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Online Fundraising with Squidoo

Is your nonprofit organization or charity doing fundraising online?
If not, this is something that you should be looking into.

There are many types of online fundraising methods. A new and innovative way is by building a lens on the website.

What exactly is a Squidoo lens?

A lens is simply a webpage on that is built to serve as a guide on a specific topic. The page contains relevant information about the topic and links to other places on the internet where more information can be found.

Squidoo is similar to a search engine, such as Google, but, according to its founder Seth Godin, it acts as an intermediary to search engines by giving people the “big picture” view on a given topic. When people perform a search for information on Squidoo the result is a lens on the topic instead of a list of links that you would get with a Google search. Squidoo is also similar to MySpace; however, Godin calls Squidoo “social databasing” as opposed to “social networking.”

Most internet marketers are aware of
and many are creating lenses on Squidoo as a way of building links and bringing visitors to their websites.

However, one of the original purposes of Squidoo,
according to founder Seth Godin, was to provide a way for charities and nonprofit organizations to spread awareness of their cause and raise money, on the internet.

How can nonprofit organizations and charities benefit from

Anyone can build a Squidoo lens, for free, on any topic they are knowledgeable or passionate about. “Everyone is an expert” says Godin. At time of this writing there are over 70,000 lenses written by Squidoo lensmasters, as they are called.

Nonprofit organizations and charities
may build a lens and provide information about their cause or mission. The lens can contain links to the charity’s website, logos, RSS feeds, just about anything relevant to the topic or organization can be included in the lens.

Each lens automatically has Google advertisements placed on it. Every lens gets a share of the royalties earned from the Google ads. Another way to earn money is to sell items as an affiliate of Amazon, eBay, or Cafe Press. For example, if your organization creates t-shirts on Caf Press, you can feature them on your Squidoo lens and earn money from the sales.

In addition to creating a lens, nonprofit organizations may register and be added to the Squidoo database of charities. Once your organization is registered, other lensmasters can then choose to donate their earnings to your account, thereby adding another way for your organization to raise money. Almost one-half of the lensmasters donate their royalties to the registered charities. As of this writing, there are less than one hundred charities registered, so this is a good time get your charity involved.

Ask your supporters to create a lens instead of asking for money.

There is no limit to the number of lenses that can be built on a topic. As a way of raising awareness and increasing involvement in your cause, ask your supporters to visit your lens and then build one of their own. Do this instead of asking for monetary donations and see what your results are. With a network of lenses, each earning a couple of dollars a day, your organization could be earning a nice sum of money every month.

It is not difficult to build a lens on Squidoo.
You do not need any programming skills and there is plenty of information on the site to help you get started. If you are wondering how the name Squidoo came to be, it is because squid have large eyes, and it is a current trend that successful tech companies have names with “oo” in them. Think Yahoo and Google.

If you are a member of a nonprofit organization or charity, you should visit the website and see what other nonprofits are doing with their lenses. Take advantage of this opportunity to establish an online fundraising campaign for your nonprofit organization.

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