. It's all there for you to use as soon as someone buys. 

Get our free guide to alternative gift sites

We've created a 35+ page guide to what makes a great alternative gift site. It's free to download, so if you'd like to repeat the success of Concern, get your copy now.

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